Starbucks Handles its Business … Poorly

by Juliette Akinyi Ochieng | May 12th, 2018

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Starbucks Handles its Business ... Poorly

by baldilocks

One might say that Star­bucks is defe­cat­ing on its own mar­ket share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seri­ously, it’s sad to watch as a thriv­ing busi­ness dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is com­mit­ting suicide.

Mon­ica Showal­ter:

The ever well mean­ing Star­bucks chair­man, Howie Schultz, more ter­ri­fied of bad pub­lic­ity and claims of racism than any­thing in the world, has just announced a rather customer-​unfriendly pol­icy of open­ing Star­bucks bath­rooms (as well as table space) to all com­ers, includ­ing peo­ple who won’t spring for a $4 cup of cof­fee. Speak­ing to the Atlantic Coun­cil, accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post, Schultz said:

We don’t want to become a pub­lic bath­room, but we’re going to make the right deci­sion a hun­dred per­cent of the time and give peo­ple the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want any­one at Star­bucks to feel as if we are not giv­ing access to you to the bath­room because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Star­bucks cof­fee, we know what this pol­icy change means: an open invi­ta­tion to the home­less to bring in hepati­tis, trash, used syringes, solic­i­ta­tions for spare change, and all the other detri­tus of their uncured con­di­tion to Star­bucks bath­rooms. The fact that Star­bucks will be the only busi­ness with such a pol­icy means that all of the home­less will con­cen­trate in these out­lets. Rival store-​owners and social ser­vice agen­cies will actu­ally direct the home­less to Star­bucks out­lets for the free ser­vices. Large groups will con­gre­gate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Star­bucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usu­ally doesn’t have to enter the busi­ness for that. Now I sus­pect that it will be dif­fi­cult and unap­peal­ing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Mon­ica thinks Schultz has a plan.

One won­ders if what Howie is really say­ing is that he intends to close out­lets – in places where the home­less are con­cen­trated. Is it that? It’s already well known that a Star­bucks outlet’s pres­ence cor­re­lates with ris­ing real estate val­ues. Per­haps Schultz means to con­cen­trate that trend and will now keep his estab­lish­ments in only rich areas with no social ser­vice out­lets that draw the home­less. Maybe he knows some­thing about a com­ing hous­ing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the orig­i­nal plan, but the fix after the dis­as­ter. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz con­jured it.

There’s a Star­bucks within walk­ing dis­tance in my blue/​white-​collar multi-​ethnic LA neigh­bor­hood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, cof­fee, tastier dough­nuts than Star­bucks (duh), no home­less hang­ing out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white– and rich-​guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bath­room facil­i­ties in my apart­ment. I know the jan­i­to­r­ial crew for that one.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

One might say that Starbucks is defecating on its own market share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seriously, it’s sad to watch as a thriving business dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is committing suicide.

Monica Showalter:

The ever well meaning Starbucks chairman, Howie Schultz, more terrified of bad publicity and claims of racism than anything in the world, has just announced a rather customer-unfriendly policy of opening Starbucks bathrooms (as well as table space) to all comers, including people who won’t spring for a $4 cup of coffee.  Speaking to the Atlantic Council, according to the Washington Post, Schultz said:

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms.  The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets.  Rival store-owners and social service agencies will actually direct the homeless to Starbucks outlets for the free services.  Large groups will congregate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Starbucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usually doesn’t have to enter the business for that. Now I suspect that it will be difficult and unappealing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Monica thinks Schultz has a plan.

“One wonders if what Howie is really saying is that he intends to close outlets – in places where the homeless are concentrated.  Is it that? It’s already well known that a Starbucks outlet’s presence correlates with rising real estate values.  Perhaps Schultz means to concentrate that trend and will now keep his establishments in only rich areas with no social service outlets that draw the homeless.  Maybe he knows something about a coming housing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the original plan, but the fix after the disaster. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz conjured it.

There’s a Starbucks within walking distance in my blue/white-collar multi-ethnic LA neighborhood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, coffee, tastier doughnuts than Starbucks (duh), no homeless hanging out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white- and rich-guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bathroom facilities in my apartment. I know the janitorial crew for that one.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

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