More than 8,000 Starbucks company-owned stores and offices across the United States will close in the afternoon on May 29 for a conversation and learning session on race, bias and the building of a diverse welcoming company.
The training is one of several steps Starbucks is taking after two black men were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
Starbucks will close 8,000 of its locations across the USA on May 29, and here's everything you need to know! A sign posted at a San Francisco store said the store would close at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and reopen at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
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Most of the company's 7,000 licensed stores, such as those operated by major grocery stores, hotels, universities and airports, are expected to remain open.
But one Australian expert says the training - which will include a talk by the rapper Common - is unlikely to work. Workers will also view a short documentary film.
On May 10, Howard Schultz, Starbucks' executive chairman and former CEO, said it had adopted a new restroom policy: "We don't want to become a public bathroom, but we're going to make the right decision 100 percent of the time and give people the key".
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A Starbucks spokesman said Tuesday's training is part of a bigger commitment to anti-bias education.
The men - Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson - sat down within the Starbucks, awaiting a business meeting, as the store manager called 911 to report them for refusing to leave.
A guide advises staff to consider whether the actions they take would apply to any customer in the same situation.
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The company offered specific guidelines in a document shared with employees. Starbucks added that customers could be asked to change their behavior if they are unreasonably loud, watching something inappropriate on a personal device or their personal hygiene disrupts others. "Starbucks' employees will continue to operate in an environment that reinforces racial disparities", they wrote. It also suggests that they consult colleagues to see if they agree that the person is being disruptive. The last time the company did something similar was in 2008, when the struggling chain shut down all U.S. locations to retrain employees on improving the "Starbucks Experience" by boosting technical abilities and customer service - a decision that cost the chain $6 million. If so, employees are instructed to approach the customer and respectfully ask him or her to cease the offensive action while another employee watches.