New Starbucks policy: No purchase needed to sit in cafes

New Starbucks policy: No purchase needed to sit in cafes

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NEW YORK — Starbucks announced a new policy Saturday that allows anyone to sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they don’t buy anything.

The new policy comes five weeks after two black men who hadn’t bought anything were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks.

Company executives have said its previous policies were loose and ambiguous, leaving decisions on whether people could sit in its stores or use the restroom up to store managers.

Image: US-RACE-POLICE-STARBUCKS
A Starbucks coffee cup is seen outside a Starbucks Coffee shop in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2018.Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images file

Starbucks said it has told workers to consider anyone who walks into its stores a customer, “regardless of whether they make a purchase.”

The company said anyone can use its cafes, patios or restrooms without buying anything, but it noted workers should still call the police if someone is a safety threat.

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“We are committed to creating a culture of warmth and belonging where everyone is welcome,” Starbucks said in a statement.

The two men who were arrested April 12 in Philadelphia were awaiting a third person for a meeting. One of them was denied use of a restroom because he hadn’t bought anything. A worker called police, and the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were arrested. They spent hours in jail before they were released.

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