Customers have promised to boycott the international coffee chain, Starbucks, after a barista attempted to eject a homeless man who was eating a meal paid for by a “Good Samaritan.”
Starbucks claims it wishes to “treat customers with respect and dignity,” in spite of recent footage showing how the chain’s employee discriminated against this particular homeless man, The Sun reports.
The exchange took place outside a branch in Southend, Essex, UK.
The “Good Samaritan,” Sajid Kahhllon, claims he saw the homeless man desperately searching for food on the outdoor tables.
According to Sajid:
“It was painful to see that someone had to search for food like that. I asked him if he was hungry and if he would like me to buy him some food? He replied yes in a very weak voice.
“I bought him a sandwich and a chocolate cake worth £8.45 so that he could eat respectfully.
“But as he was sitting there eating his paid-for lunch, one of the staff members went over to him with a security officer and told him to leave.
“I understand the point of view of Starbucks, but I still feel this type of situation needed to be dealt with more respect and empathy.
“We are all human and we all get hungry.”
Customers later vented their frustrations following the events, expressing a will to boycott the major franchise.
After the event, a Starbucks spokesperson said:
“The interaction on video is not indicative of the environment we strive to create.
“We are looking into the circumstances surrounding this customer’s experience and will take appropriate action to ensure that our stores remain welcoming places for everyone.
“We want every customer to have a positive experience, and we apologize that we did not meet that expectation in this instance.”
Starbucks took a controversial all-inclusive line after a PR storm broke when two black customers were kicked out of, then arrested for trespassing, at a Philadelphia branch.
Some, however, have called the media field day at the Philadelphia branch contrived as there had been a lightning-quick media response to the incident.
Furthermore, the two black customers were awarded tuition fees as part of their settlement.
Starbucks suffered a spike in undesirable customers, reporting discarded needles and drug use at a few locations, leading to baristas petitioning for safe needle disposal boxes.
In July, half a dozen Arizona police officers were expelled from a Starbucks chain after reports of making a client feel ‘unsafe.’