Back in April of this year, after Starbucks announced that anyone with a pulse had every right to use the store bathroom, co–author Michael Shannon predicted, " . . . brand commitment will erode quickly as the atmosphere in Starbucks goes from an upscale coffee bistro to a San Francisco public library. [CEO] Schultz’s stores will now function as the concession stand in a homeless encampment."
We don’t know how many homeless read this column, but the word is out.
New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo writes, "Seven months after the coffee kingdom declared its toilets open to all — no purchase necessary! — visitors who hear nature’s call are finding it isn’t always easy to lighten their loads. Finding a usable Starbucks toilet in the Big Apple might actually have gotten harder since last spring’s announcement — and not just for non-customers."
The Post conducted an impromptu survey and discovered in Manhattan that, “A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged "cleaning," which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug- using, incontinent vagrants.”
One wise Starbucks employee, who was smart enough to remain anonymous since common sense can get one fired, wryly observed, "Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in."
Exactly, but for Starbucks' moral exhibitionist management, public relations virtue is its own reward.
Of course, for Starbuck’s corporate management bathrooms closed after being fouled by stinking homeless or incontinent drug users are never a problem. If worse comes to worst CEO Howard Schultz can just grab a Grande cup and demand the employees face outward and form a human shield.
It’s not that easy for the rest of us, which should be no surprise. It’s an ironclad rule these days that when the elites decide to coddle the underclass, the normals are the ones who pay the price.
We also can’t help but wonder what shareholders think of this marked deterioration in what was formerly a real asset for the franchise. Selling "fair trade coffee" and "community outreach" may have a big impact with the crowd at Vox.com.
However, for the rest of us buying a wildly expensive cup of coffee and this discovering you have as much right to a functioning bathroom as the herd of neighborhood derelicts will start to make the java at Dunkin’ Donuts look pretty good.
Plus, it’s also cheaper.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.