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Analysis: Starbucks Under Fire

In light of recent events, Starbucks has kept their head up.




(Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, Starbucks coffee shop has been put in a bad spotlight. The Rittenhouse Starbucks in Philadelphia has had an anti-discrimination protests over the last few weeks, for throwing out two black customers. Starbucks has been asked to have sensitivity training for their employees or managers.

But this is not the only unfortunate situation Starbucks has encountered. In New York City, this police sergeant sued Starbucks for helping the homeless. Back in September, Sgt. Timothy Wall responded to a call regarding a “disturbed” homeless man wreaking havoc after receiving free food from an employee. While restraining the homeless man, Wall dislocated his shoulder, and is now in “constant pain.” He reported to CBS that he warned Starbucks employees for over a year about the consequences of distributing free food to the homeless, and is now suing Starbucks for injuries sustained, claiming that it is their negligence in dealing with emotionally disturbed visitors. Although Starbucks reportedly denied that the incident was their fault, Sgt. Wall claims that he has been there on call “too many times” for them not to take responsibility.

As one of the most popular coffee shops worldwide, Starbucks is responsible for maintaining a nondiscriminatory public policy and image. In response to the protests, the Starbucks corporation fired the manager at the Rittenhouse location for not responding to the situation correctly. But the Philadelphia police are also to blame for not responding well either.

The Starbucks Corporation has recently been trying to improve themselves, despite the fact that their sales have not dropped because of this incident.  Regardless, they have continued to uphold their high standards for employees, reports Julie from the Glen Rock Starbucks in New Jersey.

“I’m here for health benefits and the workers,” she told CMN. Her report, among many others, has shown that Starbucks has many good qualities, but there is much room for improvement. Hopefully this is the last incident that Starbucks encounters.




Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

I am a student at Manhattanville College. I will be graduating next January. I am majoring in digital media.

Carla is a recent graduate of Touro College in New York City, where she developed a keen ability to joke her way out of anything. She has previously worked for the Mayor's Office of New York, as well as ABC7 Eyewitness News. She is currently the Senior Editor at CMN, and can be reached at

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