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Trouble Brewing: Starbucks Barista Writes Slur on Cup

The company was already set to close all stores on May 29 for racial-bias training
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2018 1:48 PM CDT
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on March 22, 2017.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(Newser) – Another Starbucks, this time in California, is in trouble. A restaurant in La Canada Flintridge has acknowledged that a barista wrote “beaner” on a Latino customer’s two coffee orders. The customer, Pedro, didn’t notice the slur at the time, but when he brought the beverages back to work, a colleague did. “I asked him if he realized what they had put on his cup. He said no. So I was really upset about it, because that isn't OK," coworker Priscilla Hernandez tells CNN. When Hernandez called the store to complain, they told her the barista didn’t catch Pedro’s name, so she wrote “beaner” on the cup instead. The store reportedly offered Pedro a $50 gift card, which he declined, calling it insulting, per USA Today. Hernandez and Pedro have met with the store’s district manager who apologized and promised to look into the incident.

Starbucks also tweeted an apology. Hernandez seems angrier than Pedro, who Hernandez says wishes not to comment. "Out of all the names they could've put on his coffees for 'misunderstanding' him they decide to put 'beaner,'" she said. Patrons at the La Cañada Starbucks Wednesday were dumbfounded when they heard about the incident, reports CBS. “I’m shocked,” said one woman. “I go to that Starbucks almost every day.” Starbucks is closing all 8,000 stores on May 29 to provide its 175,000 employees with racial-bias training. That decision came after two African-American men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for a business meeting. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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