Starbucks CEO Hints at Doing Away with Public Restrooms
Starbucks might make its bathroom private again, CEO Howard Schultz hinted during a recent interview.
The coffee giant made its restrooms available to the public, even without a purchase, after a high-profile incident in 2018. But Schultz told The New York Times‘ Andrew Ross Sorkin that private bathrooms might be necessary to maintain a “safe environment.”
“There is an issue of just safety in our stores, in terms of people coming in, who use our stores as a public bathroom, and we have to provide a … safe environment for our people and our customers,” Schultz said.
“[The] mental health crisis in this country is severe, acute and getting worse,” Schultz said. “I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”
“Again, Starbucks is trying to solve a problem and face a problem that is the government’s responsibility,” Schultz said. “And when I think about the issues that we, our business is facing and the challenge that our people are facing, almost every, every question you ask is a question about what the government’s responsibility is, and what I realize more and more, the government is no longer gonna solve any of these problems.”