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And Another One: California Starbucks Writes Racial Slur on Latino Customer’s Drink

Illustration for article titled And Another One: California Starbucks Writes Racial Slur on Latino Customer’s Drink
Screenshot: KCAL-TV

Dear Starbucks Employees:

The only thing you had to do was chill on the racist stuff for a month. That’s it. Go through most of May without doing some inane, easily documentable, biased bullshit.


Then you’d take your afternoon of racial-bias awareness training, where you’d watch a video (or a really dynamic Powerpoint!) about how you shouldn’t be terrible to people, your racism would have been cured, and all would have been right in the world.

Close, but no racism-free cigar, thanks to a California Starbucks that referred to a customer as a “beaner”—a derogatory slur for Latinos—on his drink order.


As a local CBS affiliate reports, a Latino patron by the name of Peter walked into a La Cañada Flintridge Starbucks on Wednesday to get an iced coffee. When he picked up his order, he saw that his name, “Peter,” had been written as “Beaner” on the drink.

En español es ‘frijoleros,’ ‘beaner,’ you know, in English,” the victim’s friend Miguel Acosta told KCAL-TV.

“That’s not fair,” Acosta sad, adding that his friend was saddened by the incident.

A Starbucks representative told the TV station that the way the store treated Peter “is not indicative of the type of experience we want our customers to have when they walk into our stores.


“We have apologized to the customer directly and are working to make things right,” the statement read.


The incident occurred just short of two weeks before a scheduled racial-bias training day for the company, when around 8,000 Starbucks stores nationwide will close. Set for May 29, the training day was announced by company leadership in response to the high-profile arrest of two young black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April. There, a manager summoned police because the two men were waiting for a friend at the store.

Still, the increased scrutiny on Starbucks’ interactions with its customers hasn’t appeared to change behaviors. Not only was the La Cañada employee bold enough to jot down the racial slur where it was easily visible to the Latino customer, but earlier in the week, a black patron in Torrance, Calif., says he was denied access to the bathroom at his Starbucks.

Staff writer, The Root.

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I worked at Starbucks through grad school (and have talked about it on here before) and while it is a great place to work while going to school, none of this surprises me. When I left, as much as I loved my manager, the employees could get away with murder and never be fired as long as they showed up. This was not just at one store, but all three that I worked in. It’s not easy to find and train people who are willing to come to work five days a week at 6am or before, and do a busy job where you pretty much never stop moving the entire time you are there for $9.25 an hour, so management at a store level is hesitant to get rid of even the most toxic people and just cross their fingers and hope they don’t do anything stupid.

In my time there, I reported one employee for sexually harassing some of the female baristas. The punishment was that he was transferred to another location. I also reported another male employee for saying my cousin, who was murdered by her boyfriend, deserved to die because she wasn’t armed herself. His punishment was to be moved off of shifts that I was working so we wouldn’t clash. I no longer patronize Starbucks. They bred this culture and refuse to do anything to really fix it outside of changing the optics of how they are perceived (not how they actually run things).