Less than two weeks before Starbucks is scheduled to close every U.S. store to conduct racial-bias training, the chain is taking heat again after a California customer said a racial slur was written on his coffee cup.
In an interview with Telemundo 52, Pedro, who asked that his last name not be used, said he ordered two cups of coffee at a Starbucks in La Cañada Flintridge and received both with the word "beaner" in place of his name.
"It's something racist used to offend Latinos," Pedro said in the interview. In response to the incident, Pedro said, he was offered a $50 gift card — which he called an insult.
Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A woman who said she knows Pedro took to Twitter to criticize the chain. The Starbucks Help account gave her the following response: "Thank you for letting us know, Priscilla. This is not the welcoming experience we aim to provide, and we have reached out to this customer to apologize and make this right."
Starbucks is holding at least 8,000 "racial-bias education" seminars May 29 at its stores and corporate offices in response to a viral video of two black men being arrested in a Philadelphia store last month.
The two men, 23-year-old business partners, had come to a Starbucks in the city's wealthy Rittenhouse Square neighborhood for a meeting to discuss real estate. When a manager denied one of the men bathroom access because he hadn't made a purchase, an employee called the cops.
Police showed up as Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were waiting for a third person to arrive and led them out of the store after saying they were trespassing. The men left jail after midnight, and the incident spurred protests that briefly shut down the store.