Starbucks Apologizes for Slur on Customer’s Order

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Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO_2063039401473558-159532

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. — Starbucks’ day of racial-bias training for its baristas can’t come soon enough.

With less than two weeks to go before the coffee chain closes stores nationwide to educate its nearly 175,000 workers on how not to discriminate against others, Starbucks (SBUX) this week found itself apologizing for doing just that.

The apology on social media came after a customer at a Starbucks in La Cañada Flintridge, California, found the word “Beaner” — a derogatory term for Mexicans — printed on his coffee drink instead of “Pedro,” his name.

A friend of Pedro’s who translated for him told CBS Los Angeles that his “friend was also sad” about the unfair treatment.

“One of our team leaders met with the customer this morning at one of our local stores in the area, and he accepted our apology,” a Starbucks spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. “This kind of mistake is unacceptable, and we will take additional steps to assess what happened here and how our partners can be better.”

It comes as Starbucks plans to close more than 8,000 of its company-owned stores on May 29 to conduct anti-bias training after a racially charged incident in April. The chain faced a public backlash and calls for a boycott after the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.

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