Starbucks lobbied to keep restrooms open to public by nonprofit restroom: “Let people go!”

An independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advocates for accessible and hygienic public restrooms urged Starbucks on World Restroom Day last week to keep its bathrooms open to everyone, including non- clients.

The American Restroom Association (ARA) is campaigning to “let people go!” after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz floated the idea in June of banning people who don’t buy anything from stores, according to The Guardian.

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ARA, whose website cites its goal as “nothing less than a large-scale transformation of restrooms in this country,” urged the coffee chain against recent rhetoric from Schultz, who told The New York Times in June that the company might rethink its open door bathroom policy, explaining how it’s “a fair safety issue.”

“We need to strengthen our stores and keep our employees safe,” Schultz said.

STARBUCKS FREQUENCY DROPS AS A RESULT OF OPEN BATHROOM POLICY: STUDY

Exterior view of the Starbucks location on Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Credit: Google Maps/Google Maps)

Starbucks launched its open bathroom policy in 2018 following the arrest of two black men who refused to leave a Starbucks store in Philadelphia after being denied access to the store’s bathroom because that they had not purchased any goods.

Following the backlash from the incident, former Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized and ordered all Starbucks locations nationwide to close for one day so employees could undergo anti-corruption training. -prejudices.

Starbucks’ open restroom policy hampered traffic to stores as research suggested people were less likely to visit the coffeehouse chain due to its crowded lounges and bathrooms, according to a 2019 study.

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Coffee Quality Technician Kekoa Farleigh roasts coffee beans in the back room of the Starbucks Support Center tasting room in Seattle, WA. (Starbucks)

A Starbucks spokesperson told the Guardian that “no changes have been made to our bathroom policy.”

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“Our local leaders have a number of options available to them to support our third location policy, which includes the ability to modify store operations and restroom access, in accordance with the laws of the local jurisdiction, where applicable. “, added the spokesperson.

The ARA argued that some Starbucks stores are restricting their bathrooms to paying customers, according to the outlet.

Starbucks logo outside the store

The “Siren” logo hangs outside a Starbucks coffee shop, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Boston, Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa/AP Newsroom)

“The problem is, there is no other choice,” ARA chairman Steve Soifer told The Guardian. “Try to find public toilets built by the city of New York, they are practically non-existent.”

The ARA made its recommendation to mark last Friday’s World Toilet Day, launched by the United Nations in 2013 in response to the global sanitation crisis.

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Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.

Stephanie Pagones of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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