Page Nav



Classic Header


Breaking News:


8 Social Movements That Started At Starbucks

The social media outcry after women are barred from a Saudi Arabia Starbucks Until mid-February 2016, a Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Ar...

The social media outcry after women are barred from a Saudi Arabia Starbucks

Until mid-February 2016, a Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, had a sign with the phrase, "Please no entrance for ladies." The sign was up because the store was not equipped with a "gender wall" — a fixture required in all Saudi restaurants intended to keep single men separated from women and families. The solution instead was to ban women from entering the Starbucks altogether.

A woman going by the username "Manar M" tweeted, "#Starbucks store in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I'm a WOMAN & asked me 2 send a man instead." The tweet went viral with some comparing the company's actions to segregation in the U.S. People across the globe demanded a speedy resolution. They got one when Starbucks issued the following statement:

"At Starbucks, we adhere to the local customs of Saudi Arabia by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people. In addition, all our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating for men, women, and families. We have worked with local authorities to obtain approval to refurbish one of our stores in Jarir, which was originally built without a gender wall. That meant it could only accommodate men in accordance with local law. We are pleased to share that the store is now accessible to single men on one side as well as women and families on the other side."

That fix hasn't appeased the French feminist group Osez Le Feminisme, who say the company's acceptance of Saudi law still amounts to them condoning discrimination. "There are no half-doses of equality," the group said on Facebook. Their boycott continues.
The people using Starbucks to support the Black Lives Matter movement

In July 2016, Starbucks customers started giving their name as "Black Lives Matter" when placing their orders, so that baristas shout it out across the shop when their drinks are ready.

Seattle resident Lex Cross, 33, started the trend by changing his name on the app and posting pictures on social media. He hopes his actions will help raise awareness of the movement following the deaths of black people at the hands of police. Since sharing a photo with the words "#blacklivesmatter" written on his coffee cup, more than 50,000 people have liked his post and nearly as many have shared it, inspiring others to follow his example.

Brazilian customers use a political message as a name on their Starbucks' cups

Brazilian media outlets have reported that Starbucks has issued a press release informing its customers that patrons will no longer be able to order products under the name “fora Temer,” which means “get out Temer,” a common slogan used by opponents of Brazil's interim leader, Michel Temer.

Starbucks Brazil maintained its political “non-partisanship" by calling called on employees to refuse customer requests who order using the name.

Temer took over for recently suspended President Dilma Rousseff. Despite serving as interim president, he has been banned from running for public office for eight years, and polls reveal a majority of the Brazilian population wants new elections.

Starbucks attempts to shed light on race relations in the U.S.

In 2015, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz encouraged his employees to bring up race with patrons, in hopes of stimulating conversation and debate on the perennially hot topic. Baristas had the option, as they served customers, to write the words “Race Together” on cups and start a discussion about the topic. The movement had lasted about a week before it was discontinued due to widespread criticism — some thought it was a cheap marketing ploy, while others felt it was unfair to employees.

Schultz had no regrets about the campaign and later said in a company-wide memo, "An issue as tough as racial and ethnic inequality requires risk-taking and tough-minded action. And let me reassure you that our conviction and commitment to the notion of equality and opportunity for all has never been stronger."

8,181 paper cups hanging in front of Starbucks' headquarters shed light on the company's recycling problem

In July 2016, protesters from environmental group hung 8,181 disposable paper cups in front of Starbucks' Seattle headquarters to demand that the company use more recyclable cups. Sierra Klingele, the spokesperson for the group, says that's the number of disposable cups thrown away every minute globally.

Currently, recyclers won't take Starbucks cups because of the plastic coating—most will end up in the trash even when consumers opt to place them in the recycling bin. In 2008, the coffee giant said that by 2015 it would use only 100% recyclable cups, but has only managed to implement customer recycling at 39 % of its company-operated stores.

The people who pledged to buy Starbucks gift cards if the company leaves Trump Tower

As of this writing, over 2000 people have pledged almost $80,000 to buy Starbucks gift cards if the company agrees to shutter its store in Manhattan's Trump Tower.

"The money Starbucks gives Trump every month is used to fund the bigotry and racism that he broadcasts across the country,” the petition explains. “Macy's, NBC-Universal, ESPN, Apple, and NASCAR have all cut ties with Trump, but Starbucks continues to hold out, forcing us to unwillingly fund Donald Trump's hate with every latte bought.”

Backers can pledge to buy $10, $25, $50 or $100 Starbucks gift cards by signing up with their email addresses, but no money will be transacted until Starbucks leaves Trump Tower. (We'll keep you posted on the outcome!)

Christain patrons upset over Starbucks holiday cups tell baristas their name is "Merry Christmas"
When Starbucks launched their seasonal cup design in 2015, all hell broke loose as there was no actual decoration being offered on the cups.

The #RedCups press release described them as a “more open way to usher in the holiday." However, many pondered the cultural “war on Christmas” and whether the seasonal cups are indicative of a greater cultural cleansing of Christmas overall. (In truth, it was probably done to save on printing costs.)

As a result of the furor, #MerryChristmasStarbucks started trending on social media. It wasn't long before some customers (at the behest of Joshua Feuerstein, ex-pastor, and current social media personality) were saying "Merry Christmas" instead of their names in order to "trick" baristas into writing the phrase on the cup. 

No comments