To: All Associates and store managers
From: Starbucks Headquarters
RE: Question(s) about responding to cup controversy
Recently a completely unknown “social media personality” took issue with the fact that our red holiday cups lacked the phrase “Merry Christmas”. He gave one of our baristas the phrase “Merry Christmas” for his name, so that she would have to say it out loud when his drink was ready. Then he posted a video of himself holding his doctored cup.
As always, our baristas are encouraged to create a welcoming environment to delight each person who walks through the door. Many of you have asked for guidance in responding to such provocations by customers. One barista (who is no longer with the company) asked his manager if he could simply urinate in the provocateur’s cup. This is strictly forbidden since we do not want our coffee to taste like that from Dunkin Donuts.
Listed below are three recommended approaches for responding to such an incident:
Tell the customer:
“I’m sorry you feel like your version of America is slipping away. But no one owns America, we all just live here. And yes, things are changing. So you can either, one [flash left middle finger] roll with the changes, or two [flash right middle finger] walk around angry and miserable all the time. The choice is entirely yours.”
Say to the customer:
“So let me make sure I’ve got this right. You’re protesting the actions of our company by giving us your business? In that case, please let us know how else we can offend you”.
Say nothing. Simply nod and smile at the customer. And then write “Happy Hanukah” on their cup.
We at headquarters feel confident that this will delight the other customers who are stuck waiting in line while someone wastes their time trying to make a political statement.
Happy holidays everyone!