It's only been a week since Starbucks across Canada shut down for mandatory diversity training, but they are already getting into trouble. You'd expect that after that, Starbucks would be more open when it comes to things like who can use the bathrooms, but at least one Canadian location has done the opposite.
An Ottawa area Starbucks recently put pin-pad locks on the doors, meaning you would have to get the code from an employee in order to access the bathroom.
Very disappointed to see that my neighbourhood Starbucks has added pinpads to the washroom doors. With access to clean and safe public washrooms in cities at alarmingly low rates, seeing a barrier like this is incredibly discouraging. Care to explain yourselves @StarbucksCanada? pic.twitter.com/CHM7fY4aYr— Noah Richardson (@njdrichardson) 17 June 2018
This puts the power in the hands of employees to more or less decide who they give the password to. Beyond that, there is also a sign stating that the bathrooms are for customers only.
This has sparked some controversy given that the diversity training came after two black men were arrested at an American Starbucks for wanting to use the bathroom before ordering.
Diversity training for all Starbucks employees was mandated in both the US and Canada following that incident. But in the States, they have taken more proactive step than here in Canada.
In the States, Starbucks also introduced a new open bathroom policy. This means that the bathrooms at all the locations across America are open to the public to use. Starbucks Canada has previously said it is still reviewing their bathroom policy.
The new locks in Ottawa are concerning not only because of the recent diversity training but also because there is already a lack of safe, clean public bathrooms in big Canadian cities.