Starbucks barista fired after mocking stuttering customer

Starbucks barista fired after mocking stuttering customer

Starbucks has apologized and launched an investigation after a Philadelphia barista allegedly mocked a customer who has lived with a stutter nearly his entire life.

Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges told Eater that the company's initial response to Sam's complaint was lackluster, explaining, "Giving a $5 gift card is certainly not the way we want to handle these things ... we obviously want everyone to walk into our stores and have a great experience and that wasn't reflective of that".

Tan Lekwijit posted to Facebook on Sunday that he and his friend Sam went to Starbucks for drinks on June 27 when his friend stuttered while ordering.

The barista replied "Okay, S-s-s-sam" and, retrieving his iced coffee, found the label was marked "SSSAM", according to friend and business school student Tan Lekwijit, who reported the incident on Facebook.

Sam reached out to Starbucks's customer service, which responded by saying that they apologized for the fact that he "felt disrespected" over the way his name was spelled.

It was only after Lekwijit posted a photo of the coffee cup to Starbuck's Facebook page that the company chose to take further action "immediately", he said.

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'Clearly, Starbucks missed the point. "It was about how you treat people with speech impairments, not how you write names", Lekwijit wrote.

"Getting this kind of treatment from service employees is unacceptable, whether it is intentional. I sort of got a generic email, and I didn't feel like I was heard", he said.

In May, Starbucks held anti-racial bias training for thousands of USA employees after a worker at another Philadelphia store called police on two black men waiting for a friend.

"There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence".

"We want our stores to serve as a welcoming place for everyone who visits and want to ensure our partners provide a positive experience", Starbucks wrote. "We have zero tolerance for discrimination", Starbucks wrote. The Associated Press reported that the barista was sacked.

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