I don’t think anybody that actually realizes that Starbucks, the iconic coffee shop, wouldn’t be the bastion of conservatism, being based in Seattle. We all kinda get it that these guys would be left of center. I mean, look at the baristas, and the stuff they sell for crying out loud. But apparently, when Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz wanted to protest the Trump Travel Ban Executive Order last month, he announced to the world that he was going to hire “10,000 refugees” as his way of showing he was against Trump’s action.
Since that point in time, Starbucks has become the nationwide focus of a moderate to conservative boycott of coffee drinkers, who were willing to put up with the fact the company was left-leaning, just so they could get a strong cup of java. Apparently, Starbucks didn’t have THAT big of a hold on America. In a recent poll by the firm YouGov, people that said they would be spending money at Starbucks slipped from 30% before the announcement to 24% afterward. And the #boycottStarbucks hashtag has started gaining ground.
So if you go into your neighborhood Starbucks today, you may notice that the lines are a little shorter, the baristas a little snippier, the tip jar a little less full, and the problems a little more invasive. Now Starbucks is trying to fend off the criticism that instead of hiring refugees, why not hire returning veterans who have served our country? The answer has been one of waffling on a fence. Starbucks issued a statement that was kind of like, “Hey, we kinda sorta like veterans too”. It hasn’t gone over very well. And the boycott has started to hurt the company’s bottom line.
Now, anyone that knows me knows that I’m a big fan of a business being about one thing. It’s not about social consciousness. It’s about earning money for the owner and stockholders of the company. That’s it. That’s why that business exists in the first place. And if Starbucks feels that in their mind hiring 10,000 refugees is the best way forward for them, I’m all for it. If they don’t, then Mr. Schultz is going to be sipping his morning joe at Starbucks and looking through the want ads for a new job. That’s just the way business works. So, I say you leave the Starbucks guys to make their own decisions as to who they want to hire and who they don’t. If you don’t agree with it, nobody’s got a gun to your head to buy your coffee from them. There are a million other places out there that serve a decent cup of coffee that haven’t pissed you off. And if what they are saying to you makes sense, then by all means support them. THAT is the way business should work.
Frankly, why a business would want to make a political statement as stupid as what Starbucks made knowing full well that at least 47% of the people out there are going to be against whatever you say, I think is a very stupid move. Why on earth would any business want to alienate 47% or more of the population with a political comment? That’s just crazy in my book…but then again, I’m not the CEO of the world’s biggest coffee company!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!