STARBUCKS SENSITIVITY TRAINING. Starbucks Closes for Training. By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading


Starbucks Corp. closed thousands of cafes Tuesday afternoon to provide anti-bias training for its employees, sending customers around the country to competitors for a caffeine fix. Jeremy Ciskowski, a customer-service manager, was counting on a venti white chocolate mocha to perk up his afternoon. “I’m falling asleep at my desk,” the 22-year-old said after attempting to get into a closed Starbucks in Stamford, Conn. He said he would head to a McDonald’s down the street for a coffee.

The closure of more than 8,000 company-operated Starbucks for anti-bias training comes more than a month after an incident in Philadelphia. There, a store manager called police after two black men who hadn’t purchased anything and were denied bathroom access allegedly didn’t leave the store when asked. The Starbucks stores won’t reopen until Wednesday morning, and the closures could cost Starbucks about $12 million in lost sales, analysts say.

To complete the curriculum, Starbucks employees broke into groups of three to five people and progressed through a guidebook, complete with pages to mark up by hand, as well as video and audio clips played on an iPad. During training, store managers did not take leadership roles but instead worked alongside their employees.

At first, employees were prompted to find differences between themselves and others. They watched a video in which company chairman Howard Schultz talked about his vision for a more inclusive company and country. They reflected on what a place of belonging means to them. And they examined their own biases.

Fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. was poised to benefit from the extra business from afternoon coffee drinkers, according to Cuebiq, a company that analyzes anonymous data from the geolocation engine it provides for hundreds of consumer apps. The firm found there is a great deal of overlap between Starbucks and McDonald’s customers, with 49% of Starbucks customers also frequenting McDonald’s. McDonald’s in recent months has come out with specialty coffee drinks, including Americanos and macchiatos. A McDonald’s spokesperson said she wasn’t aware of any franchisees offering special deals Tuesday.

Keep those stops tight
Todd “Bubba” Horwitz



Financial Markets & Political Commentary



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Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.