Starbucks bathrooms to be 'open for all' following Philadelphia arrests

Chairman Howard Schultz said they are "going to make the right decision"

Starbucks bathrooms to be 'open for all' following Philadelphia arrests

In this March 2017 file photo, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting in Seattle | Image: Elaine Thompson/AP/Press Association Images

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has said its bathrooms will be open "100% of the time" following an incident in Philadelphia.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson were detained last month as they waited for a friend at a branch in the city.

The men were asked to leave, before being arrested for 'trespassing'. No charges were filed against them.

The company has since reached a settlement agreement with the two men.

Starbucks has apologised and sent nearly 175,000 employees for racial-bias training.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council think-tank in Washington DC, Mr Schultz said: "In terms of the policy, the first thing we want to make sure is that - regardless of your station in life, the colour of your skin, your sexual orientation, your gender, your ethnic background - everyone is welcome at Starbucks.

"And in terms of the bathroom, we're going to have to make sure that we don't want to become a public bathroom - but we're going to make the right decision 100% of the time and give people the key".

"Because we don't want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than."

"We want you to be more than".

In this file photo, Rashon Nelson (left) and Donte Robinson (right) listen to a reporter's question during an interview with The Associated Press in Philadelphia | Image: Jacqueline Larma/AP/Press Association Images

Speaking about the arrest of the two men back in April, Mr Schultz said said: "In this particular case, two African-American gentlemen came in the store like millions of other people to sit down and have a meeting - and one of them asked to go to the bathroom.

"We have a kind of a loose policy around 'you should be able to use the bathroom if you buy something'.

"It's really the judgement of the manager - and in this particular case, she asked the gentlemen ‘are you a customer’ and he said 'no' and they got into a conversation and one thing to led to another and she made a terrible decision to call the police".

"We were absolutely wrong in every way: the policy and the decision she made - but it's the company that's responsible".