(CBS) — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he wants to get customers talking about race relations by having baristas write “Race Together” on cups.
The campaign itself is generating some discussion among the baristas, WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports.
“I think it’s an awesome idea, especially working for Starbucks, for them to start a campaign like that. I think it’s great,” says Liza Burns, a shift manager at the Starbucks on Madison near Wabash.
“We had one partner (who) didn’t really want to do it. She was scared to do it. She didn’t know how customers would feel. So we kind of explained it to her, and now it’s like who can get the most customers into it?”
Not every Starbucks is into it.
The manager of another downtown Starbucks, who declined to give his name, said his location has opted out of the “Race Together” campaign.
“I mean, Chicago in its own right is a very diverse city. I just think baristas and employees in the company should be more focused on providing a great experience for customers instead of talking about political, polarizing topics,” the manager said.
A 19-year-old customer, Tabrielle Matthews, says she’s not surprised the Loop Starbucks where she was sitting had opted out.
“Look where the location is. Look at the people who come in. There’s rich white people — I’m going to be very frank and honest — that come in here every day and don’t give a (expletive) about those issues right now.”
Starbucks’ Race Together campaign is voluntary for baristas.