In a Facebook post that gained national media attention, Philadelphia resident Tan Lekwijit said his friend Sam stuttered on his name when ordering a beverage at a local Starbucks on June 27. Lekwijit said the barista replied, “Okay, S-s-s-sam”
“When he received his coffee, he was shocked to see that his name on the cup was written as “SSSAM”, which was disrespectful,” Lekwijit wrote.
According to Lekwijit, Sam ― who confirmed the incident to local media but asked that his last name not be used ― complained to the company and was offered a $5 gift card. The coffee chain responded to the viral Facebook post by saying it would investigate the incident.
“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 and are addressing this immediately.”
On Tuesday, Starbucks commented on Lekwijit’s post again to say that the employee no longer works at Starbucks. A spokesperson confirmed to HuffPost that the employee was terminated.
In May, the coffee chain closed its U.S. stores for several hours of employee racial bias training after an employee called the police on two black men who were sitting in the shop waiting for an acquaintance to arrive.
The company announced on Monday that it plans to roll out 12 additional training modules for its employees that will address “cultural perspectives,” “building diverse teams” and other topics.