Starbucks has developed a strategy to deal with customers’ questions about their former CEO’s aspirations to be the next president of the United States: The company has supplied employees with a script of various ways to end any and all discussion about Howard Schultz.
The HuffPost reported on Wednesday that the company’s weekly “Barista Need-to-Know” update to staff includes this handy little guide, which outlines some situations and how to respond to them:
If a customer asks if we are selling Howard’s book at Starbucks:
No, the books are available at bookstores and online.
If a customer attempts to investigate, or share aggressive political opinions, attempt to diffuse the situation by sharing:
We respect everyone’s opinion. Our goal is simply to create a warm and welcoming space where we can all gather, as a community, over great coffee.
If asked about Howard’s political intentions:
Howard’s future plans are up to him.
Even some of his Starbucks employees don’t like him. One told HuffPo: “I find Schultz running to be extremely awful. I just know he’ll splinter the Dem vote in 2020 and that he’s in it for himself.”
And some find it unfair that they’re being asked to refrain from voicing their own opinions, given that Schultz was allowed to express his political views while he worked at Starbucks. A supervisor said that they wished they were “given the same opportunity to express our beliefs.”
“We were told not to talk to customers about it,” another employee told HuffPo.
But no matter what your opinions are about Schultz, it’s generally advisable not to ask your barista (or any other waged employee) to account for the actions of a billionaire, even one so closely linked to your morning coffee.