The Facebook post of Ley Agustin last May 2, 2019, became viral because of her restroom experience during her first visit in Starbucks Vermosa. This store located in Daang Hari Road, Imus, Cavite recently opened its doors to the public. It has a cozy atmosphere perfect for a sip of delightful beverages and a bite of mouth-watering snacks to make your day.
Ley Agustin shared to her friends the new restroom policy of the coffeehouse through her social media account. She told the story of a damsel in distress who tried to open the restroom door but to no avail. After observing in silence, Agustin then discovered that the passcode printed in the receipt was necessary in order to gain access to the restroom. One had to type the code in the blue panel like that of a vault to open the door.
She also reminded the netizens that once you were inside the restroom, do not forget to turn the knob to the left to have it locked. Failure to do so will allow the customers outside to get in using the passcode in their own receipts.
The new restroom policy of Starbucks Philippines had brought confusion to some netizens because it is quite ironic with the company’s announcement of what they call the Third Place Policy a year ago. As the name of the policy suggests, Starbucks wanted their stores to be a place with a welcoming environment. It also states that any customer can use Starbucks facilities including restrooms and public spaces, regardless if they have made a purchase or not.
Most people believed that Starbucks in the United States created this new bathroom policy as an attempt to save its reputation after the public call for a nationwide boycott when two African-American men were nabbed for loitering in one of Starbucks’ Philadelphia stores. The store manager called the police when the two men were seen still sitting at a table waiting for someone after one of them was denied to use the restroom because they are “non-paying customers”.
Apparently, the old rule of having to buy something before you can use the restroom was the one being implemented here in the Philippines.
Ley Agustin asked Starbucks’ partners (a term used to address their employees) the rationale behind the gradual implementation of this “pay-before-you-pee” (pee can sometimes be poop, depends on nature’s call) policy. According to them, there is a modus going on wherein people stole their merchandise, sneaked into the bathroom to put those goods inside their bags, and immediately walked out of the store unnoticed.
This post gathered a lot of negative reactions from the netizens. However, there were still a few who felt that it was right and just.
Oh, and by the way, one of the commenters shared that it is not just a one-time passcode. You and your friends can use it for a week. Just keep the receipt. If that would be the case, it’s quite a nice bargain. So if you happen to pass by Starbucks’ coffeehouses with this kind of restroom, you already know what to do next.
What are your thoughts on this?