New policy allows Starbucks visitors to sit and relax without buying anything

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - Thousands of Starbucks across the country and in Texoma closed for racial bias training Tuesday, following a controversial video that went viral last month.

Last month, viral cell phone video showed two black men being kicked out of a Philadelphia Starbucks for using the restroom without making a purchase, and were then arrested.

On Tuesday, the company closed eight thousand stores early for racial bias training--on top of their new Third Place Policy.

“It's pretty cool they’re allowing people to hang out there for a work perspective," said Michael Griffith, a Starbucks fan.

The Third Place Policy says everyone who crosses the threshold is a customer, meaning anyone sitting on the patio, using the restroom, or sitting inside without ordering won’t be asked to leave.

“From a personal standpoint, I feel that’s an okay idea," said Conan Fleming. "From a business standpoint, no, that’s an easy way to lose money.”

Most people we spoke with like the idea, .including Joshua Hill, who said he used to be homeless.

“In order to get yourself off your feet, you have to be able to use WiFi to get jobs and stuff nowadays when most stuff is electronic," Hill said.

But some think it may cause problems too.

“I can see where someone could take advantage, but I don’t think that’s the ultimate goal," Griffith said.

“Unfortunately, some people may try to take advantage, like people who hang around and do nothing," Hill said.

Starbucks did say they ask customers are being considerate and acting responsibly, and that there are procedures in place if someone causes a disruption. Locals said they’re still going to pay for their caffeine.

“I love their coffee, it’s awesome," Griffith said.

Starbucks tells us following the anti-bias training, they will be open as normal starting Wednesday.

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