Starbucks #RaceTogether Campaign Draws Venti Size Twitter Response


Waiting in line to order and receive your Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks will now be longer because baristas are being asked to serve coffee with a side discussion of politics in the company's new campaign.

Three months ago, Starbucks held an employee meeting where people shared their personal stories regarding race, which sparked larger discussions about racism in open forums in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Oakland and St. Louis.

These discussions inspired Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to extend the discussion to have baristas and customers across the country talking about race in a new campaign launched Monday called #RaceTogether.


"It is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society — one conversation at a time," Schultz said.

Baristas are encouraged to talk about race as they serve lattes with the words "Race Together" written on the cups. Starbucks will also have "Race Together" stickers available in select stores.

"If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race and racial inequality," Schultz said.

Along with talking about race in store, Starbucks' #RaceTogether campaign will also be featured in full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today. USA Today will also feature a supplement in its March 20 edition that will include "conversation starters" for the initiative and will encourage people to use #RaceTogether to spread the message on social media.

Of course, Twitter is reacting to the #RaceTogether campaign.

Some reactions were humorous.

But most people view the campaign as cringe-worthy.

This is not the first time Shultz is mixing politics with coffee. He has also asked gun owners not to carry their weapons into Starbuck stores, but this was more a polite suggestion than a strict policy.

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Photo: Marco Paköeningrat | Flickr

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