Starbucks will close all company-owned stores for an afternoon next month to conduct racial-bias training with its employees, it announced on Tuesday.
The mandatory training will take place in more 8,000 company stores on May 29, several weeks after a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police on two black men who were waiting to meet a friend in a store but had not ordered anything. A viral video of the incident sparked major backlash against the chain.
The company says its training, which will now be part of its training process for employees, is "designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome."
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said, adding that the training is "just one step in a journey."
Johnson said earlier this week he wanted to meet with the two men to apologize for the incident.
Philadelphia police arrested the two men, but the district attorney's office did not press charges.
The manager of the Philadelphia store has resigned.