Starbucks has issued an apology after a Black man claimed he was discriminated against at one of the chain's California locations, ABC 7 reports.
Bryce Ward, a San Francisco barber, took to Instagram to share his experience at a San Jose Starbucks location, during which he claims he was singled out, likely because of his race.
"It's sad and unfortunate how real discrimination still is," Ward said in a video during which he recounted the experience.
When Ward entered the Starbucks location on March 15, the cashier politely asked him to wait outside as the store was at capacity per Santa Clara County's COVID restrictions. Ward explained that he was fine with doing so.
As he was walking towards the doors to exit, two women walked out of the store, Ward noted.
"My common sense is telling me you guys aren't at capacity anymore," Ward explained about why he then stayed in the store.
About two minutes later, the manager asked Ward to step outside, which Ward declined to do as he believed they were no longer at max capacity. Ward claims one of the other workers inside the shop then told him he was fine to remain inside.
A few minutes later, after multiple people had entered and exited the premises, including people picking up their mobile orders, the manager once again requested that Ward leave the store, he alleged.
"I'm not saying it was a racial issue, it just so happens that I was the only Black person in the store," Ward said, claiming he was the only person who was singled out.
Starbucks issued an apology to Ward in the wake of backlash surrounding the incident.
"We have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind in our stores and we never want a customer to feel discriminated against," a spokesperson for the mega coffee chain told the news outlet. "We apologize to Mr. Ward for his experience and have retrained staff on how to respectfully navigate capacity limits to protect the health and safety of partners and customers."