Four toilets for 8.8 million people – economical

The situation is well known: you are somewhere in the middle of nowhere and urgently need to go to the toilet. What to do? For example, you can go to the website pee place take a look and see that in the United States alone there are nearly 200,000, but the closest is over three miles away. Therefore, there is also a common-sense method: just enter the nearest Starbucks branch in the navigation of your mobile phone. You can go to the toilet there even if you don’t buy anything.

This has been the case since May 2018, following an incident in which the group faced serious allegations of racism. Two African Americans sat in the Philadelphia branch; They have not bought anything yet, because they were waiting for business partners. A staff member asked if they wanted to order anything; when they said no one of them was denied access to the toilet. An official called the police and the men were handcuffed. Besides other measures Starbucks that anyone can use the toilet – whether someone is a customer or not.

It sounded good, especially since people knew from then on that almost everywhere – there are over 15,000 Starbucks in the United States and nearly 34,000 worldwide – there was an operational and mostly very clean toilet, including a sink. Problem solved. Or?

Well, the company announced last week that it wants to reconsider its open bathroom policy. “I don’t know if we can continue like this,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said at the conference New York Times in Washington, citing the welfare of customers and employees, which is currently at risk. “100 million people come to us. We have to keep them safe. “

In many American cities, Starbucks acts as a public toilet

Several things happened at once, and they do not reflect well the infrastructure and conditions in the United States, and what can happen if politicians rely on the market to take care of everything in society.

An example of a better understanding from downtown Los Angeles: Under the bridge over Third Street lives someone she’s just dice name. Dislikes the term “homeless”; That is why they call him “homeless”, that is, someone without an official address. Dice has a couch for guests and a rather stylish teapot, but most of all: WLAN, because its headquarters is just a few meters from the Starbucks branch, where there is free internet access. Dice also goes to the toilet there, where he showers three times a day and brushes his teeth. The Starbucks toilet is his bathroom.

It’s nice for Dice, especially as it shows the gaze pee placebecause the nearest public toilet is two kilometers away; and whoever watches them should see the toilet in the movie train detectionwhich he describes as “the dirtiest toilet in all of Scotland”, for a luxury venue. Yes, really, it is as disgusting as we read now. No sane person would rather go there than Starbucks. The group takes over the role of public toilets in many US cities. If you have to go to the bathroom, you go to Starbucks.

Perhaps a number that will help you better understand: New York has a total of 1,100 public toilets for 8.8 million residents and commuters and tourists alike, only four of which are open 24/7 – in a city that has this prides, never sleep. A quick tip for tourists: the ones at the Port Authority bus station are again in bearable condition. There are thousands of pubs, clothing stores and supermarkets in this city. Anyone who buys something there – or at least pretends to do it in a department store – can use the restroom, and in Manhattan alone, there’s a Starbucks with 250 branches.

In Los Angeles, the walk is now considered an obstacle race over droppings

Already in 2019, a joint study by Boston College and Texas / Dallas with data analysis firm SafeGraph found that this could be a problem for Starbucks. On the one hand, the number of visitors fell by almost seven and the average visit time by 4.2%. Study conclusion: lower revenue because of people just hanging around in the wards, but higher cost of cleaning the toilets at the same time. Starbucks denied the study with its own data, which showed that both sales (five percent) and transactions (two percent) increased.

Then came the pandemic and, like many other things, it changed the toilet situation in many cities because: when department stores and clothing stores are closed, when restaurants and bars only accept takeaways and orders, and fast food and coffee shops close their toilets – where are they going to go to the people when the public sector is counting on private companies to do it? Anyone wondering why Manhattan’s narrow streets smelled worse in the fall of 2021 than they did in the 1970s? If you have to, you have to – no matter where. Even in Los Angeles and San Francisco, a walk is now considered an obstacle course over piles of feces.

Schultz has been Starbucks’ interim boss since March, this is his third term in office, and the 69-year-old is looking to quit for good early next year. His statement is not so much a rowdy as a recognition that companies are not obligated to provide free toilets. “We have to do something,” he says, and of course he means his company. At the same time, however, it is also a request to the cities to finally ensure that there are enough toilets for people who urgently need to get up. pee place look for one

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