An Update on Recovery

Nelson and Robinson Starbucks Settlement. Image Credit ABC News
Image Credit ABC News

A settlement is reached in the case of Nelson and Robinson.

In April of 2018, Starbucks found itself in the middle of a conscious capitalism crisis. Founded on the principle of “inspiring the human spirit” through coffee, a mission breach occurred on a regular morning in Philadelphia.

Two innocent men were arrested for sitting at a Starbucks and not ordering anything. If you recall, they were having a meeting and waiting on a third party. They were called out by a Starbucks manager, and the responding police officer arrested them.

The question to everyone was, of course “on what grounds?” It became apparent to the Starbucks Corporate Office and the Police Chief of Philadelphia that it was racial profiling, and racial profiling is simply unacceptable behavior on the parts of the manager and police.

This was a moment for Starbucks and for the City of Philadelphia to act swiftly in response.

If they had not, there would be grave consequences. For Starbucks, their reputation was at stake. They would face alienating possibly the majority of their client base, as well as offending and possibly losing their best employees. The bottom line is that Starbucks has been known as a company based on integrity, and they could not afford not to be.

For the City of Philadelphia, what precedent would this set?

The City of Brotherly Love going against their own mantra? They too have a reputation to preserve, as well as the law to uphold, and there is no Philadelphia law against sitting in a coffee shop.

As stated in my previous article, Starbucks was quick to respond, and seemed to recover from damage relatively quickly. They took a hard stance on the topic of racial profiling and even closed down for a day specifically to retrain all the employees on customer care and the dangers of profiling. Starbucks awarded the two innocent men an undisclosed settlement, as well.

As of today, a deal has been reached between the men and the City of Philadelphia.

Nelson and Robinson wanted to make things right and see a brighter future for area minorities. So they accepted a $1 settlement from the city, with the process in place for Philadelphia to set up an endowment for young entrepreneurs. This way, they are paying it forward and staying true to their values of bringing more room in the marketplace for young people with bright ideas. What a great act of recovery for the City Of Philadelphia.

Maybe they could all meet at Starbucks.

Stay true to your principles. The rewards are great.


Fundamental of the Week #23: PRACTICE RECOVERY When mistakes or errors in judgement happen, “own it.” Take the necessary steps to communicate to the appropriate parties, acknowledge your accountability, and set corrective steps in motion. “Get back in the game” quickly.

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