rotor wrote:From what I saw somewhere the 2 men were waiting for a 3rd person to show and perhaps at that point they would have ordered. I go out for dinner with friends all the time and we occupy a table and wait for the entire crew to show before we order. Nobody has ever asked me to leave while we wait for our slow poke friends. I guess if they ordered us out and we refused we would be trespassing. I don't go to Starbucks but my understanding is that they pride themselves as a sit down, use their wifi, conduct your business and socialize as need be. The price they charge for coffee I guess they can afford that kind of reputation. I don't know if this was a racially caused event or not but I think that it could be interpreted that way. Finally, there is a McDonalds in Decateur that we always stop on our way to the metroplex with nice clean restrooms. Sometimes we buy food, sometimes not. And restaurants are not just for meals but also much business is conducted after a meal and a drink. When I go out with the wife I try not to abuse my time and make others wait but when I have reserved a table for business purposes I don't feel that I have to rush out because there is a line at the door.
As with most everything, it is situationally dependent. Starbucks does tend to market themselves as a place to hang out. More of an experience than just a place to drink your coffee and be on your way.
But there are other situations where you really do need to get moving. My wife and I went to a very popular BBQ place in Saint Louis. The line took 2+ hours, and as we were waiting, they periodically crossed things off the white board as they ran out. We eventually got to the fairly small dining area and they were actively shooing people off the tables after they had finished eating. Given the situation, most folks took it upon themselves to eat with some haste so it was only needed in a couple cases that I saw. Basically, someone would come by and clear the table for you. If you didn't take the hint within a few minutes, a manager came by to ask you politely to leave so others could sit down.
In the video, it didn't look like the place was full, and the two guys appeared to be calm, even after they were confronted by police. Witnesses came to the men's defense at the time and later when talking to reporters. Starbucks' CEO has made it clear that the manager's actions were against company policy. So I think it is safe to say that the manager exercised poor judgment. Was this motivated by racism? Who knows. It could be that the manager didn't like men (I think I saw that the manager is a woman), or it could just be that she was having a bad day. Or maybe she ran her Starbucks location like the "soup nazi" from Seinfeld and routinely told everyone who sat down without buying something to get out immediiately. Regardless, the men were also at fault for not leaving when asked. That part is simple. If you are on someone else's property and they ask you to leave, then leave. They could have complained later to corporate if they thought the manager was out of line.