The PJ Tatler

Starbucks Apologizes to Philly Cop After His Facebook Post Goes Viral

A Philadelphia police officer received an apology from Starbucks after his Facebook post about being rudely denied access to the restroom went viral.

The sergeant vented on the social media site after a female barista at a Philadelphia-area Starbucks refused to let him use the bathroom because he wasn’t a paying customer.


The unnamed sergeant’s rant was posted to the Starbucks’ Facebook page Friday by Joe Leighthardt, another Philadelphia police officer, and has been shared more than 17,600 times since.

After the officer, who was in full uniform, asked the “young blonde liberal behind the counter” for the restroom key code, “she states in a loud voice, so all the other customers can hear that the bathroom is for paying customers only,” the post reads. “I then ask in a very polite manner if I could please use it. She then states in the same loud manner and a smirk ‘Are you a paying customer?'”

The post adds that as he walked out of the Starbucks, the barista “continued loudly to tell me about the bathroom down the street” and “the many customers and employees said nothing and seemed indifferent” as the exchange unfolded.

Philadelphia Starbucks post

A Starbucks spokeswoman wrote in an email Tuesday that the business had apologized: “We have personally apologized to the customer and look forward to welcoming him back to our store.”

Starbucks also responded to Joe on Facebook:

Hi Joe, thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns. We are aware of this situation, and it is certainly not in line with the experience we want any of our customers to have in our stores. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. Thanks!

Several other Philly-area businesses chimed in on Facebook as well, telling the officer that the police are always welcome to use the restrooms in their establishments.

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