KEY POINTS

  • Starbucks under fire for refusing service to police personnel in California
  • Riverside County Sheriff raises the matter in social media
  • Starbucks apologizes and orders a probe

Coffee chain Starbucks has come under fire for allegedly ill-treating police personnel by refusing them service. The incident late Thursday night in Riverside, California involved uniformed deputies from the sheriff's office. Starbucks has apologized.

“Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks,” tweeted Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, per CNN report. 

Later in a video on Facebook, Bianco also said the deputies were “were completely ignored because they were in uniform.”

“Quite honestly, that’s just not acceptable and the anti-police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end,” he warned.

The mistreatment of law enforcement officers occurred Thursday night at the outlet near UC Riverside. The officers reportedly stood at the counter for five minutes and had to leave after they were not attended to, per Los Angeles Times report. 

Starbucks said the employees during duty will not be allowed to work further until the internal investigation is over and assured “appropriate steps.”

Starbucks expresses regret

Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNN “there's no excuse for that.” Expressing sorry, Borges also added that “we take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement.”

This is the third time Starbucks is facing outrage for its treatment of police officers this year. But Borges refused to discuss the increasing number of such incidents at Starbucks outlets.

Recurring incidents

In November, the police chief in Kiefer in Oklahoma state said one of his officers got cups labeled with the word “PIG’’ in place of his name when he picked up coffee at a Starbucks, the USA Today reported.

Writing on the matter, police chief Johnny O'Mara wrote on Facebook called it a tiny symptom and an “indiscernible shout from a contemptuous, segment of a misanthropic society.” 

Later Starbucks apologized and suspended the barista. 

In July, the Tempe Officers Association in Arizona also reported some of its officers were turned back from a Starbucks outlet because one customer “did not feel safe” in their presence.

Meanwhile, the Seattle-based coffee chain, famous for its season-rich offerings announced a new winter special. Starbucks menu has added a new iced drink to its holiday menu. starbucks A sign hangs in the window of a Starbucks store in Chicago, Illinois, May 29, 2018. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

It is a new cold brew coffee called Irish Cream Cold Brew mixed with Irish Cream syrup with the topping of vanilla sweet cream cold foam and cocoa powder, CNN reported. 

Cold drinks are a thriving segment at Starbucks and of late more than half of the company's sales especially in 2018 came from it.