A hungry homeless man from England was delighted when a worried passer-by paid him a lunch at the local Starbucks. But when he wanted to enjoy his sandwich and cake on the terrace, things went wrong.
The staff thought the shabby-looking man couldn’t put himself in front of their business and wanted to chase him away — much to the great annoyance of the man who had paid the food for the homeless man. Images of the incident now go viral, and Starbucks’ attitude is particularly angry. Sajid Kahloon’s heart broke when he saw a homeless man roaming around in Southend-on-Sea this week, hungry and clearly looking for food.
The man looked weak, tired, and looked for some leftovers in dirty plates on the terrace at a Starbucks. He drank a cup of tea and gathered some crumbs. “It was painful to see someone looking for food like that,” Sajid explains to ‘Your Southend’. “I asked if he was hungry and if he would like me to buy some food for him. With a weak voice, he said “yes.”
After Sajid had paid the lunch of about 9.50 euros and the homeless man on the terrace wanted to eat his sandwich and chocolate cake, one of the Starbucks employees, together with a security guard, stood next to him. “If he would please leave as soon as possible.” “Company policy”, that’s how it sounded. And also, “He can eat somewhere else.” Apparently, at Starbucks, they feared that the homeless man would now come back more often in his search for food.
Sajid brought his camera up and confronted him. “I paid for that food. If lunch is paid and he wants to eat it, why can’t he sit down? Is he not a human then? You can’t just ask him to leave. Let him eat quietly and then he can leave, what’s the problem?” In the meantime, the homeless man continued to eat quietly.
On Facebook, the criticism of Starbucks is not soft. “This is a disgrace,” someone writes. “How do you think that man felt when he was asked to leave? We don’t know his background at all, but everyone should remember that we’re all just a few paychecks away from homelessness.” Someone else writes, “How disappointing of Starbucks. Show some compassion and leave that man alone” Another adds, “Very well done by the guy who paid for the food, you’re a good person. I feel so sorry for the homeless man. He must have felt very humiliated.”
The Good Samaritan says that somewhere he understands Starbucks point of view not to want the homeless there. “But still I think they should have handled this kind of situation with more respect and empathy. We’re all human and we’re all getting hungry.”
A spokesperson for Starbucks has responded to the commotion that has arisen around the film. “The interaction on this video is not indicative of the environment that we want to create,” it sounds.
“We look at the circumstances of this customer’s experience and will take appropriate action to ensure that our stores remain a welcome place for everyone. We want every customer to have a positive experience, and we apologize for not meeting that expectation here.”