Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq:SBUX) Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz has had it up to here with the government shutdown. So much so that he wants to teach them a lesson in "generosity and civility". Through the end of the day today, October 11, anyone who buys a drink from Starbucks for someone else, gets a free tall coffee in return for their act of kindness.
"It's that simple - 'pay it forward,' and Starbucks will pay you back," Schultz told Bloomberg. "This is a different yet authentic way Starbucks can help our fellow citizens to come together by supporting one another during a particularly challenging time."
In addition, Starbucks is circulating petitions in all of its U.S. stores, urging lawmakers to reopen the government and avoid a looming default. The petition drive runs from October 11 through October 13. "Starbucks will offer up its thousands of stores across the nation to give the millions of customers who come through our stores every week, and thousands of partners (employees) who serve them, an opportunity to have their voices heard by signing our petition," Schultz wrote in an open letter on Starbucks' web site, Chain Store Age reported.
Newspaper ads promoting the petition are running in USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
This is not the first time Schultz has been outspoken against the actions taken in Washington. Two years ago, frustrated with the US deficit and unemployment, he pledged to boycott all campaign donations until solutions could be found. The move also garnered the support of AOL Inc. (Nasdaq:AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong and Whole Foods (Nasdaq:WFM) Co-CEO Walter Robb.
Schulz's latest action aimed at the government signals American business owners to "remind the Congress and the President of their duty to put citizenship over partisanship for the sake of our country and the world at large," Shultz said.
Other national brands, such as Boston Market and AMC Theatres, are providing offers to furloughed workers. In addition, several Washington, D.C.-area businesses have been providing a variety of free and discounted services to support the workers since the shutdown began.
For more, see:
This Nation's Restaurant News article
This Bloomberg article
This Chain Store Age article
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