The customer had told the Berlin branch that her name was Stephanie
A Starbucks in Berlin has been criticised for racism after a staff member wrote a customer’s name as “Japaneese”.
In a post on Facebook, Taylor Hunkeler shared an image of her mother with a Starbucks cup with “Japaneese” written on it.
“Uh… what the heck Starbucks Berlin?” Hunkeler writes in the post. “I know my mother is Japanese, BUT WHAT THE HECK. This is beyond insensitive. Starbucks this is not acceptable behavior in any location in the world. Edit: my mother gave her name as “Stephanie.”
Speaking to Nextshark, the 24-year-old Japanese American said that her mother had told staff her name was Stephanie when ordering the drink. What’s more, the incident occurred at night time, when the store was empty.
“They were the only people in the Starbucks around 8:00 p.m. that night,” Hunkeler said. “My mother was the only person who had an active order.”
Hunkeler’s father confronted the barista who took the order. “I took the cup back in and showed them the cup,” he said. “I told them that her name was Stephanie and showed them the cup. The Barista at counter who took the order was sheepish, appeared a bit embarrassed, but laughed it off. I told them that after what happened in the U.S., they should be more sensitive.
However, instead of immediately apologising sincerely, the Starbucks staff laughed at the customers.
“Another Barista understood and apologized, BUT all three there laughed – perhaps nervously. Mom was insulted that they used a label versus her name,” Hunkeler’s father added. “They were lucky that ‘Japanese’ was her ethnicity, otherwise she would have felt even worse.”
Hunkeler’s father eventually received an apology but the family believes that it was only because he is Caucasian.
“I can only imagine the reaction of the staff would have been different if my mother confronted them,” Hunkeler said.
Hunkeler’s mother described the incident as “very hurtful”.
In the comments below the post, Facebook users were dismayed at the German Starbucks store. “There’s no excuse for that,” wrote one commenter. “This is racist as fuck. If they don’t know how to spell my name they ask me, they don’t write white person… this would literally never happen to a white person. That’s so fucked up.”
“I’m so sorry your mom had someone be such an insensitive, racist bigot,” wrote another.
Another added, “this is plainly shocking and shameful. A company like Starbucks should never accept such behaviour in any of its stores around the world. I hope that this incident will be reported to the senior management of Starbucks so that swift action is taken.