The cafe chain Starbucks has made a new policy about who can use its cafes. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has announced that anyone can enter a Starbucks cafe in the USA without needing to make a purchase. That means people are free to sit in the cafe or use the restrooms. Mr Schulz has asked all Starbucks staff to treat every person entering the cafe as a customer. He said: "Any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer." This means people can simply use Starbucks to sit down, relax and use the Internet. The new policy applies to more than 8,000 cafes in the United States.
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The new policy will also make it easier for store managers and baristas to do their job. There have been high-profile cases recently of managers asking real customers to leave a cafe or telling them they cannot use the bathroom. On April 12, two black men were arrested and escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks in handcuffs for waiting for a friend to arrive before they ordered. A week later, another black man was told he could not use the bathroom because he hadn't bought anything. He posted a video online of a white man using the bathroom in the same cafe without buying anything first. Mr Schultz said he didn't want to make Starbucks a public bathroom, but the new policy was "the right thing" to do.