Skip To Content

Questions Not To Ask Your Starbucks Barista About Howard Schulz

When former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced his presidential aspirations and began making the media rounds, the Internet reacted none-too-positively. The corporate hive at Starbucks headquarters was then forced to update its employee handbook, so all the hapless venti-stirring baristas would know how to respond to those pesky political questions.

As the Huffington Post discovered, a memo recently went out to Starbucks employees, instructing them on what to do should someone ask about Schultz’s politics.

No, Starbucks is not selling copies of “From the Ground Up,” Schultz’s new manifesto (which Starbucks baristas get 50% off on). No, your barista is unaware of what Schultz’s intentions are in the upcoming election. Should a customer begin to voice an aggressive opinion, the barista should make clear that “our goal is simply to create a warm and welcoming space where we can all gather, as a community, over great coffee.”

Shira Feder is a writer. She’s at [email protected] and @shirafeder

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.