Beyond Starbucks: How Racism Shapes Customer Service

By Alexandra C. Feldberg and Tami Kim of the New York Times

On May 29, Starbucks will close 8,000 locations to administer racial bias training for 175,000 of its employees. The move is a response to national outrage over the arrests of two black patrons while they were simply waiting for a meeting to begin at a Philadelphia coffee shop.

But racial bias training for employees is not enough to address the epidemic of discrimination by American companies.

Over the past two years, we have investigated discrimination in customer service by conducting large-scale field experiments in the hospitality industry. We have repeatedly found that front-line workers exhibit racial bias in the quality of customer service they provide.

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About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Feltman founded the U.S. and European Conflict Indexes in 1988. The indexes have predicted the winner of every U.S. presidential election beginning in 1988, plus the outcome of several European elections. In May of 2010, the Conflict Index was used by university students in Egypt. The Index predicted the fall of the Mubarak government within the next year.
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