Starbucks is continuing to feel the burn from an incident that unveiled an issue of racial bias at one of their coffee shops in the United States. Last week, two black men were reportedly waiting for a friend to arrive at a Philadelphia-area Starbucks. They didn't purchase anything while waiting, which led to a refusal to use the restroom. Eventually, police were called and the two men were escorted out of the building. The company has started to work on a plan to prevent that situation from ever unfolding again, but is it enough? A report by NBC News provided most of the information in this article.

What the company is doing

CEO Kevin Johnson has done his best to get ahead of the situation. He personally flew out to Philadelphia to meet with the two men who were arrested for trespassing. Meanwhile, the Starbucks employee who made the call to the police is no longer working for the company. The big announcement from the company, however, is that all Starbucks employees will undergo racial-bias training next month. The company will close the doors for every store in the nation on the afternoon of May 29, giving all 175,000 employees an opportunity to participate in a training that will combat implicit bias and prevent discriminatory acts from being proffered again.

It's the type of training that people from around the country - not just Starbucks employees - should participate in; we can't counter the biases we're instilled with if we don't even recognize their presence.

It's not enough to move the needle for the company, though.

What Starbucks needs to do

The training is an important step in the rehabilitation of Starbucks, but it does take on the airs of a publicity stunt. People will be disappointed when they can't get their Crystal Ball Frappuccino on May 29, only to remember that employees are undergoing important training, earning consumer forgiveness.

The real key to promote real change will come in the days, weeks, and months following the training.

A one-off training isn't enough for most people to make a significant change in their thinking. Instead, Starbucks should allow for paid monthly training that keeps the message fresh in the minds of its employees. They should also have high-level meetings about hiring and business practices that may not be discriminatory in nature but could provide clues for more implicit bias problems at the executive level. Starbucks is a prominent brand, one that won't be destroyed by this incident. They have a responsibility to lead the way toward a more tolerant future.