During the pandemic Starbucks, along with a lot of other businesses closed their public bathrooms.  This always confused me, especially if it was a single stall bathroom as many coffee shops are, but they closed them.  This was even after the lobby opened back up instead of having to use a drive through if one was available.

Now, siting public safety, all Starbucks locations may be closing their public bathrooms permanently.  This has nothing to do with health per se, it has to do with general safety of customers and staff at Starbucks.

Last month, Starbucks’ interim CEO Howard Schultz said the company might not be able to keep its bathrooms open, blaming a growing mental health problem that poses a threat to its staff and customers. “We have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people,” Schultz said at a conference. “I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”

The problem with closing all of the public bathrooms at Starbucks locations is that since there are so many of them all over the country, it was a great place for people who don't have regular access to public bathrooms to be able to use those at Starbucks locations.  Those people include the homeless, delivery drivers who are on the road virtually all day, and women, who generally have to wait much longer than men for an available bathroom.

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Bigger cities really depend on Starbucks for their public restrooms.  There aren't enough public restrooms throughout the country, but there are certainly enough Starbucks locations to help out with the lack of other restrooms.  If they do make the decision to permanently close those, what is the solution?

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