Starbucks staff try to throw out homeless man as he eats meal bought by Good Samaritan
Facebook users are hitting out at Starbucks after a video appearing to show their staff attempting to remove a homeless man from their premises as he consumed an £8.45 ($10.34) meal was shared online.
The footage was recorded in Southend, England, and was filmed by Good Samaritan Sajid Kahhllon, who had bought the meal for the homeless gentleman - a meal which he chose to sit on the property and try to enjoy.
Check out the controversial video below:
In the video, Kahhllon can be heard saying, "I paid for that. The food has been paid [for], he is eating it - what is the problem with that?", to which a Starbucks employee says, "Yeah, he can eat somewhere else."
The video was shared to the community Facebook page Your Southend, along with the following caption:
"This argument took place recently outside a Starbucks in Southend after staff reportedly told a homeless person he could not sit at a table outside the coffee shop. A generous customer, Sajid Kahhllon, had spotted the homeless man looking for leftover food on the tables outside and decided to buy him a meal.
Sajid said: 'It was painful to see that someone had to search for food like that. I asked him if he was hungry and if he would like me to buy him some food? He replied yes in a very weak voice. I bought him a sandwich and a chocolate cake worth £8.45 so that he could eat respectfully.
"'But as he was sitting there eating his paid-for lunch, one of the staff members went over to him with a security officer and told him to leave. I understand the point of view of Starbucks, but I still feel this type of situation needed to be dealt with more respect and empathy. We are all human and we all get hungry.'"
People reacting to the video in the post's comments section were strongly in defense of the homeless gentleman.
Facebook user Anne Stevens said: "Starbucks you should be ashamed. He had food that had been paid for and had every right to sit and enjoy this wonderful man's gesture. Where is your compassion for those less fortunate."
User Sandra Hurrell commented: "I’ve messaged Starbucks UK and sent this video I’m so disgusted!!"
Another commenter, Angela Fiore, said: "The food was bought and paid for! He wasn’t causing anyone else any harm, he hadn’t stolen it! Let him enjoy it, then let him get on with his day! What a lovely gesture from this man to buy it for him! Shame on you Starbucks the poor man is just hungry! I bet you throw food out that costs 5 times that meal each day!"
Speaking to The Sun, Kahhllon said he first spotted the man scavenging leftover food on the tables. He told the publication:
"It was painful to see that someone had to search for food like that. I asked him if he was hungry and if he would like me to buy him some food. He replied 'yes', in a very weak voice.
"I bought him a sandwich and a chocolate cake worth £8.45 so that he could eat respectfully. But as he was sitting there eating his paid-for lunch, one of the staff members went over to him with a security officer and told him to leave."
Per The Sun, a spokesperson for Starbucks has said in response to the video: "The interaction on video is not indicative of the environment we strive to create.
"We are looking into the circumstances surrounding this customer’s experience and will take appropriate action to ensure that our stores remain welcoming places for everyone.
"We want every customer to have a positive experience, and we apologize that we did not meet that expectation in this instance."
This is not the first time Starbucks has come under fire for the treatment of their customers. The video below shows two black men speaking out for the first time after they were arrested at a branch after Starbucks staff called the police. They had visited the coffee chain for a business meeting.
The incident above caused outrage and protests within the Philadelphia community over how the coffee chain treats people of color within their stores.