Starbucks employee fired after mocking stuttering customer in Philadelphia

Starbucks says it has fired an employee after the latest embarrassment to hit the chain

Starbucks says it has fired an employee after the latest embarrassment to hit the chain Credit AP

This time at a different City of Brotherly Love store where a barista was sacked this week for allegedly mocking a customer with a stutter.

Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges told Eater that the company's initial response to Sam's complaint was lackluster, explaining, "Giving a $5 gift card is certainly not the way we want to handle these things ... we obviously want everyone to walk into our stores and have a great experience and that wasn't reflective of that".

NBC 10 reports that a customer named Tan Lekwijit was grabbing coffee with his friend Sam at a Starbucks in the University City neighborhood. "When he received his coffee, he was shocked to see that his name on the cup was written as 'SSSAM, ' which was disrespectful", Lekwijit wrote. He said the worker also spelled the name with extra letters.

That's why Lekwijit chose to take things a step further by sharing the story on Starbucks' public Facebook page.

Tan Lekwijit, whose original Facebook post about the situation went viral, told INSIDER he just wanted to raise awareness.

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The customer with the stutter emailed Starbucks and was offered $US5 ($NZ7.37) as an apology, according to the post.

"Clearly, Starbucks missed the point", Lekwijit wrote.

'There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend's and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence.

Starbucks replied to Lekwijit's post, saying they would address the issue immediately. "Getting this kind of treatment from people, especially service employees, only scars them-and I beg Starbucks to have this in mind". "I sort of got a generic email, and I didn't feel like I was heard", he said.

Starbucks staff undergo racial bias training to undo the damage its reputation suffered following the widely publicised arrest of two black customers. "Not just my friend, but for other people with speech disorders", Lekwijit told the Philadelphia Inquirer on why he chose to make the post. "Our local leadership has reached out to Sam to better understand what took place and the specifics of his experience and apologize directly".

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