An Asian customer claims that a Starbucks barista labelled his beverage “Ching” in a racist incident.
Jake Kim wrote on Facebook that something disturbing had happened to him recently while attempting to order a drink at Starbucks.
“For just a grande iced Americano, I had to wait too long but then I noticed a cup of coffee with ‘Ching’ tagged on, on the pick-up counter,” Kim wrote. “So I asked the worker if my order was ready. Then she/he said, pointing at the coffee with ‘ching’ tagged on, ‘That is your coffee, its the only one I have for grande iced Americano.'”
Kim, who says he spelled out his first name for the barista, immediately protested.
“‘Ching’ is clearly not my name and unless your name is really Ching, it’s a racist slur,” Kim wrote.
A Starbucks spokesperson told Business Insider that the label was an honest mistake, pointing to the video that Kim posted on Facebook. In Kim’s video of the incident, the barista can be heard saying that she believed he said his name was “Ching,” as Kim was on the phone when he ordered.
According to Kim, the barista then poured the coffee into a new cup and wrote “Jake” on it, while laughing about the request.
“Once I got home, I contacted the manager at the Starbucks,” Kim wrote. “But instead of an apology, the manager tells me that this kind of incidents happen sometimes in the store. But this kind of incident is racism and should not happen AT ALL no matter what.”
Kim claims the manager told him there was nothing he could do, and a customer service representative offered him a $US20 gift card. A spokesperson said Starbucks has been in contact with Kim since the incident was brought to the company’s attention.
“We have absolutely no tolerance for any kind of discrimination in our stores and are looking into this immediately,” Starbucks wrote on Kim’s Facebook post. “We look forward to connecting with you in person and making things right.”
Kim’s post has been shared more than 2,300 times since he posted it on Tuesday.
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