Starbucks' nationwide bias training will use iPads

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"Designated iPads" will be part of May 29 training at more than 8,000 Starbucks locations nationwide.

Shortly after the early April arrest of two African-American men who were waiting to meet a business partner in a Philadelphia Starbucks location made nationwide headlines, the company announced plans to close all of its U.S. stores for a day in order to hold "racial bias training" for all 175,000 of its employees, on May 29. That training will incorporate iPads.

Starbucks will use "designated iPads" in the training, featuring a series of videos that will play on the devices, USA Today reported on Thursday. In a video posted on Starbucks' website, company founder and chairman Howard Schultz is seen addressing employees from an iPad screen.

A MacBook is also seen elsewhere in the video, on a table in front of one of the trainers, Alexis McGill Johnson of the Perception Institute.

A Starbucks storefront

According to social media chatter, it appears that Starbucks has purchased a large number of iPads for its stores, specifically for the purposes of the training. A thread on the Starbucks subreddit stated that the company's stores have received two or more iPads, or perhaps as many as five, ahead of the training. Meanwhile multiple Starbucks employees, on Twitter, have stated that their store received two, three, or five iPads for the training, with some of those employees complaining that the company spent that money on the iPads rather than on employee raises or new hires.

It's unclear exactly how many iPads Starbucks bought, what they will be used for after the training, or what type of special deal, if any, the company made with Apple. When AppleInsider reached out to Starbucks for comment, a spokesperson told us that "we'll have more to share next week. Starbucks Newsroom will serve as the main hub for information, content, and assets related to the trainings."

Starbucks' App Store is so popular that it now has more users than Apple Pay, according to a recently released survey.


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