As far as Starbucks is concerned, cigarettes and coffee don't go well together anymore.
In a recent notice posted in Starbucks stores nationwide, the company said that it is converting "all previously designated smoking outdoor areas" into non-smoking zones beginning June 27.
The controversial move, which was met with mixed reactions by users of social networking site Twitter where the story first broke, is meant to comply with a recent campaign by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
"Since there is a new enforcement campaign that seeks to make Metro Manila 100% smoke-free, we decided to comply with the rule," an official of Rustan Coffee Corporation (RCC), the local operator of Starbucks, told GMA News Online in a phone interview.
Asked if the move -seen to alienate smokers from patronizing the company's products- will negatively affect their sales, the official said: "Hopefully not."
This early, however, Twitter users are threatening to leave their usual Starbucks habit in favor of other coffee brands because of the company's move.
"Is this true, All Starbucks outlets will be NON-SMOKING starting June 27???? Goddluck sa customers nyo," Twitter user @jay_matti cautioned.
"no smoking in starbucks? hello coffee bean!" @briansales quipped.
One Tumblr conversation between friends jokingly went: "Well, that's the last time I'm taking my business to Starbucks then. What the *** am I supposed to do in Starbucks? Drink coffee???"
The RCC official, who asked not to be named, said they will put up signages around the stores to remind customers about the new policy.
But what if customers still insist on smoking in the outdoor areas of the store? "We leave the enforcement to the MMDA. As an establishment we just wanted to comply with the law," the official stressed.
Here are some of the reactions of Pinoy Twitter users regarding Starbucks' new policy:
- TJD, GMA News