Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz may have revolutionized American coffee culture, but can his savvy affect loftier aspirations as well? As the nation starts to near the precarious edge of the fiscal cliff and tumble into a recession free fall, Schultz has initiated a plan to help push lawmakers back from the precipice.
"In the spirit of the holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic. As many of you know, our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt," Schultz scribed in the company's blog on Wednesday.
The action Schultz has undertaken is the directive for "partners" (employees, in Starbucks speak) in D.C. area stores to jot "Come Together" on every cup of coffee that crosses the counter.
"Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use our company's scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue,” he wrote. “It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of our partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing such a simple message, one cup at a time."
In the romantic comedy version of the story, a Democrat and a GOP member of Congress bump into each other at Starbucks bearing cups with "Come Together" scrawled in the hand of a blasé barista. They read the words, an epiphany sound effect is cued, they give each other a knowing smile, and head back to the Hill in the sunset to work their political problems out.
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