Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) breaths high level food retail. The employees are well educated, well spoken and well mannered. The stores are clean, even down to the restrooms. However, there is one thing that causes a threat to many customers, and it is not food quality or handling. It is the computer and cell phone charger cords that often stretch from the walls, across aisles and on to remote tables.
Is Starbucks liable if someone trips over a cord and gets hurt? Good question, since the hazard is easy for employees to see — and stop.
One of the oddities of the electric cord hazard is that it is rarely seen in places like McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) or Pizza Hut. Perhaps people do not stay as long in these stores, or do not bring books and business presentations to study for college or get ready for meetings. Perhaps McDonald’s stores are rarely used for meetings at all.
If Starbucks management has any question about the threat, there are plenty of examples of safety literature both from public and private sources about the danger of tripping over exposed cords. Someone should warn Howard Schultz.