A trip to Starbucks on the way to drop his daughter off at school left a California man in shock.
Johncarl Festejo, who recently retired from the Air Force, stopped at a Starbucks in Vacaville on Monday along with his 12-year-old, Milan. Feeling under the weather, he ordered a hot cocoa, along with a banana nut bread and mocha Frappuccino for Milan.
Festejo used his first name on the app where he had ordered the beverages. But when the barista began to call out the order, that’s not what was said.
“A few minutes later, I was just waiting in that area, and next thing I know, I hear, ‘Is there a Chang here? Is there a Chang? We got a hot cocoa,'” he told KCRA3. “I figured, no big deal. It was probably someone else.”
The barista repeated “Chang” two more times.
“Then, I hear again, ‘Banana nut bread for Chang.’ I’m like, OK, probably the same order. Then, followed by that was the chocolate frap,” Festejo told KCRA.
Recognizing his order, but not his name, Festejo approached the barista counter.
“I said, ‘Ma’am, is this my order? Because my name is not Chang.’ She responded that could it have been my name on the app,” he said. “So, I double checked my Starbucks app. It says my name. I just asked, ‘Is this some kind of joke? For real? Like, come on now.'”
The barista’s response was to “slightly snicker,” Fetejo told the news channel.
Festejo’s daughter Milan was also confused by the event.
“When I went to school, I started to think about it. How could they get John and Chang messed up?” Milan said. “I think it was really mean, because I never went to a place where they called me something else.”
In a rush to get his daughter to school, Festejo left and later called the corporate headquarters of Starbucks to share his experience. He received an apology, as well as a follow-up call from a district manager. The company responded in a statement by saying “We have a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any kind, and the experience in question was not reflective of our mission and values. We have reached out to the customer and shared our deep regret for their experience, are conducting an investigation into the matter and will take the appropriate actions.”
The employee has not received any new shifts from the company, KCRA3 added.
Festejo said he was particularly shocked by the incident since Starbucks employees recently underwent racial bias education following the arrest of two black men who were sitting in a Philadelphia store.
“We didn’t expect this, especially this day in age,” Festejo said. “Especially what just occurred recently in Starbucks, I didn’t expect this would happen.”
Late Friday evening, Festejo posted the news article about the incident on the Vacaville Crime & Community Info Facebook page, along with a poignant post about learning from mistakes.
“Although this happened, I do ask you all not to judge a business because of one person’s act. We all fall short in many ways. Learn from this and move forward. I’m not going to disregard all the great things Starbucks did for our community and myself,” he wrote. “If you normally go to that Starbucks off of Elmira, please continue to go and support them. Vast majority of the employees are great people especially the Starbucks off of E Monte Vista. I just hope we all learn from this as a community. Thanks.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Muslim family is searching for men who harassed them on highway: ‘It’s profanity’
- School community demands that cheerleaders in ‘bigoted and hateful’ video apologize: ‘Racism is alive and well’
- Dad takes legal action against school that banned son’s dreadlocks