The man, who the media has identified as both “Pedro” and “Peter,” ordered two iced coffee drinks Tuesday afternoon at a Starbucks in La Canada.
An employee called out the name “Pedro” when the order was ready at the counter. But the drinks came with something the customer didn’t expect, want or desire: On both cups, according to KNBC-TV, the word “beaner” was written.
“It’s an offensive word used towards Latinos,” Pedro told KNBC’s sister station, Telemundo 52.
The victim’s friend, Miguel Acosta, said they are both still shocked by the incident.
“He went to Starbucks, and they asked for his name, and his name is ‘Peter,’ and they wrote this ‘beaner,’” Acosta told CBS Los Angeles.
Acosta said Pedro doesn’t understand why he was targeted.
“Mi amigo está triste también,” Acosta said. “My friend is also sad.”
A store manager tried to make things right by going to where Pedro works offering free coffee and a $50 gift cards, according to local station Fox 11. He refused them.
“I didn’t accept it because it’s like an insult overall,” he told KNBC.
Starbucks released a statement to KNBC:
“This is not the experience that we want for our clients. We asked for his forgiveness and we are working to correct this. Also, we are investigating the incident to ensure this will not be repeated.”
A Starbucks representative told HuffPost that a member of its leadership team met with the customer this morning “and he accepted our apology.”
The person added: “This kind of mistake is unacceptable, and we will take additional steps to assess what happened here and how our partners can be better.”
Last month, in an incident involving a Starbucks employee that drew national attention, two black men at one of the chain’s Philadelphia outlets were arrested while they waited for a friend. A white female manager called the police shortly after the men sat down but didn’t place an order. She has since resigned.
The incident inspired numerous protests and was condemned as indicative of institutional racism. It also prompted Starbucks’ upcoming seminars on racial bias.
This story has been updated with comment to HuffPost by a Starbucks representative.