Air Force veteran accuses Starbucks of racism after incorrect name placed on order

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Veteran accuses Starbucks of racism after incorrect name
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His name is John, but one Starbucks barista decided to put 'Chang' on his order instead.

VACAVILLE, California (KTRK) -- A military veteran says he got a side-order of disrespect with his Starbucks drink, alleging an employee purposely mixed up his name to make fun of his Asian background.

"I just stormed out," the man said. "I was like, 'I really can't believe this.'"

Johncarl Festejo, John for short, says that what left him in disbelief was the way he was identified at Starbucks Monday morning.

"I said my name is John," Festejo said.

But Festejo says the barista labeled the order placed by John and his 12-year-old daughter Milan as 'Chang.'

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"A few minutes later, I was just waiting in that area and next thing I hear, 'Is there a Chang here? We have a hot cocoa,'" said Festejo.

He didn't think much of it until he heard that reference for the other two items in his order.

"Is this my order, because my name is not Chang," Festejo told the barista. "She responded that could it have been my name on the app. 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 retired Air Force veteran said he received an apology from a district manager.

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Starbucks, which said it has zero tolerance for discrimination, told KCRA-TV, "We have reached out to the customer and shared our deep regret for their experience, and are conducting an investigation into the matter and will take the appropriate actions."

The employee in question is not scheduled to work pending the findings of the investigation.

In the days since, John has turned his attention to his daughter, offering her the best advice he can.

"To move forward, learn from this, and press on," Festejo said.