Starbucks Writes Messages on Coffee Cups to Jolt Congress Into Finding a Fiscal Cliff Solution

Washington, D.C., residents: Don't be surprised if you get a dash of politics in your grande coffee at Starbucks for the rest of the week. 

Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz this on Wednesday asked his Washington-area employees to write "Come Together" on each customer cup on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, as a gesture to urge leaders to resolve the "fiscal cliff" and Taxmageddon crisis ... which is, btw, only FIVE (5) days away. There are around 120 D.C.-area Starbucks stores.

This is the first time the world's largest coffee chain has urged baristas to write a specific message on cups (also, could it be the last? Will be be seeing "gun control" or "End Obamacare" on future cups of coffee?). A Starbucks official e-mails about "the damage being done to our country's trust / reputation as a result of the polarizing process underway. ... [E]ven if a deal gets done, the lack of collaboration on this issue will likely have just as big an impact as the financial blow (much like the S&P downgrade)."

On Wednesday, Schultz posted this message on the Starbucks website: 

There are moments in our lives when we have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change — not just in the lives of the customers and communities we serve every day, but in our country. This was evident in the outpouring of support in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed 26 innocent lives, including one of our partners (employees), Lauren Rousseau.

This spirit of connectedness and humanity is powerful; so powerful that if we unleash it, we can make a difference on a much grander scale.

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. You can learn more about this impending crisis at www.fixthedebt.org.

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. This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.

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.

Never before have we asked our partners to write something specific on our customers’ cups. These words express the optimism that’s core to the holiday season, to our country’s heritage, and to our Starbucks Mission. This effort is also being amplified by our friends at AOL and Patch who are joining us in activating their hyper-localnetwork of websites to share the “Come Together” message.

My hope is that this simple message will serve as a holiday reminder from Starbucks of the spirit that has always bridged differences and that we all have the power to come together and make a difference during every season of the year.

I wish you the warmest holiday wishes and a very happy New Year.

- Howard