Starbucks red holiday cups.
(photo credit: STARBUCKS)
A sign typed in both Arabic and English on the door of a Starbucks branch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia informed customers that women were banned from the store and would not be served, the Independent reported on Thursday, citing the Arabic language daily Al Weaam.
Saudi Arabia's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, banned female patrons from the coffee shop after it found during an inspection that a gender partition wall inside the store had collapsed.
The manager of the branch explained that the wall collapsed regularly due to customer stampedes, according to the report.
"Please no entry for ladies only send your [male] driver to order," read the green sign taped to the door of the international coffee chain store.
A spokeswoman for the Starbucks franchise explained that the company adheres to local customs and was working to refurbish the store to meet the needs of the region.
“Starbucks in Saudi Arabia adheres to the local customs by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people," said the company in a statement. “We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store, so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs."
The renovations were expected to be completed over the next two weeks.