The Real Reason Caribou Coffee Employees Are Removing Cup Sleeves

Minnesota-based coffee chain Caribou Coffee has recently gone viral after shift supervisor Michael Reinheart shared a video on the social media platform TikTok of a container of coffee sleeves he says he was asked to remove, according to Bring Me The News. In the video, which has over 1.2 million views, Reinheart states that he has to remove one of every four sleeves which have the phrase "Fight the urge to remain indoors" printed on them. 

In a statement given to the outlet, Caribou spokesperson Katie Welch Len said that fighting the urge to stay indoors is, under normal circumstances, a good message to send to people, especially during the winter months, but it's definitely not the advice they would like to offer customers attempting to follow the stay-at-home orders which have been recommended to help fight the coronavirus. 

In her statement, Welch Len confirmed that staff of the coffee chain had been asked to "go through and sort out" materials that did not fit with the current advice being given by health officials. Fox News says that Caribou Coffee is well known for the catchy slogans printed on its coffee sleeves, and lists two other phrases which the chain has approved to remain in circulation during the pandemic: "The scenic route is the only route" and "May cause irrepressible happiness."

Caribou Coffee has been in the news for other coronavirus-related issues

This is not the first time Caribou Coffee has been in the news related to COVID-19. During the last two months, Caribou Coffee employees have held two separate rallies to protest unsafe working conditions. Twin Cities Pioneer Press notes the workers are calling for a hazard pay raise to go into effect through September, paid sick leave for all employees, and increased access to PPE equipment in light of the health crisis. 

The first rally was held outside of a Caribou Coffee location, and the second was held outside of the company's headquarters, where the employees were joined by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Minnesota, a nonprofit that works to improve wages and working conditions in restaurants. ROCM said in a statement that Caribou has not made enough progress between the two rallies in helping workers remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Caribou Coffee issued a statement on the matter as well, outlining the steps they have taken since the onset of COVID-19 to ensure safe working conditions. The chain says the changes they made over the past few months have and "will continue to support the physical and financial well-being of our team."

As we all work on getting through the pandemic, though, don't expect to go to your nearby Caribou Coffee and be told (by your coffee sleeve) that staying indoors is not the goal, because all locations have been urged to remove the sleeves with the questionable slogan.