All Starbucks stores are becoming drive-thru only
The coffee chain is taking this unprecedented step to protect staff and customers
Starbucks is taking an unprecedented step in an effort to protect customers and staff from the spread of coronavirus.
The coffee chain announced over the weekend that all of its company-operated stores in the US and Canada will be drive-through for the next two weeks at least.
The exception to this new model will be that some cafes located inside or near hospitals and other healthcare centers will stay open - to make sure our medical professionals and healthcare workers are still able to get their morning cup of coffee (well, their anytime cup of coffee).
Starbucks had initially transitioned to a ‘to-go’ model to allow customers to practise social distancing, and announced it wouldn’t be refilling reusable cups for the time being.
Rossann Williams, evp and president of U.S. company-operated business and Canada wrote in a letter to staff: “Since the onset of the outbreak, we’ve worked to exceed public health requirements by taking actions in our cafés like expanding sanitizing and cleaning processes and removing furniture to reduce risk and create the safest environments we can for partners who want to come to work.
"Even so, we’ve all recognized over the last week the challenges and complexities of trying to reduce “social gathering” in our cafés even as we removed furniture and reduced our services to grab-and-go. While we have worked hard to exceed any public health requirements, our cafés in some areas are experiencing high traffic, and we need to do more to prevent the spread of this virus. This is a crisis that is moving quickly, and we need to stay ahead of it and do our part, recognizing this is often confusing, frustrating and dynamic. Today, we are making the decision to close access to our cafés altogether for two weeks and limiting our services to Drive Thru only. "
She added: “The magnitude of managing through this situation is the single biggest challenge many of us have faced in our lifetime, and I am continually moved by your compassion for each other, our customers and our communities during this exceptionally difficult time. With daily news from friends and family members getting laid off and businesses closing, we need one another more than ever.”
Today, March 23, Starbucks announced it will now pay all employees 30 days of catastrophe pay - whether they choose to come to work or not.