Starbucks is reopening—but not as you know it
Starbucks has announced plans to reopen its stores—but only a very small handful will be sit-in cafe style
We know one of the main questions you have throughout all this uncertainty is… when will my local Starbucks reopen? Now we have the answer. Well, kind of.
As we’re sure you’re well aware, Starbucks pivoted the vast majority of stores to drive-thru only last month. The coffee chain announced this week that it is planning to reopen 90% of its US stores by early June.
But, it won’t be the same sit-down cafe situation we’re used to from before the pandemic. The company is going to open stores gradually – and the set-ups will vary depending on where you are in the country. The modified service will focus on pickup, delivery and drive-thru.
CEO Kevin Johnson noted on the company’s Q1 2020 earnings call this week that “continued recovery in China strengthens our belief that these impacts [from COVID-19] are temporary” and that Starbucks expects to emerge with an even stronger business.
He said, “We are well positioned to leverage our digital assets and new operating formats like contactless pickup and curbside to expand service to customers.”
A mere 30 stores nationwide will actually reopen their cafes, according to Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer. There will be no seating in those locations. She said,“We will amplify delivery, we will have the Mobile Order & Pay channels open and then the addition of a new concept, the Entryway Handoff.”
This entryway hand-off option means that staff will set up areas in the stores’ entries where you can pick up your coffee without ever actually going inside the store. More Starbucks stores will also be delivering through Uber Eats.
Johnson said on the call that 80 percent of customer occasions in US stores were to-go before the pandemic even hit. He noted, “And so by augmenting the in-store experience with mobile ordering and contactless pickup, we can service significant volume of customers without having the cafe seating area actually opened.”