Starbucks to Reopen 90% of U.S. Locations

The coffeehouse chain will make some major changes in its operations to enhance safety. 

May 01, 2020

SEATTLE—Starbucks will begin reopening its Canadian and U.S. locations starting Monday, but with major operational changes designed to keep employees and customers safe, Chain Store Age reports.

The coffeehouse chain will reopen about 90% of its company-operated U.S. stores by June 1 with an emphasis on mobile order-and-pay and modified schedules. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the company pointed out that 80% of customer visits at U.S. locations were for takeaway.

For the majority of stores, customers will be banned from entering but will instead pick up pre-ordered drinks at an “entryway hand-off” area or at the drive-thru. Later this summer, Starbucks will add curbside service at stores where parking is available. Starbucks is already using this setup in its stores with drive-thru service in some areas across the United States, including Northern Virginia.  

“Similar to our experience in China, we are transitioning into a new phase of operations we call monitor and adapt,” said Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “We are now leveraging digital tools that enable us to monitor the COVID-19 situation in every community across the U.S. and leverage a variety of service options from contactless service, entryway pickup, curbside delivery where parking is available and at-home delivery, that allow us to thoughtfully reopen stores and scale up operations.”

At locations that will allow customers inside, only a limited number will be in the stores at the same time, and floor markers and signage will advertise social distancing. No seating will be available. Starbucks employees will have a pre-shift temperature check and other safety measures, including wearing face masks and gloves.

“We are making sure that we provide a safe environment for our customers and for our partners,” said Roz Brewer, Starbucks COO and group president of the Americas. “And we will monitor what happens as shelter-in-place is lifted in certain regions and areas, and then begin to reopen the cafe stores.”

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