This past weekend, Starbucks made the announcement that they will temporarily close some of its stores and will transition to a “to-go” model at other locations in the United States and Canada. They are doing so to keep up with social distancing recommendations during the coronavirus outbreak.
The step was outlined in a blog post on Sunday, saying that the carryout model would be around for at least two weeks. Customers at those Starbucks locations will not be able to sit at dining areas either indoors or outdoors. They can walk up to the counter, use the order ahead feature available in the Starbucks app, use the drive-through, or they can choose to have the order delivered.
A “modified condiment bar” will also be available at Starbucks locations. Customers may also see changes taking place at the handoff area for the “order ahead” orders, depending upon the store location.
The chain also announced additional changes, including some temporary closures for “company-owned stores in high-social gathering locations, such as malls and university campuses.” In areas where there are high clusters of coronavirus cases, they may also temporarily closed stores or reduce operating hours.
“As we all know, the situation with COVID-19 is extremely dynamic and we will continue to review the facts and science and make the proactive decisions necessary to protect our partners, customers, and communities,” wrote Rossann Williams, executive vice president and president, U.S. company-operated business and Canada.
These latest guidelines are coming on the heels of additional changes that were announced earlier in the month. Starbucks had said that it would not be refilling customers reusable cups and, at some locations, catastrophe pay would be offered to employees who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus or are exposed to it.