Starbucks Canada has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by moving all its stores to a “to go” model for at least two weeks.
Seating has been removed at store locations but mobile-order-and-pay (MOP) and drive-thru lanes will still be open.
The chain is also modifying the MOP handoff plane on a store-by-store basis and integrating a change in the cash-handling procedure by moving to a “planted partner” at the drive-thru window.
Starbucks is also temporarily closing company-operated stores in high-social gathering locations like stores located in malls that don’t have exterior/street access, and in colleges and universities.
The company has also begun additional measures on a store-by-store basis, including reducing operating hours or temporarily closing select stores.
Starbucks Canada president Lori Digulla outlined the changes in an open letter to the company’s approximately 23,000 employees.
“Over the last two weeks we have activated precautions in all stores nationwide – from increased cleaning and sanitizing to pausing reusable cups – we expanded catastrophe pay for partners impacted by COVID-19 so you never have to choose between work and taking care of your health, and we enacted travel-related, self-isolation requirements to support social distancing,” she said in the letter.
“We considered what else we could do to support social distancing and discourage prolonged social gatherings, given this is important to curbing the spread of the virus.”
She thanked employees, noting that the flexibility and responsibility she’s seeing in every store she’s been in since the company began to modify its operations in response to COVID-19 has been amazing.
She noted the decisions taken by the company were not made lightly but the growing importance of social distancing and curbing larger gatherings is about keeping all customers and staff safe.
“I expect things will continue to evolve before COVID-19 is past us, and we will continue to prioritize what’s best for you, your families and our customers, informed by science and facts,” Digulla stated in the letter.
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