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The locations will operate under modified hours and "revised protocols."

By Jennifer Aldrich
May 05, 2020
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Restaurants and stores in some states around the United States are beginning to open back up, and Starbucks is going to be one of them. On Monday, the company announced its plan to "responsibly reopen stores" after closing in March due to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

The goal is to open 85% of the company-operated stores by the end of this week, Kevin Johnson, CEO and president of Starbucks, writes in a news release. By early June, more than 90% of stores should be open under modified hours. "The foundation of our approach comes from what we have learned in China, where more than 98% of our stores are now open and operating under revised protocols," Johnson notes. "We have adapted these protocols for the U.S., and our goal is to exceed the standards outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a safe experience, including heightened emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing protocols in our stores." Currently, all café and patio seating is closed, and it's not clear when customers will be able to dine in.

Starbucks employee with mask on at a walk up coffee station
Credit: Courtesy of Starbucks

Part of the new approach is encouraging customers to use different ordering options, including drive-thrus, mobile orders for contactless pick-up and delivery, and, at some stores, curbside or grab-and-go pick pickups. The corporation is also looking for ways to update the Starbucks app to fit "customers' individual needs."

Some of those new mobile app features include the ability to order through Siri, and the option for everyone (not just Starbucks Rewards members) to earn stars that can be redeemed for drinks, food, and merchandise. "We will also shift toward more cashless experiences, knowing that the handling of cash creates consumer concerns about the spread of viruses. We predict the mobile app will become the dominant form of payment," Johnson explains.

Starbucks didn't reveal which locations will begin reopening in the next few weeks, so contact your local store to see if it's opening its doors soon.

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