Those operating coffee shops in the United States—a country with very little in the way of viable safety nets for small business—have a big question on their minds this spring. When, and how, will it be safe to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
Starbucks will begin opening stores next week, executives said on Tuesday. However, the stores will look very different than pre-COVID-19 coffee shops. Most stores will not even allow customers inside, with customers picking up their orders at the door or via drive-thru.
Johnson said the company’s new operations model “will gradually expand and shift the customer experiences we enable in our stores. For example, some Starbucks stores will continue as drive-thru only, others may utilize the mobile ordering experience for contactless pickup and delivery and others may reopen for ‘to-go’ ordering.”