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When Starbucks, the world's largest and most prominent coffee chain, had to close the doors to all of its stores across Canada amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, things suddenly felt very real and very serious. Like all others in the industry, this decision was made out of necessity, but with local cafes across the city starting to reopen for takeout in the past few weeks, it was only a matter of time before the Seattle-based giant put a plan in place.
As of last week, Starbucks has disclosed their new strategy for opening 65% of its Canadian locations by the end of this week, and 85% by the end of the month. The plan includes the obvious practice of ensuring that all staff are well trained to uphold safety and distancing, and they have decided to go as far as developing a three-hour training program that all workers will be required to take in order to understand the changes happening. This will include self-monitoring tips, sanitization protocols, customer experience and more for the 20,000 people returning to work. Not only will they wear masks and gloves, but staff will also have their temperatures checked pre-shift and use a virtual COVID-19 coach to make sure they're in optimal health while working.
As for their beloved customers, Starbucks is asking that all visitors do their part in maintaining a safe environment within the stores by wearing face protection and respecting social distancing measures. Additionally, they plan to expand their grab-and-go offerings to ensure more quick and easy visits, plus customers may use the Starbucks app to pre-order food and drinks and pick them up at the counter. Plastic shields will also be installed so that orders may be placed within the cafe for takeout.
So, get ready to sip on your favourite lattes, macchiatos and Frappuccinos once again (properly distanced, of course) within the next few weeks! Check out starbucks.ca, as well as your local cafes, to keep up with the openings.