Starbucks preparing to reopen stores

FILE - General view of Starbucks coffee store closed during COVID-19 lockdown. ( Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images )

Starbucks is exploring plans to reopen its stores in the U.S. after weeks of limited service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to employees on April 16, CEO Kevin Johnson said the coffeehouse chain has moved to a “monitor and adapt” phase of its response to the pandemic. 

This, as federal and state authorities are beginning to conduct discussions to restart the U.S economy.

Starbucks stores will ramp up operations on a case-by-case basis, according to local public health guidance.

Starbucks executives say they will use four factors to deteremine how to proceed with store reopenings: The outbreak’s status in the local community, guidance from public health officials, community sentiment and the store’s readiness to return to normal operations.

Some Starbucks stores will continue to operate as drive-thru only locations, while others will resume contactless pickup services and in-store “To-Go” orders.

Johnson noted that the company is also using digital tools to assist its field officials in the decision-making process, including government data on pandemic trends in specific regions. 

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