8 Things You Won’t See at Starbucks Anymore
COVID-19 has resulted in big changes across the board for restaurants across the country—including Starbucks, of course.
Over the last couple months, stores across the country have introduced a slew of changes to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including Target and Walmart. Even restaurants have made changes, including Starbucks. The home of the pumpkin spice latte initially shut down half of its stores in response to the pandemic, and while restrictions have begun to ease, here are eight things that you won’t be seeing for a while at Starbucks.
Starbucks urged customers to do their bit for the environment by offering a 10-cent discount for customers who brought in reusable cups, and recently released a set of color-changing cups that we can’t wait to get our hands on. However, Rossann Williams, EVP and President for U.S. and Canada, stated in an open letter, “We are pausing the use of personal cups in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup.”
People without masks
While the coffee chain giant plans to slowly reopen stores, they now require customers and employees to wear masks at all U.S. locations. If you forget a mask and find yourself outside Starbucks with a hankering for a chai latte, it’s best to hit the drive-through.
Ordering at the register
As Starbucks shut down stores in response to the pandemic, they kept their drive-throughs open, allowing customers to order and pick up their coffees at the window. The company is still mostly to-go, with customers ordering from the drive-through, via the app, or on Uber Eats via Starbucks Delivers.
In select stores, ordering is allowed at the register, but with precautions—social distancing markers have been carefully placed to make sure customers maintain the required six feet of distance from each other. Find out whether your local store is open.
The best thing about working at Starbucks is having access to free samples throughout the day. Unfortunately, as addressed by Rossann Williams in this open letter to Starbucks partners and employees, free samples were one of the first things to go as Starbucks implemented COVID-19 measures.
Starbucks was one of the most popular options for people looking to work or study in a quiet environment fueled by coffee. The chain has even shared posts about entrepreneurs who use their outlets as office spaces! However, freelancers and start-ups will have to set up elsewhere for now, as most outlets have removed indoor and outdoor seating in order to implement social distancing measures. But before you take a table outside, here’s what your waiter wants you to know.
The condiments bar
Who hasn’t walked over the condiments bar to (secretly) drop a few packets of sugar into their drink? Now, using cream and sugar isn’t a secret—customers will have to ask the baristas for cream and sugar as needed, instead of grabbing them from the bar. If you do put sugar in your coffee, do you know which kind is better for you—white or brown?
Outlets in malls
Starbucks was one of the first to cash in on the to-go trend and was already on the road to relocating many of its stores from malls to more easily accessible drive-through locations within the next three to five years. The pandemic has accelerated these plans, and the chain is now looking to make them a reality in the next 12 to 18 months.