Here's what your next trip to Starbucks will look like as the pandemic continues.

Here's What Starbucks' New Mask Requirement For Customers Means For Your Next Coffee Run

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As stores across the United States reopen for business amid the coronavirus pandemic, you may be wondering how this will affect your daily errands, including your coffee runs. Starbucks has changed the way it operates throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic by implementing new safety precautions. As the company starts reopening more cafés and dining rooms, here's what your next trip to Starbucks will look like.

A daily Starbucks run was a staple before the pandemic hit, but the chain closed dining areas in cafés and switched to a to-go model in March 2020. As states begin to reopen and you head back to your go-to Starbucks location, there are a few changes you'll notice. Starbucks implemented enhanced cleaning measures in its stores in March 2020, and as of April 30, all locations nationwide continue to follow the new protocol, which meets the public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus. Starbucks updated its coronavirus response on June 18, implementing a requirement for its employees to complete a safety check, which includes taking their temperature, wearing a face covering during their shift, and increased hand washing procedures.

As for customer guidelines, as of Wednesday, July 15, Starbucks is requiring all customers to wear facial coverings in company-owned café locations in the United States. According to the announcement on July 9, in areas where face masks are not required, customers can use other means of picking up their orders, like the drive-thru and curbside pick-up. This new face mask requirement is only for company-owned locations, so stores in retail locations, like grocery stores and Targets will follow the rules set by that location and the state rules in which it operates. According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of June 28, face masks should always be worn in situations where you can't keep your distance, so it's good to keep in mind that you should likely still wear a face mask no matter which pick-up method you use, since it will be difficult to keep 6 feet of distance between you and a barista. Your local Starbucks pick-up options may vary, but as of Tuesday, June 30, here are the current service methods being provided at stores across the country:


Starbucks stores with drive-thru capability will continue to provide drive-thru service, which was one of the main to-go options when services were cut back in March. To order from a drive-thru location, you can first check the Starbucks app to see where the closest drive-thru location is, and then you can either place a mobile order ahead of time and pick it up via the drive-thru, or order at the drive-thru window.

Curbside Pick-Up

Starbucks has offered a curbside pick-up option at select store locations since March 17. To get your order this way, you'll need to place a mobile order with the Starbucks app and select the curbside option before finalizing your order. When your order is ready, you'll be able to pick it at the door without going inside, as a barista will meet you outside the door and hand you your order.

Café Pick-Up

Some Starbucks stores are offering grab-and-go and pick-up service inside the café as of March 17. Stores offering this service may let you order one of two ways: at the counter or using mobile order. If you can order at the counter, there will be social distancing markers on the floor, a limited capacity of customers allowed inside at one time, and Starbucks requests that customers wear a mask. It's important to note that stores that don't have a café or don't have available café seating, won't open restrooms to the public. Some cafés will allow customers to order at the counter or use café pick-up, but will not offer dine-in seating.

Courtesy of Starbucks

In-Store Dining

Stores that have opened their dining rooms will have social distancing markers on the floor, as well as signs reminding customers to remain six feet from others. If your local Starbucks café has opened its dining room, expect a limit on the number of people allowed inside at one time. Some of these stores may have opened up limited seating options to guests inside the café and on the patio, with enough space to socially distance between seating options. Customers should wear face masks inside the café as recommended by Starbucks and in accordance with CDC guidance, unless you're seated at a table eating or drinking.

As of Thursday, June 18, Starbucks is still not accepting personal cup use in its stores and isn't serving food and drink with for-here ware.

Mobile Order Pick-Up

Using the Starbucks App, customers can locate a store, order ahead, and pay before heading out to pick it up. Depending on your local Starbucks, you can choose to pick up your order via drive-thru, curbside, or at a mobile order pick-up station. Designated pick-up stations will vary by location, but if offered, will be somewhere inside the store. Starbucks offers a step-by-step guide to mobile ordering for those who are unfamiliar with the order process through the Starbucks app.


You can still order Starbucks for delivery through Uber Eats if you do not want to make the trip to a store location. To ensure a contactless delivery, you can choose to have your order left at your door before checking out.

As of Monday, June 15, the CDC recommends contactless payment when running errands. If you do go out, be sure to practice social distancing, wear a face covering over your mouth and nose, and avoid touching your face. You should also keep hand sanitizer with you if you're unable to wash your hands frequently.

According to a letter for Starbucks shareholders posted in the Starbucks Newsroom on Monday, June 8, over the next 18 months, customers will see an increase in Starbucks Pickup store availability as the company develops more Starbucks Pickup stores — pick-up only locations for mobile ordering — in major cities across the United States. Current locations include one at Penn Plaza in Manhattan, New York, and another in Toronto’s Commerce Court in Canada. This will provide another option for customers looking for more on-the-go options that promote social distancing.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.

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