Starbucks is implementing a new "to-go" model to encourage social distancing as an effort to help contain coronavirus. Starbucks' coronavirus plan includes major changes to how customers will pick up their drinks in stores. Here's how it'll affect your routine at the coffee chain.
On Monday, May 4, Starbucks announced a gradual reopening of Starbucks locations. Since mid-March, Starbucks had temporarily closed access to company-operated cafés in the United States and Canada to encourage social distancing to help halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, which meant there was only service at drive-thru and select grocery store locations. As of May 4, the company will begin to once again allow ordering inside some cafés, but this won't be at all locations. The openings will be determined on a store-by-store basis, and there will be a few ordering options for customers, depending on the store.
Most stores will continue operating under the drive-thru only directive, in which you can't go inside the café, but you can still use the order-ahead feature in the Starbucks app and pick it up in the drive-thru lane. Some stores will allow customers to order ahead in the Starbucks App and then pick it up curbside from a barista or, in some cases, inside a the store in a designated pick-up area. Finally, some stores will have a grab-and-go option, where customers can order at the counter inside a café and then get it to-go, but the seating area will be closed. With the latest directive, you can also still order delivery through Uber Eats, which has a $0 delivery fee for Starbucks Delivers through the end of May.
In all stores, Starbucks is providing facial coverings and gloved for employees as well as continuing with enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures.
Starbucks previously closed company-owned stores in popular social gathering locations, such as malls and university campuses and locations with high clusters of coronavirus cases. If a location near you was temporarily closed, make sure to check with your local Starbucks before heading out to pick up a drink.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the company is utilizing a "monitor and adapt" approach, which means there is not set plan for opening all locations in the same manner. The coffee chain will continue to expand services in accordance with the CDC guidelines. You can use the Starbucks store locator to keep up with the changes and find out more details about the location near you. The store information is being updated every 90 minutes, so make sure to check before you go.
If you plan to order ahead, you can customize your drink through the Starbucks app, which is available for iOS and Android. After you open the app, tap "Order" at the bottom of the screen to select your go-to drink and food. From there, you can select to pick up your order at the drive-thru window.
Starbucks previously announced its stores will no longer fill personal cups with Starbucks beverages, and the policy will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Even though you won't be able to get your personal cup filled, you can still get a 10-cent discount when you bring in a reusable cup.
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.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on May 4 to reflect the most recent updates to Starbucks' coronavirus policies.
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