Starbuck to reopen Drive-Thru stores in the UK

From 14 May, Starbucks United Kingdom will begin a phased reopening of its Drive-Thru locations as well as a handful of takeaway-only stores.

Starbucks UK says since the onset of the outbreak, it has made every decision with the safety of its employees and customers as its greatest priority.

“We are living in unprecedented times. The impact COVID-19 has had on all of us is significant – each affected in their own way,” Starbucks UK General Manager Alex Rayner said in a letter to employees.

“We continue to look to local guidance on the safe movement of people throughout the country now that we are past the peak, as well as the support of government to open Drive-Thru, providing delivery in addition to “to go” models and the anticipated easing of restrictions. Opening our stores in a responsible way is the next step.”

During its closure, Starbucks UK has tested and refined its new operational plans and upweighted safety procedures. It has drawn from the successes global teams have seen in China – where 90 per cent of stores are now open – and the United States – where 85 per cent of stores are now open.

“We have been actively engaged with our China and US operations teams as well as operators in Europe who have seen their restrictions ease ahead of ours,” Rayner wrote.

“We have been learning, testing and refining these operational standards every day and have tailored to the specific needs of our Government and healthcare officials.”

Starbucks UK will adopt the following practices:

  • A to-go only model – offered via Drive-Thru, takeaway, or delivery – minimising employee and customer touchpoints. All drinks will be served in a to-go paper cup, although Starbucks UK will continue to honour the personal cup discount.
  • Social distancing will be in place inside stores along with extra cleaning protocols and precautions, including more frequent cleaning and sanitising of high-contact surface areas and increased handwashing by employees.
  • Contactless payments only either by card, phone, or the Starbucks Rewards app, which also enables customers to order ahead. Plexiglass screens will also be in place across all stores.
  • NHS workers are offered a free Tall beverage of their choice.
  • All stores will be serving a near-complete beverage menu. Food will also be on offer but with a slightly more restricted menu, focused on popular items.

For information on individual stores, click HERE.

“By staggering our approach, we can also sensibly ramp up our supply chain focusing first on a reduced menu of beverages and then fresh food to simplify operations. This will also enable our social distancing measures which will be further supported by shortened opening hours to reduce the number of partners on shift each day, which will also allow greater flexibility to travel to and from work,” Rayner said.

“Our goal is to be fully open by the end of June, but we will take our time, adapting to customer behaviour and in-store capabilities along the way.”

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