While most people are being told to quarantine themselves and keep to their homes, there are plenty of professionals whose jobs require them to be on the front lines, potentially exposing themselves to the virus in order to help those suffering from it.
These people work diligently to keep us safe, and in turn, many others are recognizing their efforts in the ways they can. For some restaurants, that means donating food to hospitals or fire stations. For Starbucks, it means offering free coffee to front-line responders.
“Starting today through May 3, any customer who identifies as a front-line responder to the COVID-19 outbreak will receive a tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at no charge,” the offer reads.
A hot (or cold) cuppa isn’t all the chain is offering in terms of support. Starbucks is putting its coffee and its money where its mouth is, and announced it would also be donating to groups who would further assist medical staff and first responders.
“The Starbucks Foundation will donate $500,000 to support U.S. front-line responders with equal donations to Direct Relief to support the delivery of personal protective equipment and essential medical items and to Operation Gratitude to deliver 50,000 care packages and handwritten letters to first responders and health care workers,” the post continued.
Starbucks locations have followed in the footsteps of other bars and restaurants by closing their “dining” rooms but keeping the drive-thrus at some stores operational.
“On Friday evening, we made the decision to close customer access to the cafes of all company-operated Starbucks stores across the U.S. and Canada and shifted to a drive-thru operating model,” he wrote. “In cooperation with and guided by local government officials, our drive-thru and delivery continue to be available so that we can provide communities a range of food and beverage offerings.”
Starbucks has also made it clear that it’s caring for its own and looking out for the health of its employees and customers.
“We also committed to pay all Starbucks U.S. and Canada retail partners for the next 30 days whether or not their store is closed, or they are otherwise unable, or even uncomfortable, coming to work,” Johnson continued. “We believe no partner should be asked to choose between work and their health.”
“The experience we have gained by navigating the virus in China, also gives me confidence in our approach. Though the situation remains fluid, Starbucks stores in China are now on a solid path to recovery.”
“I shared a bit about this last week at our Annual Meeting of Shareholders; the key takeaway is that we will continue to exceed public health requirements, where it comes to increased cleaning and sanitizing protocols and social distancing operating models, to create the safest possible environment in our stores.”
If you fit into the category of front-line responder, know that Starbucks drive-thrus have your back when it comes to your caffeine needs.
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