Chalk up your morning coffee routine as another thing being upended by the coronavirus outbreak.
Starbucks is considering scaling back its operations by limiting person-to-person contact at its cafes as a precaution to keep customers and employees safe, reported ABC News.
The coffee giant’s CEO Kevin Johnson announced the new in-store measures they are exploring on Thursday.
“This means that as we navigate this dynamic situation community-by-community and store-by-store, we may adapt the store experience by limiting seating to improve social distancing, enable mobile order-only scenarios for pickup via the Starbucks app or delivery via Uber Eats, or in some cases only the Drive Thru will be open,” Johnson wrote in a letter to customers.
He also insisted they would only close a store down if it was absolutely necessary.
“As a last resort, we will close a store if we feel it is in the best interest of our customers and partners, or if we are directed to do so by government authorities,” he added. “In any such situation, we expect store disruption to be temporary.”
Earlier this month, an employee at one of the chain’s Seattle locations became their first to test positive for coronavirus. They subsequently closed the store down for four days. Thirteen other employees at that location were self-quarantined.
Starbucks also announced they would be offering employees “catastrophe pay” to anyone exposed to coronavirus.
Any individual who is diagnosed or has been exposed to the virus will receive 14 days pay. If they are not able to return to work after two weeks, additional pay may be used for up to 26 weeks.