Navigating through COVID-19


Starbucks is committed to caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders. Read about the latest decisions being made by the company and the actions being taken in preparation for COVID-19.

Customers: Click here for an at-a-glance look at what you need to know about your local store, Starbucks partners and the community.

Partners: Click here for the latest information about your benefits.


Updated as of 9:30 a.m. April 30

Starbucks support for India’s COVID-19 response

The growing COVID-19 crisis in India is heartbreaking and devastating, and our thoughts are with the entire region, and especially our partners (employees), farmers and their families during this unprecedented time.

To support our partners in India, today we announced that The Starbucks Foundation will provide a $300,000 grant to Give2Asia’s India COVID-19 response fund to support immediate needs related to COVID-19, such as emergency medical supplies, PPE, emergency meals and cash assistance for vulnerable families. Give2Asia is working with nonprofit organizations across the country and is allocating funding based on urgent needs in response to the quickly evolving situation.

This new grant to Give2Asia will further complement existing COVID-19 prevention work underway in partnership with Mercy Corps in India’s origin communities, which has reached more than 110,000 people in Indian tea and coffee communities since the program began last year.

We are working closely with Tata Group, our local business partner, to support Starbucks partners with comprehensive care during these difficult times. And we also remain close to Tata as they provide oxygen containers to hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country, secure vaccines and transport healthcare workers to areas with limited medical services.


Updated as of 9:00 a.m. April 19

Starbucks Support of Safe and Equitable Vaccine Distribution

As more Americans become eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, Starbucks remains committed to continue sharing educational information about the COVID-19 vaccine and supporting our communities in providing equitable access to vaccinations.  

Today, the company announced it will offer up to 4 hours of paid time off if partners experience vaccine-related side effects and miss a scheduled shift within 48 hours of receiving each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine*, up to two doses. (This is in addition to offering two hours of paid time off per dose for partners who choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine, up to two doses.) The company has also provided online tools for partners, as well as their friends and family, to create their vaccine plan and easily access state-by-state vaccine distribution and availability information.

In addition, the company has made several investments in innovative programs that help increase safe and equitable access to vaccines, including a $250,000 donation to help fund Team Rubicon’s mobile vaccination site pilots, as well as a total of $50,000 to local Seattle-area hospitals Swedish and UW Medicine to support their efforts to deliver vaccines directly to underserved communities.  

Learn more about how Starbucks is supporting safe and equitable vaccine distribution, here.

* To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Starbucks is strongly encouraging partners to receive the vaccine as soon as they are eligible.


Updated as of 12:30 p.m. February 8

Starbucks Offers Vaccine Pay and Expanded COVID-19 Benefits for Partners 

In continuing the company’s commitment to prioritizing partner care and safety throughout COVID-19, Starbucks announced an update on vaccine pay and expanded COVID-19 benefits for U.S. partners. 

The updates include:  

  • Up to two hours of paid time off for partners who choose to get each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, up to two doses.* 
  • An extension of catastrophe pay, temporary food and beverage benefit.  
  • Increased Care@Work benefit from 20 to 30 backup care days so that partners can continue to care for themselves and their families. 
  • Expedited grants for the CUP (Caring Unites Partners) Fund, which provides grants for partners experiencing financial hardship, up to $500.  
  • Continued mental health resources, including 20 free therapy or coaching sessions for partners and eligible family members through Lyra Health.  

In addition, the company remains committed to maintaining ongoing safety protocols in every store, including mandatory facial coverings, restricted seating, increased cleaning, pre-checks, shields and guards, and more.  

Customers can learn more about Starbucks actions to protect the health and well-being of our customers and partners (employees) and to control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in accordance with the expert guidance of the CDC and local public health authorities, here.  

* To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Starbucks is strongly encouraging partners to receive the vaccine as soon as they are eligible. 


Updated as of 3:25 p.m. January 18

Starbucks Joins the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC)

Guided by the principles the company established at the beginning of COVID-19, today, Starbucks joined the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC), a new statewide public-private partnership to boost vaccine distribution efforts established by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Department of Health.

With the announcement of this Command Center, the Governor is bringing top public and private resources and capabilities together in a concerted effort to optimize an accelerated, safe and equitable vaccination process across our home state. Starbucks will contribute expertise in operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design to Washington State’s vaccine distribution efforts.

Many partners (employees) from across Operations Services, Labor & Deployment, Analytics & Insights, Store Development, Food Safety & Regulatory and the Tryer Center are already working to optimize vaccination sites with design principles and solutions focused on efficiency to thruput – all centered in the patient experience.

“This is an opportunity to serve others and have impact on a significant humanitarian effort,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and ceo. “Governor Inslee has convened some of the best public and private resources and capabilities to engage in a concerted effort to optimize and accelerate the vaccination process across our home state. We are proud to contribute in every way we can to help operationalize and scale equitable access to the vaccine.”

Learn more about the WSVCCC, here.

Read more about the work happening at Starbucks Tryer Center.


Updated as of 12:45 p.m. January 5

Starbucks gives 2.2M cups of free coffee to front-line responders in December

In response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to recognize the significant efforts of the front-line responder and health care community, Starbucks gave away more than 2.2 million cups of free tall brewed coffee  to front-line responders throughout the month of December to show appreciation for those keeping our communities safe during COVID-19.

“It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities,” said Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president, Global Social Impact. “We wanted to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee.”

To further support the front-line responder community, the company also donated $100,000 to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to support virtual mental health resources for front-line responders and will surprise up to 40,000 front-line responders with care packages in the coming months in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

Starbucks customers now have the opportunity to support the front-line responder community as well. For each Starbucks eGift activated from the Recognition category between January 8, 2021 and January 11, 2021, Starbucks will donate $5.00 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to support the mental wellness of COVID-19 front-line responders (eGift cards include: Take Care, You’re Amazing, You’re My Hero, Your Hard Work is Noticed, and Thanks for Giving Your All). You can learn more about NAMI’s initiative to support the mental wellness of front-line responders at nami.org/frontlinewellness.

“During this collective crisis, we must do all we can to support each other, especially those on the front lines of the pandemic,” said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. “We are grateful that Starbucks is fostering a community of support and finding ways to get more people involved. Even small gestures like giving an eGift card are acts of kindness that can provide a bright moment in an unprecedented situation. And we’re proud to partner with Starbucks to offer the “Take Care” card which includes mental health resources from our Frontline Wellness initiative so that frontline professionals can access the assistance they need and that no one feels alone in their struggle.”

Starbucks COVID-19 response to date:

  • Starbucks is taking a number of actions to protect the health and well-being of our customers and partners (employees) to control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in accordance with the expert guidance of the CDC and local public health authorities. Learn more about Starbucks COVID-19 response here.
  • Since March 2020, The Starbucks Foundation has donated more than $1 million to support front-line responders, including delivery of personal protective equipment, essential medical items, care packages and handwritten letters, and support for emergency assistance including mental health resources for first responders and health care workers. Learn more about The Starbucks Foundation’s COVID-19 response here.
  • Since the start of COVID-19, Starbucks has provided:
    • 4.2M+ free cups of coffee to front-line responders
    • 400,000 Front-line Responder and Deployed Troop care packages as part of a coalition of partners with nonprofit Operation Gratitude.
    • 120,000 cups of coffee and thousands of Starbucks gift cards to local hospitals and front-line responders
    • 110 pallets of K-Cup pod donations to hospitals and military units

Updated as of 6 p.m. December 4

Starbucks Playbook for Navigating COVID-19

Starbucks continues to use three simple principles to guide our decisions as we navigate COVID-19 – prioritizing the health and well-being of our partners (employees) and customers; playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of this virus; and showing up in a positive and responsible way to serve our communities.

We will continue to make proactive decisions that are grounded in transparency and science. Store partners are equipped with the tools and resources they need to adjust their stores operations and procedures as needed as we all navigate this dynamic situation. We continue to closely monitor guidance from local and national health authorities and will update our store procedures to adhere to the most effective health and safety standards.

To find a store that is open near you, visit the store locator on Starbucks.com or the Starbucks app for locations and hours. For more information visit Starbucks COVID-19 “At a glance” page.


Updated as of 10:20 a.m. July 17

Starbucks ceo discusses the company’s playbook for navigating COVID-19

On Thursday, July 16, Starbucks president and ceo Kevin Johnson joined the National Retail Federation to discuss Starbucks response to the pandemic and the ongoing evolution of the Third Place. Topics covered include:

  • Guiding principles used by Starbucks to navigate COVID-19, based on early learnings in China.
  • The company’s decision to require masks for customers, nationwide
  • What the future of retail looks like, and what how Starbucks intends to navigate the next phase of the pandemic.

Watch the full conversation here:


Updated as of 9:00 a.m. July 9

Protecting Partners and Customers An Update on Facial Coverings

In its continued effort in prioritizing the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers, Starbucks today announced that beginning on July 15, it will be requiring customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned café locations in the US.

At select locations where a local government mandate is not in place, customers that may not be wearing a facial covering will have various options to order their Starbucks, including ordering at the drive-thru, curbside pickup through the Starbucks app or placing an order for delivery through Starbucks Delivers.

The company is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

For information on additional safety measures and what customers can expect click here for an at-a-glance guide for customers.


Updated as of 5:35 a.m. June 10

Restore and Build Resilience: Elevating the Customer and Partner Experience

Today, in a letter to stakeholders, Starbucks president and ceo Kevin Johnson and Starbucks chief financial officer Pat Grismer shared more specifics in how the company is accelerating the transformation of the customer and partner experience. With approximately 80% of Starbucks transactions in U.S. company-operated stores “on-the-go” occasions, the Starbucks leadership team has reexamined the U.S. store footprint with a vision to evolve the Starbucks retail presence over time through targeted store renovations, relocations and new stores and creating a new, elevated experience for partners and customers.

“We have a clear vision for our “Bridge to the Future,” and we are accelerating our plans to transform our store portfolio, elevate the customer experience for this new era, and drive long-term growth. As we navigate the global pandemic, we strive for transparency with all stakeholders, and today we share more specifics on the business recovery, new store growth and the overall strength of our financial position.”


Updated as of 5:30 a.m. May 21

Building a Bridge to Our Future

Today, in a letter to partners (employees), Starbucks president and ceo Kevin Johnson shared details on how the company is adapting to a new COVID-19 economy while building a bridge to the future at Starbucks.

“This much I know is true: connection and community are fundamental to humanity. As we gradually come out of isolation, people will continue to crave connection and crave a sense of community,” said Johnson. “So that is our job now: to build a bridge to a future that – yes – will look different, but that stays true to Starbucks mission and values. We will build it together, and it will carry us all to a better tomorrow for Starbucks and the communities we serve.”

Well on its way in reopening stores and working to recover its business, Starbucks today introduced a summer-inspired menu and began a multi-faceted advertising campaign designed to help customers find a store near them, check store hours, order ahead and use contactless payment. The company continues to expect more than 90 percent of U.S. company-operated stores to be open by early June, under modified operations and hours.


Updated as of 1:05 p.m. May 4

The Third Place: Needed Now More than Ever

As Starbucks partners return to their stores this week and begin the process of re-opening responsibly, Starbucks ceo Kevin Johnson shared a letter detailing the various experiences customers can expect under modified operations, including heightened safety protocols.

Johnson also shared specifics around how the company will continue to provide a “third place” for customers, needed now more than ever.

“In fact, we think of the third place as a mindset — a feeling of comfort that uplifts customers everywhere, and in every way, they experience Starbucks,” Johnson said. “And the third place has never been more relevant than now, as communities seek to reconnect and heal.”

By May 9, Starbucks partners will have responsibly reopened more than 85 percent of company-operated stores across the U.S. The company expects more than 90 percent of stores to be open by early June, under modified operations and hours.


Updated as of 6:35 a.m. April 29

More stores to welcome customers – here’s what to expect

Over the next days and weeks, when it is considered safe to do so, and in cooperation with local health authorities and local governments, more Starbucks stores will be ready to serve customers in a range of ways. This will be determined on a store-by-store basis as Starbucks continues to prioritize the health and wellbeing of customers and partners (employees).

Customers will be able to order and pay ahead of time using the Starbucks App and pick up their order at the door or in the drive-thru. At select locations where social distancing can be implemented, stores will offer “grab and go,” so customers can place an order in the cafe and then take it to go. Drive-thrus remain open to serve customers and additional delivery locations are now available through Starbucks Delivers via Uber Eats. To find a store near you, visit the store locator on Starbucks.com or the Starbucks App for locations and hours.

To learn more, watch the video below.


Updated as of 12:00 p.m. April 16

Starbucks Joins in the Efforts to Support Food Banks in the U.S. and Canada

Building on its commitment to support the communities we serve, today Starbucks announced additional efforts to support food banks in the U.S. and Canada as they struggle to meet the increased demand, shortages in food donations and logistical complexities related to their operations.   

Starbucks has launched a campaign to raise awareness amongst its customers about the growing food crisis and encouraging customers who are able to donate to give to Feeding America. Starbucks is also working across various organizations in the U.S. and Canada to provide unsold or excess food and drinks to local food banks. Since closing its cafes in mid-March, Starbucks donated more than 700,000* meals, 62,000 gallons of milk, and 1 million cans of Teavana Craft Iced Teas throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

In addition, The Starbucks Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has donated more than $1.25 million to organizations across the U.S. and Canada, including $1 million to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them, as well as $200,000 (USD) to Food Banks Canada and $50,000 (USD) to Second Harvest in Canada to support critical food distribution and delivery services to local communities. To date, The Starbucks Foundation has donated over $5.5 million to support global COVID-19 response efforts.


Updated as of 6:00 a.m. April 16

Starbucks shares how it’s prepared to “monitor and adapt” the customer experience through COVID-19

Today, in a letter to Starbucks partners (employees), CEO Kevin Johnson outlined the company’s transition to a new phase of operations in the U.S., best described as “monitor and adapt,” based on experience in China during COVID-19. As was the case in China, Starbucks will gradually expand and shift the customer experiences enabled in stores based on a clear decision-making framework.

In a following letter, Rossann Williams, evp and president of U.S. company-operated business and Canada, shared updates on Starbucks approach to COVID-19 pay and benefits as the company continues to prioritize partner care during this critical period.


Updated as of 2:38 p.m. April 8

Starbucks provides update on recovery in China, impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Business

Today, in an open stakeholder letter from CEO Kevin Johnson and CFO Pat Grismer filed as an 8-K, the company provided an update on business recovery in China, the impact COVID-19 has had on U.S. business and how it is well positioned financially to weather this crisis. The company remains optimistic in Starbucks resilience, and is confident it will emerge from this crisis stronger than before. More information, including the full letter can be found here.


Updated as of 8:40 a.m. April 8

Taking care of Starbucks partners around the world through emergency relief

In every community we serve, partners are the foundation of Starbucks fundamental Mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit.

Around the world, Starbucks partners and their families are feeling the impact of COVID-19 on their everyday lives—for some, this means extreme hardship and urgent need. As part of Starbucks commitment to taking care of our partners when they need it most, Starbucks is contributing $10 million to establish the new Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program for partners facing extreme hardship as a result of COVID-19.

“I’m proud to work in a company that is dedicated to help us as partners,” said Juan Miguel Ortiz Machuca, a Starbucks in Puerto Rico who is not a stranger to disaster and loss. “After Hurricane María, I received financial support thanks to Starbucks Tacita Verde fund to help me and my family. With support from Starbucks, I was able to buy the everyday essentials to replace what we lost during the hurricane. Realizing that Starbucks was always there for me makes me feel grateful; being with my green apron family feels like home.” 

Depending on where they work, partners can access support from the Starbucks Global Partner Emergency Relief Program through several channels:

  • The Emergency Assistance Foundation in international licensed markets
  • Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Funds in company-operated markets including US, Canada, Japan and China
  • The Starbucks EMEA Partner Relief Fund, a new fund established for European company owned markets including the U.K., Austria, Switzerland, as well as Starbucks Roastery in Italy and roasting plant in the Netherlands.

Updated as of 2:30 p.m. April 1

Using our scale for good around the world during extraordinary times

As we continue navigating COVID-19, Starbucks is focused on ensuring the health and well-being of our partners and customers and doing its part to support the more than 32,000 communities it serves. Today, Starbucks announced additional details in the way it is taking care of its partners and communities.

The Starbucks Foundation Donates More Than $3M Commitment to COVID-19 Relief Efforts Around the World:

The Starbucks Foundation today announced it will donate more than $3 million to support global COVID-19 relief efforts around the world, designed to partner with key organizations in order to ensure those who need the most help get it.

  • The donations include:
    • $1M contribution to the UN Foundation
    • $1M contribution to Give2Asia
    • More than $1M in local grants to support COVID-19 relief efforts in Canada and U.S. communities like Seattle and New York. 

Starbucks continues its support of US partners during COVID-19, extends all temporary benefits until May 3rd

In a letter to US partners emphasizing the company’s commitment to partners health and well-being, Rossann Williams, executive vice president and president, U.S. company-operated business and Canada, announced the company was extending all temporary benefits for partners until May 3rd.

In addition, the company has taken the added step of making thermometers available for all stores, in the event those partners choose to use them. The company has also begun exploring the possibility of making non-medical grade masks available for store partners. Store formats are currently open in Drive-Thru and Delivery only, with small number of locations offering MOP pickup. Lobbies will remain closed through May 3rd.

“Everything we are doing right now – comprehensive partner care, increased cleaning and sanitizing protocols, closing cafes and adjusting operations, and our Quick Connect wellness checks ahead of every partner’s shift – meets and in many cases even exceeds the expert guidance provided by the CDC and other public health authorities,” said Williams. “But we know the science on COVID-19 and local mandates are constantly shifting, and rather than waiting for clarity, we want to continue to take additional steps now to ensure the health and safety of our partners.”


Updated as of 6:00 a.m. March 25

Starbucks offers free coffee to front-line responders

As ceo Kevin Johnson wrote in a letter to customers this week, amid a dynamic and uncertain time, Starbucks store partners around the world have demonstrated the company’s resilience and commitment to the communities they serve. Over the last few weeks, partners have found ways to support those who are keeping our communities safe – particularly responders on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Building on this commitment, Starbucks announced it will offer free coffee to front line responders through May 3. In addition, The Starbucks Foundation will donate $500,000 to support front-line responders.

Here are the details:

  • 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 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.
  • Read more about how partners in Starbucks stores around the world have already found ways to support and thank front-line responders.

Updated as of 5:30 p.m. March 23

A message from Starbucks ceo Kevin Johnson: A time for resilience

Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson wrote a letter to customers and partners on Sunday. “I am inspired by our Starbucks store partners around the world who proudly wear the green apron and who are rising to the occasion. They demonstrate our resilience and our commitment to the communities we serve,” Johnson wrote. “It is the responsibility of every business to care for its employees during this time of uncertainty, shared sacrifice, and common cause. I hope to see many business leaders across this country doing all they can to retain jobs, pay employees, continue benefits, and demonstrate compassion as they make critical decisions. Not every decision is a financial one.”


Updated as of 2:30 p.m. March 22

Update on how Starbucks is supporting partners and communities during COVID-19

Starbucks continues to take action in responding to COVID-19, on Friday announcing the company would temporarily move to a drive-thru and delivery-only model in the U.S. and Canada and pledging to pay partners until April 19 regardless of whether they go to work.

Here is the weekend’s latest:

  • Saturday, nearly all Starbucks drive-thru stores scheduled to open did, with partners showing up to help each other and serve their communities. Read the full story here.
  • Today, Starbucks field leaders received a letter from Rossann Williams introducing Starbucks Service Pay for those partners who are able and choose to continue to come to work. Read more about this and other current Starbucks partner benefits during COVID-19, here.

Updated as of 3:55 p.m. March 20

Starbucks temporarily moving to primarily drive-thru-only in U.S., confirms expanded catastrophe pay for worried partners

In a letter to all U.S. partners today, Starbucks announced its company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada will move to a drive-thru-only model for at least two weeks. Some exceptions will be made for those cafes serving in or around hospitals and healthcare centers in our efforts to serve first responders and health care workers. 

In addition, the company also confirmed it will pay U.S. partners for the next 30 days, even if they choose to stay home.

Here’s are some of the highlights of the letter:

  • Starbucks will close access to cafes and reduce service to drive-thru and delivery only for two weeks in the U.S.
  • To continue best serving first responders and health care workers, there will be some exceptions for cafes serving in or around hospitals and health care centers.
  • Starbucks will pay all partners for the next 30 days, whether they choose to come to work or not.
  • In addition to expanded catastrophe pay, Starbucks continues to offer mental health and sick pay benefits, childcare support and more.

“The magnitude of managing through this situation is the single biggest challenge many of us have faced in our lifetime, and I am continually moved by your compassion for each other, our customers and our communities during this exceptionally difficult time. With daily news from friends and family members getting laid off and businesses closing, we need one another more than ever. We need to be a different kind of company,” Williams wrote. “Together, we have successfully navigated many challenges throughout our history, and managing COVID-19 will be no different. You have my word, we will continue to stay true to Our Mission and Values, making the right decisions even when it’s hard, and caring for you and our customers.”


Updated as of 2:30 p.m. March 15

Starbucks will temporarily change to a “to go” model in U.S. and Canada stores

In a letter to all U.S. partners today, Starbucks shared changes the company is implementing to encourage social distancing, in an effort to help contain the COVID-19 virus.  

“As we all know, the situation with COVID-19 is extremely dynamic and we will continue to review the facts and science and make the proactive decisions necessary to protect our partners, customers and communities,” wrote Rossann Williams, executive vice president and president, U.S. company-operated business and Canada.

Starting today, Starbucks will be moving to a “to go” model in all company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada for at least two weeks.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • We are pausing the use of all seating, including both the café and patio areas
  • Customers can still walk up and order at the counter, through the “order ahead” feature in the Starbucks app, via the drive thru and use delivery
  • We will have a modified condiment bar in all stores
  • You may see modified “order ahead” handoff areas on a store-by-store basis
  • Temporary closures for company-owned stores in high-social gathering locations, such as malls and university campuses
  • Temporary store closures or reduced operating hours in communities with high clusters of COVID – 19 cases 

Williams continues, “Every community’s needs are incredibly different. We want to make sure we play a constructive role by taking responsible actions, in partnership with the CDC and local public health authorities, so we can continue to do what’s right for our partners and customers.”

Today’s announcement builds on a foundation set by Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson last week in a letter sharing how the company has been preparing to respond quickly to COVID-19 emerging situations.  


Updated as of 5 p.m. March 11

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks ceo, outlines steps company is taking for health of customers, partners and community

Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson wrote a letter to customers today detailing precautionary steps the company has already taken in response to COVID-19 and letting them know about changes they might see going forward.

“We appreciate your understanding that, as a customer, your Starbucks Experience may look different as we navigate through this time together,” he wrote. “While we are currently maintaining regular operations across the U.S. and Canada, our stores are prepared to modify operations with options that still allow us to serve you your favorite beverage and food. 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. 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. In any such situation, we expect store disruption to be temporary.” 

The company has gleaned insights from its experience in China, he said, where there are encouraging signs of recovery and over 90 percent of the stores have reopened.

“It is our intent to remain transparent,” he wrote. “Starbucks resilience is owed to our unwavering Mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” 


Updated as of 9:30 a.m. March 11

Starbucks will offer full support to partners, including catastrophe pay and mental health resources

Starbucks partners who are sick or need to be quarantined won’t have to choose between working or taking care of themselves, wrote Rossann Williams, evp and president, U.S. company-operated business and Canada. It is one of a number of resources being offered to partners during the COVID-19 outbreak, detailed in an open letter published Wednesday.

“You have our full support when it comes to partner care, including access to catastrophe pay, benefits that support your physical and mental health, as well as a network of partners who are all here to help,” she wrote.

In addition to existing benefits such as sick pay and personal time off, the company will offer catastrophe pay to any partner who has been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 or comes in close prolonged contact with someone in their store or household who has. It also will be available to partners experiencing symptoms, even if they haven’t been in known contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and to those who may need to take extra precautions, such as those 60 years or older or who have underlying health conditions. The full catastrophe pay benefit is for 14 days, but if partners are still unable to return to work, additional pay replacement may be made up to 26 weeks, she wrote.

Partners can also access other resources such as a range of mental health benefits including free counseling through the Employee Assistance Program and Headspace for mindfulness and meditation. Another resource is the company’s CUP Fund, which provides grants for partners experiencing financial hardship.


Updated as of 3:45 p.m. March 9

Starbucks joins Seattle business and community leaders to provide support and resources through COVID-19

Continuing to navigate the coronavirus situation, today Starbucks joined a coalition of philanthropy, government and business partners to create a COVID-19 Response Fund in Seattle. This fund is designed to help rapidly deploy resources to help local organizations on the front lines of the outbreak who are helping the most vulnerable in the community.

More than $2.5M has been committed to the fund, which will release grants on a rolling basis. Initial donors include The Starbucks Foundation with a $250,000 contribution, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, and Microsoft. The Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, King County, City of Seattle are also partners of the fund.

Full release here

Tweet from Kevin Johnson here


Updated as of 5 p.m. March 6

Putting into action care and concern for partners and customers

For the last few weeks, Starbucks has been preparing for the possible scenarios related to COVID-19 and ensuring the right plans and resources are in place, defined principally by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health authorities, including increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs.

The company has also been leaning on lessons learned from the response of Starbucks in China on best practices taking care of partners and customers, including clear communication and practical support.

Today,  Rossann Williams, executive vice president, president U.S. company-operated business and Canada shared details of how processes and protocols were put into practice in Seattle, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in one of our stores.


Updated as of 10 a.m. March 4

Starbucks outlines precautionary steps during COVID-19 outbreak

Starbucks outlined precautionary steps the company has taken in a recent open letter to partners, customers and community.

  1. We are taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities, we have increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs, adding paid time for our partners supporting this work.
  2. We are pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for “for here” ware.
  3. We have provided scenario-based procedural information to our store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support.
  4. We have restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31.
  5. We have modified or postponed large meetings across our offices in the U.S. and Canada.

More on COVID-19