At a glance: What you need to know about Starbucks response to COVID-19

Exterior of Starbucks store

Updated January 18, 2022

Starbucks is taking a number of 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. Read below for an at-a-glance overview and, for additional details on how Starbucks is navigating through COVID-19, visit our blog.

Our partners

Starbucks is offering full support with comprehensive care to our partners impacted by COVID-19, including vaccine pay, catastrophe pay, mental health and sick pay benefits, childcare support and more. If you are a Starbucks partner (employee), get the latest information about your benefits here.

  • Vaccination guidance: We strongly encourage all partners to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted. Starbucks provides up to two hours of paid time off for partners to receive the vaccine, up to three doses, as well as 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 the COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
  • Catastrophe pay: In addition to existing benefits such as sick pay and personal time off, Starbucks is providing catastrophe pay for partners who have been diagnosed with or were exposed to COVID-19 (including certain qualifying exposure outside of work) so they can stay home and self-isolate. Currently, Starbucks pays for two rounds of isolation per quarter, though in the event of additional exposure, partners can work with their local leaders on solutions that prioritize their health and safety.
  • Hardship grants: Another resource available to partners is the company’s CUP Fund, which provides grants for partners experiencing financial hardships. Starting March 8, 2021, partners can apply for an expedited 2021 COVID-19 CUP Fund grant for certain financial hardship needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Impacts of store closures: We are working to help partners impacted by adjusted hours of operation, modifications to operations, or a temporary closure by transferring partners to other stores and providing catastrophe pay in the scenario partners are unable to work due to precautionary store closure, which now covers a minimum of two instances when necessary.
  • Partner Food & Beverage benefit: Whether a store partner worked a shift or not, through September 26, 2021, they are eligible to receive one free food item and one partner beverage, per day, even when not working.
  • Mental health: Partners can continue to sign up for a new mental health benefit through Lyra Health for 20 free sessions a year with a certified counselor or coach. They can also access Headspace for mindfulness and meditation.
  • Childcare: We have temporarily expanded the Care@Work program to provide support for partners needing additional backup childcare options as a result of school closures, which now includes the option for partners to choose an individual or facility to assist their children with distance learning.
  • Non-retail partners: Partners at the Starbucks Support Center (SSC) in Seattle have been instructed to work remotely through December 2021, returning to the office in January of 2022. As it has, all non-retail domestic and international air travel will continue to require written evp approval during this period.

Our stores

Your Starbucks Experience may look different as we navigate this dynamic situation community-by-community and store-by-store. Our commitment to you is that we will continue to make proactive decisions that are grounded in transparency and science – for our partners and the people we serve. We continue to closely monitor guidance from local and national health authorities and will update our procedures as needed to adhere to the most effective health and safety standards. To find a store that is open near you, visit the store locator on or the Starbucks app for locations and hours.

  • Use of facial coverings: Starbucks remains committed to meeting or exceeding all public health mandates, as it is our responsibility to protect our partners and customers in the communities we serve. In alignment with the updated guidance from the CDC, Starbucks strongly recommends customers wear facial coverings while visiting our stores, regardless of vaccination status. Where mandated by local law or regulation, Starbucks will require customers wear masks while in our stores. Additionally, starting August 5 all company-operated store partners are required, regardless of vaccination status, to wear facial coverings while on shift.
  • Partner precautions: Starbucks is also taking precautions for every partner that works in its stores to protect them and their customers. Prior to beginning every shift, all partners complete a pre-check, including taking their temperature, to ensure they are ready and able to work.
  • Enhanced cleaning measures: Starbucks is committed to caring for the health and well-being of its partners (employees) and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders. The company continues to observe elevated cleaning and sanitizing protocols that meet or exceed public health guidelines and can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All stores use the “Clean, Safe and Ready” system to ensure the well-being of partners and customers, cleaning high touch surface areas as frequently. Additionally, we have installed plexiglass POS shields and bar guards to better protect both partners and customers.

Ordering and Picking up

  • Download the Starbucks app and join Starbucks Rewards to order ahead and pay: Using the Starbucks app, Rewards members can locate a store, order ahead and pay, and determine the most convenient pick-up option at the store, including in-store, at the door, drive-thru, and curbside pickup where available. For those new to using the Starbucks app, here are step-by-step instructions for digital ordering and contactless ways to pay in stores.
  • Grab-and-go: At locations where social distancing can be maintained, customers can place an order in the café and take their order to-go, or use the “order ahead” feature in the Starbucks app to pick it up at the store. Social distancing will be supported with floor markers in waiting areas, additional in-store signage and by limiting the number of customers in the café at a single time. In select markets, we have begun to provide limited seating (adhering to social-distancing guidelines) inside our stores and on our patios.
  • Drive-thru: Since Mar. 16, many Starbucks locations have been serving their communities at the drive-thru. While some locations may continue to operate only at the drive-thru, others will expand their service to include grab-and-go or entryway pickup. Customers can order at the drive-thru or pick up an order placed ahead on the Starbucks app.
  • Curbside Pickup: Curbside pickup is available at select stores, check the Starbucks app for participating locations. To utilize curbside pickup, can place an order in the Starbucks app, once the customer arrives at the store, they can pull into a reserved parking spot for "Mobile Order & Curbside Pickup", select “Curbside Pickup” and input their parking spot number into the app. The customers will then be greeted by a barista who will bring their order the car.
  • Starbucks Delivers: In many U.S. markets, customers can also use Starbucks Delivers to have their favorite Starbucks beverages and food brought to their door through Uber Eats. For their delivery, customers can enable a “contactless” handoff by adding a note for their delivery person to leave their order at the door. For instructions on how to order and store availability visit

Our communities

We are dedicated to serving our communities in a constructive role through the lens of Our Mission and Values: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

  • Thanking front-line responders: To date, the company has served more than one million cups of free coffee to first responders and front-line responders supporting the health care industry. We continue to applaud and support our front-line responder communities through donations to local organizations. The Starbucks Foundation and Starbucks have also helped Operation Gratitude send care packages to support more than 60,000 front-line heroes who are risking their lives to keep our communities safe. 
  • Fighting hunger: With the global coronavirus pandemic causing record unemployment and food insecurity skyrocketing everywhere, Starbucks is working with Feeding America to get food to people who need it most. In addition, The Starbucks Foundation has donated more than $1 million to Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund and other food banks.
  • Local grants: The Starbucks Foundation has distributed more than $1 million to more than 400 local organizations across the U.S. and Canada to support COVID-19 community response, inspired and informed by Starbucks partners (employees). In Seattle, The Starbucks Foundation helped to launch the city’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and has invested more than $1 million in organizations across our hometown, including through the Black Future Co-Op Fund.
  • Global relief: The Starbucks Foundation has donated more than $3 million to support global COVID-19 relief efforts around the world partnering with key organizations like the United Nations Foundation in order to ensure those who need the most help get it.
  • Supporting coffee-growing communities: The Starbucks Foundation has donated $1 million to Mercy Corps to support COVID-19 prevention communication and extend urgently needed direct support across coffee and tea farming communities in Indonesia, Colombia, Guatemala, India and Ethiopia. To prevent transmission and protect lives and livelihoods, Mercy Corps is providing hygiene supplies as well as vouchers, clean water filters and other assistance to vulnerable families during this crisis. These efforts have reached more than 200,000 people to date.