Starbucks Temporarily Switching to To-Go Orders Only Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Starbucks is temporarily making some massive changes to its business model as a direct response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to a statement released by the Seattle-based coffee chain, all Starbucks locations in the United States and Canada have immediately switched to a "to go" model, as the chain is calling it. That means any seating in the locations has been removed and customers will only be able to take their orders to go and through the drive-through window.

Not stopping there, the chain is committing to temporarily closing locations in high-impact areas such as Seattle and New York should they deem it necessary. The Starbucks statement isn't clear on which exact locations will be closed, so be sure to give them a ring before heading out to get your cup of coffee.

"These are the actions we know are effective based on our experience in China," Starbucks president Rossann Williams said in a statement. "Working together, I am confident we can modify operations in all stores quickly and seamlessly, as we know the majority of our customers already get their order "to go" and most of our customers who typically use our café seating are also used to visiting us at MOP and Drive Thru. We had the opportunity to connect with your field leaders yesterday, and they are ready to work with you to help execute these temporary changes and make sure you are feeling fully supported."

She adds, "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."

The full statement from Starbucks can be read here.


Cover photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images