Starbucks has a plan to gradually reopen. Here’s how it will work

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Starbucks is adopting a “watch and adapt” strategy to reopen select coffee shops in the United States after they close in mid-March.

CEO Kevin Johnson told employees in an open letter that the initiative means “each community will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation” and will decide when to fully reopen their cafes based on local conditions.

Johnson acknowledged that the decision was “human”, based on complex and ever-changing information. But field leaders will assess the situation in their regions based on four main factors: “the local status of the public health crisis, advice from health officials and government, community sentiment and readiness some stores”.

Starbucks has started reopening stores in China based on this type of factor, said Johnson.

Some of the company’s 15,000 stores in the United States have already switched to drive-only, while other locations offer pickup at the entrance, curbside delivery, and home delivery.

“As was the case in China, [monitor and adapt] means that we will gradually expand and modify the customer experience we offer in our stores, “added Johnson. For example, some stores will continue to operate only while driving, others will let customers order on the mobile app for contactless pickup and delivery, and still others may reopen for takeout orders.

“As we have experienced in China, it will be a journey and we are carefully preparing for this next phase as we adapt to the United States,” said Johnson.

He added that 60% of American Starbucks stores have drive-thru service and that 80% of orders were already placed “on the go” before the pandemic broke out.

Starbucks warned last week that its future revenues will be cut in half because of the virus. Stocks fell 17% this year.

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