You are here: Home » International » News » Companies
Business Standard

Covid-19: Starbucks closes most cafes in US, Canada, moves to drive-through

Exceptions to the closure would be made for cafes serving in or around hospitals and health care centers

Reuters 

Starbucks
The coronavirus has infected nearly 14,400 people across the US and the death toll currently exceeds 200.. Photo: Reuters

Corp said on Friday it will close most of its company operated cafes across north America for two weeks, limiting its services to drive-throughs, to help stem the spread of the highly contagious

"Let's be real. Lattes aren't 'essential'," Rossann Williams, president of U.S. company-operated and Canada businesses, said in a letter. "But in times of crisis, the government asks convenient food and beverage outlets to remain open when possible for pickup, Drive Thru, or delivery."

Exceptions to the closure would be made for cafes serving in or around hospitals and health care centers, she said.

Starbucks, which owns almost all US stores, said its licensed partners would make independent decisions about whether to close their stores, but said it would pay all store partners for the next 30 days, regardless of that decision.

The move ramps up efforts by the world's largest coffee chain to increase social distancing, expanding closures beyond the universities, malls and high risk areas it announced several days ago.

ALSO READ: Trump says respects China, but coronavirus began there, got out of control

As the virus spreads at a rapid pace across the United States, cafe and restaurant operators have shut their doors or limited services to delivery and take-away.

New York state, Illinois and Connecticut on Friday all followed California in directing residents to stay at home in the most sweeping social distancing measures yet imposed.

The unprecedented restrictions, impacting more than 75 million people, or nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, have closed most workplaces and require residents to remain inside except for trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other "essential businesses."

The has infected nearly 14,400 people across the US and the death toll currently exceeds 200.

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 14:05 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU