SAN DIEGO — Starbucks announced Sunday it is temporarily shifting into a “to-go” model at its stores in the U.S. and Canada in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
The shift is designed to encourage social distancing and protect both employees and customers from interacting for extended periods of time in close spaces.
The new model goes into effect Sunday and is expected to last for at least two weeks. As part of the model, seating inside and in the patio areas of all Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will no longer be available.
Though to-go and drive-thru orders will still be available at most locations, some company-owned stores in busy areas will close entirely. Some store locations will also implement modified store hours, the company said Sunday.
“Every community’s needs are incredibly different,” said Rossann Williams, executive vice president and president of U.S. company-operated business and Canada. “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.”