Starbucks to reopen coronavirus-closed stores for to-go service in May

It will employ safety measures including drive-thru service and order-ahead

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Starbucks, which had temporarily closed many of its cafés because of the coronavirus pandemic, will move to reopen some of those stores for to-go only service starting May 4.

The coffee chain, which expects to reopen 90 percent of its stores by early June, said in a statement to FOX Business that it will employ enhanced safety measures including drive-thru service and order-ahead-and-pickup, which customers can access through its mobile app. Starbucks also recently began providing thermometers for staff to self-monitor.

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"This principled approach is showing steady business improvement in China where today, substantially all existing Starbucks stores have reopened with modified operations, new store locations are being added and customer engagement continues to grow," President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a prepared statement. “We are leveraging our experience in China to inform our actions in other markets, including the U.S., where we are now entering the ‘monitor and adapt’ phase to reopen many more stores with best-in-class safety protocols.”

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Some essential businesses operating in the outbreak have employed safety measures including regular health screenings at entrances and requiring workers to wear face masks.

Chick-fil-A said it would install hand-washing stations at its drive-thru and mall locations, instruct team members to wash their hands a minimum of once every 30 minutes and each time they handle cash, and provide cleaning wipes and other supplies. Meanwhile, retailers Amazon and Walmart are enforcing temperature checks on workers upon entry.

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Starbucks, in its second-quarter fiscal 2020 results, reported that Americas and U.S. comparable store sales declined 3 percent amid the COVID-19 shutdown. Shares of the company, however, have climbed 22 percent in the last month.

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