Navigating through COVID-19

Starbucks

Starbucks is committed to caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders. Read about the latest decisions being made by the company and the actions being taken in preparation for COVID-19.

Click here for a list of Starbucks precautionary measures in company-operated stores located in Canada.

Click here for an at-a-glance look at what customers need to know about their local store, Starbucks partners, and their community.

Updated as of 9:30 a.m. July 8

An Update on Facial Coverings

We all have a shared responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. In its continued commitment to prioritize the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers, Starbucks remains dedicated to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

With widespread vaccine availability and the ongoing progress against COVID-19, Starbucks will follow local guidance and will lift mandatory facial covering requirements for customers, only where and when legally allowed by local government and public health units. Out of an abundance of caution, all Starbucks partners at company-operated locations in Canada will still be required to wear masks and any other locally mandated PPE during their shifts.

For information on additional safety measures and what customers can expect click here for an at-a-glance guide for customers.

Updated as of 12:30 p.m. May 10

Starbucks Continues to Support its Partners with new Temporary COVID-19 Sick Days 

As Starbucks continues to explore all the ways to support its people the best it can as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the company announced it will be offering three COVID-19 sick days to all its Canadian retail hourly partners. This is the latest update to company’s existing comprehensive partner benefits, which now includes: 

  • Temporary COVID-19 Sick Days are now available to all Canadian retail hourly partners, including up to three paid missed shifts. Partners can use this new paid leave for intermittent sick days if you don’t feel well before your scheduled shift and need to monitor your symptoms. These new sick days are available now, retroactive from April 19 and available through September 25, 2021. 

Updated as of 1 p.m. April 26

Starbucks Canada Continues to Update its COVID-19 Benefits for Partners

With partner (employee) safety top of mind, Starbucks Canada announced additional updates to its existing comprehensive partner benefits including:

  • Paid Time Off for COVID-19 vaccine side effects, providing store partners up to four hours of paid time off for any vaccine-related side effects within 48 hours of receiving each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Extension of Self-Isolation Pay through Q4 for two instances of self-isolation.

Updated as of 4:30 p.m. February 22

Starbucks Canada Offers Vaccine Pay and Expanded COVID-19 Benefits for Partners

In continuing the company’s commitment to prioritizing partner (employee) care and safety throughout COVID-19, Starbucks Canada announced an update on vaccine pay and expanded COVID-19 benefits for Canadian partners. 

Updates to the existing comprehensive partner benefits include:  

  • Paid Time Off to get the COVID-19 vaccine, providing store partners two hours of paid time off for each dose up to two doses.
  • Expedited CUP (Caring Unites Partners) Fund grants for COVID-19 pandemic relief, which provides grants for partners experiencing financial hardship, up to $500.  
  • Extension of Self-Isolation Pay through Q3 for two instances of self-isolation.

Updated as of 3:30 p.m. November 25

Starbucks Canada Moves to a “To Go” Model in All Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Stores

Starbucks Canada confirmed today that company-operated stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will move to a “to go” model. Customers will still be able to walk into Starbucks stores and order at the counter, order ahead through the Starbucks App and pick up in store, order at the Drive-Thru, and in select areas can also order Starbucks Delivers powered by Uber Eats. However, all seating will be temporarily paused or removed, including patio and outdoor areas.

Updated as of 8 a.m. October 1

Starbucks Temporarily Moves to a “To Go” Model in All Quebec and Ottawa Stores

This week, Starbucks Canada will temporarily modify its operations in all its company-operated stores in Quebec and Ottawa to a grab and go model.

This latest move in the company’s efforts to keep partners (employees), customers and communities safe follows the Quebec government’s mandate that restaurants move to grab and go in three districts in the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Updated as of 1:00 p.m. August 31

Protecting Partners and Customers – An Update on Facial Coverings

In its continued commitment to prioritize the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers and to control the spread of COVID-19, Starbucks today announced that beginning on September 14, it will require customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned café locations in Canada.

At select locations, customers will still have various options to order from Starbucks, including ordering at the drive-thru, curbside pickup through the Starbucks app or placing an order for delivery through Starbucks Delivers.

The company is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All decisions are grounded in partner and customer care and safety, based on facts and science, and communicated with transparency.

For information on additional safety measures and what customers can expect click here for an at-a-glance guide for customers.

Updated as of 8:00 a.m. June 29

Starbucks Canada to Begin Testing Curbside Pickup

Starbucks Canada is accelerating the transformation of its stores with the launch of Curbside Pickup as customer needs of convenience, connection and personalization continue to evolve and retail landscapes shift as a result of COVID-19. The company will begin testing in 10 stores in Ontario cities starting July 9 and will add 20 additional test locations in Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area through the summer.

Updated as of 8:00 a.m. June 22

The Starbucks Foundation Invests $145,000 in Grants to Support Local Communities across Canada

To build on its contributions toward COVID-19 community response to date, The Starbucks Foundation has selected more than 400 organizations across Canada and the U.S. to receive grants in its third round of Neighbourhood Grants. These grants, which total $1.4 million, were informed and inspired by Starbucks partners who highlighted the causes and organizations uplifting their communities during COVID-19.

In Canada, we heard from our partners about how hunger relief, supporting families and children, and addressing homelessness are top of mind. Thanks to nearly 400 partner nominations, $145,000 in grants are being distributed to 56 local organizations across the country. 

Map of Canada showing where Starbucks Neighbourhood Grants have been distributed

Updated as of 11:30 a.m. June 11

Starbucks Canada Aims to Reopen Nearly Half of Stores for Dine In by the End of June

Starbucks Canada is reopening cafes and patio seating for customers, aiming to have nearly half of its company-owned stores open by the end of June. The company will reopen for dine in on a community-by-community basis, starting in B.C. where 16 stores opened last week. Starbucks is working closely with local leadership, health authorities and provincial governments as restrictions start to lift across the country.

Updated as of 8 a.m. May 28

Starbucks Canada Welcomes Customers Back in Stores with Grab-and-Go Service

With partner (employee) and customer safety top of mind, Starbucks Canada is set to open its cafe doors and welcome customers for walk-in take-out orders. By this weekend, two-thirds of stores across Canada will offer grab-and-go service, which means customers can go inside a cafe to place their order to go, but all in-cafe and patio seating will remain closed.

The grab-and-go model continues to prioritize safety. When a customer walks into a cafe to order at the counter, they will notice floor markers and signage directing them where to stand to remain physically distant. There will also be a plexi-shield at the POS as an added barrier to protect partners and customers. Partners will wear facial coverings and adhere to Starbucks safety measures.

To learn how customers can grab-and-go with Starbucks, watch the video below.

Updated as of 8 a.m. May 21

How the Starbucks App Evolved into a Tool for Customers Amid COVID-19

Over the past few weeks, the third place experience created by Starbucks partners (employees) in our stores has extended and evolved into an enhanced digital relationship with customers through the Starbucks App

The Starbucks App provides a safe, easy, and convenient way for customers to enjoy their favourite menu items. Customers can order ahead and pay with the Starbucks App at participating stores, which not only saves time, but helps minimize contact with partners and other customers.

To see how customers can use the Starbucks App, watch the video below.

Updated as of 9 a.m. May 11

Starbucks Canada Prioritizes Safety as it Resumes Store Operations

As the global crisis evolved, Starbucks Canada tested and refined new ways of working to protect the health and well-being of its partners and customers, consistent with the guidance provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial governments and safety experts. 

Now, as Starbucks is on track to resume operations in as many stores as possible by the end of May, partner and customer safety continues to be the company’s No. 1 priority. 

Updated as of 9:35 a.m. April 29

Starbucks Canada Expects to Resume Operations in as Many Stores as Possible by the End of May

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Starbucks Canada made the decision to step back and rethink what partner (employee) and customer safety looked like. Starbucks closed most company-operated cafés and reduced its service to Drive-Thru, delivery, and take-out only. 

These open stores have helped Starbucks test and refine new ways of working, specifically in this social-distancing environment, and now, the company is ready to roll out its new model more broadly.

Over the following days and weeks, customers will have access to more stores, and the company expects to resume operations in as many stores as possible by the end of MayThis will be determined on a community-by-community basis as Starbucks continues to prioritize the health and well-being of its customers and partners.

To learn about what customers can expect, watch the video below.

Updated as of 9 a.m. April 23

Starbucks has Served over 1 Million Cups of Free Coffee to First Responders who are Tirelessly Serving our Communities

As of today, we can proudly say that over the last few weeks, our partners have served more than one million cups of free coffee to first responders and front-line healthcare workers across Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, specifically, our partners have served more than 112,000 cups to front-line workers. But coffee isn’t the only way Starbucks is supporting those who are serving our communities through the COVID-19 crisis.

Updated as of 8 a.m. April 16

Starbucks Canada and The Starbucks Foundation Donate over $1M in Food and Financial Support to Help the Food Crisis

Thousands of vulnerable Canadians are at risk of going hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic because the system they rely on for food is overwhelmed. Right now, food banks are in dire need of volunteers, food and monetary donations. That’s why Starbucks Canada and The Starbucks Foundation are donating over $1 million in food and funds to Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Yonge Street Mission, and Woods Homes to help vulnerable Canadians get access to food.

Updated as of 5:30 p.m. April 1

Starbucks Extends Its Already Expanded COVID-19 Support for Partners

As we continue to navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19, Starbucks is increasing its already expanded support for its partners (employees), customers, and communities. Through this lens of care and support for people, the company has and will continue to make all decisions, rooted in facts and science, in cooperation with local authorities.

“As we look ahead, your safety and well-being remain our top priority as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve,” wrote Lori Digulla, Starbucks Canada president, in a letter to all partners today.

In her letter, Digulla outlined important announcements related to partner, customer, and community care.

Updated as of 7 p.m. March 20

Starbucks Canada To Close Cafés and Move to Drive-Thru and Delivery Only

Starting today, effective immediately, Starbucks will close access to its cafés and move to drive-thru and delivery only. Some exceptions will be made for those cafés serving in or around hospitals and health care centers in the company’s efforts to serve first responders, health care workers, and their incredible support staff.

Starbucks Canada president Lori Digulla made the announcement in a letter to all partners today. “Thank you so much for all you’re doing, and above all else know that all our decisions are balancing partner and customer care, with science and facts, to serve our communities in the most impactful way we can as long as it is safe to do so,” she wrote.

Updated as of 4 p.m. March 19

Starbucks Canada Extends Partner (Employee) Care Resources and Support amid COVID-19

Today, in a letter to all partners from Starbucks Canada president, Lori Digulla announced two measures to expand on the partner care resources and support that were introduced last week.

The first includes extending the 14-day catastrophe pay for scheduled shifts to now include partners who are worried about or are feeling unsafe coming to work, as well as partners who need to stay home to care for children.

The second is temporarily waiving the eligibility requirements and documentation for the company’s emergency financial aid CUP Fund.

Updated as of 7 p.m. March 15

How Starbucks Customers can use Mobile Order & Pay to Practice Social Distancing

As we temporarily move our stores to a “to go” model, Starbucks wants to support its customers in practicing social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Here’s how to use Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay (MOP) to help keep you and all of us safer.

Updated as of 5:30 p.m. March 15

Starbucks Will Temporarily Change To A “to Go” Model In Canada Stores

In a letter to all Canada partners today, Starbucks shared changes the company is implementing to encourage social distancing, in an effort to help contain the COVID-19 virus.

Starting today, Starbucks will be moving to a “to go” model in all company-owned stores in Canada for at least two weeks.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • We are pausing the use of all seating, including both the café and patio areas
  • Customers can still walk up and order at the counter, through the “order ahead” Starbucks app, via the drive thru and use delivery
  • We will have a modified condiment bar in all stores
  • You may see modified “order ahead” handoff areas on a store-by-store basis
  • Temporary closures for company-owned stores in high-social gathering locations, such as malls and university campuses
  • Temporary store closures or reduced operating hours in communities with high clusters of COVID-19 cases 

Today’s announcement builds on a foundation set by Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson last week in a letter sharing how the company has been preparing to respond quickly to COVID-19 emerging situations.

Updated as of 8 p.m. March 11

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks Ceo, Outlines Steps Company Is Taking For Health Of Customers, Partners And Community

Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson wrote a letter to customers today detailing precautionary steps the company has already taken in response to COVID-19 and letting them know about changes they might see going forward.

“We appreciate your understanding that, as a customer, your Starbucks Experience may look different as we navigate through this time together,” he wrote. “While we are currently maintaining regular operations across the U.S. and Canada, our stores are prepared to modify operations with options that still allow us to serve you your favourite beverage and food. This means that as we navigate this dynamic situation community by community and store by store, we may adapt the store experience by limiting seating to improve social distancing, enable mobile order-only scenarios for pickup via the Starbucks App or delivery via Uber Eats, or in some cases only the Drive Thru will be open.  As a last resort, we will close a store if we feel it is in the best interest of our customers and partners, or if we are directed to do so by government authorities. In any such situation, we expect store disruption to be temporary.”

The company has gleaned insights from its experience in China, he said, where there are encouraging signs of recovery and over 90 percent of the stores have reopened.

“It is our intent to remain transparent,” he wrote. “Starbucks resilience is owed to our unwavering Mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” 


Updated as of 7:30 p.m. March 11

Starbucks Will Offer Full Support To Partners, Including Catastrophe Pay And Mental Health Resources

Starbucks partners who are sick or need to be quarantined won’t have to choose between working or taking care of themselves, wrote Lori Digulla, president of Starbucks Canada. It is one of a number of resources being offered to partners during the COVID-19 outbreak, detailed in an open letter published Wednesday.

“I want you to know your Starbucks family is here for you. This may not feel imminent for every part of Canada, but if or when it is, I want you to know about, and feel fully supported by, our comprehensive partner care during COVID-19,” she wrote.

In addition to existing benefits such as sick pay and personal time off, the company will offer catastrophe pay to any partner who has been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 or comes in close prolonged contact with someone in their store or household who has. It also will be available to partners experiencing symptoms, even if they haven’t been in known contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and to those who may need to take extra precautions, such as those 60 years or older or who have underlying health conditions. The full catastrophe pay benefit is for 14 days, but if partners are still unable to return to work, additional pay replacement may be made up to 26 weeks, she wrote.

Partners can also access other resources such as a range of mental health benefits including free counseling through the Employee Assistance Program and Headspace for mindfulness and meditation. Another resource is the company’s CUP Fund, which provides grants for partners experiencing financial hardship.


Updated as of 10 a.m. March 5

Starbucks Outlines Precautionary Steps During COVID-19 Outbreak

Starbucks outlined precautionary steps the company has taken in a recent open letter to partners, customers and community.

  1. We are taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities, we have increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs, adding paid time for our partners supporting this work.
  2. We are pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for “for here” ware.
  3. We have provided scenario-based procedural information to our store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support.
  4. We have restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31.
  5. We have modified or postponed large meetings across our offices in the U.S. and Canada.