Letter to Customers: Our Role And Responsibility in Navigating Through COVID-19

A letter to Starbucks Customers and Starbucks Rewards Members from Kevin Johnson, Starbucks ceo and president

The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Starbucks, we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things: the health and well-being of our customers and partners while also playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus. Through that lens, we will continue to make decisions with vigilance and courage informed by the latest science-based information and guided by Our Mission and Values.

I wanted to personally reach out to you and provide an update on the actions that Starbucks is taking to help prevent the spread of the virus and support the health and well-being of our customers, our partners (employees) and our communities.

You may be aware that over the last few weeks we have taken a series of precautionary steps in response to this developing public health impact, including increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures for our stores. We have also prepared our stores to respond quickly to any emerging situation, leveraging the considerable insights we’ve gained from our experience in China, where we continue to see encouraging signs of recovery with over 90% of stores reopened.

We appreciate your understanding that, as a customer, your Starbucks Experience may look different as we navigate through this time together. 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.

I want to also thank you for supporting our Starbucks partners who proudly wear the green apron. We have a long-standing history of caring for our partners, recognizing they are the heartbeat of Starbucks. That is why, as we navigate this dynamic situation, in addition to our sick leave benefit and mental health offerings, we are also expanding catastrophe pay so that partners do not need to feel like they need to choose between their health and their work.

Thank you for being a loyal customer. It is our intent to remain transparent, providing the latest information from Starbucks here.

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. 

We are privileged to serve you and your community and look forward to seeing you soon. 


Kevin Johnson
ceo, Starbucks

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10 Starbucks Cold Beverages 120 Calories or Less