Starbucks is joining the growing list of companies scaling back services in Canada due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said in a statement late Friday that it will close most of its cafés and offer service only through delivery and drive-thrus for the next two weeks.
“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,” Lori Digulla, president of Starbucks Canada, wrote in an open letter to staff.
Some Starbucks locations will remain open near hospitals and health-care centres, “in the company’s efforts to serve first responders, health-care workers and their incredible support staff,” the letter said.
“We don’t believe lattes are ‘essential.’ But in times of crisis, the government asks convenient food and beverage outlets to remain open when possible for pick up, drive-thru or delivery,” Digulla’s letter said.
The company had already closed some of its seating areas within its cafés and temporarily stopped refilling reusable mugs earlier this month due to the spread of COVID-19.
Starbucks Canada also told its employees it has expanded the “catastrophe pay” that it announced Thursday to help them.
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