The Seattle-based coffee chain, which has remained open in some areas with modified operations amid COVID-19, gradually started to "welcome customers in a variety of ways, determined on a store by store basis," on May 4 across the U.S. and Canada, the company announced in a press release.
CEO Kevin Johnson joined "Good Morning America" on Tuesday to highlight how the coffee company made its decision to reopen and how its using examples from stores in China to do so safely and effectively.
"We prioritize the health and the well-being of our Starbucks partners and customers we serve, we support our government and politicians as they contain the virus and show up in a positive way in the communities we serve," Johnson said. "Those three simple principles have guided us every step of the way and as we open in the United States, 85% of our stores this week, we are doing it with enhanced safety protocols in the stores and experiences that we know we can deliver to customers in a safe way."
Johnson also said that "China is about seven or eight weeks ahead of where we are in the U.S. so we've learned a lot on how to manage this through our experience in China."
Here's what customers can expect as Starbucks reopens more locations.
Since the customer experience could look different at any given location while the company continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation community by community, Starbucks said it recommends people check the app or online store locator for the most up-to-date operating hours and information.
Under Johnson's "monitor and adapt" approach, the company will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of employees and customers to control the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities.
Customers can download the Starbucks app and use it to order ahead from a nearby location and pay.
"In most cases, customers who use the App can pick up their order from a barista at the door without entering the café, at the drive-thru, or in cases where social distancing can be accommodated pick up may be available at a counter in a store," Starbucks explained.
Select locations able to accommodate social distancing will offer grab-and-go options for customers to place an order in person and take it to go.
Those stores will only allow a limited number of customers inside at a time with floor markers and signage to promote social distancing and seating areas will be closed.
Starbucks also offers delivery through Uber Eats with no fees through May and customers can leave a note for the courier to leave items at their door for contact-less delivery.
Staff at cafes will also wear protective equipment, including facial coverings and gloves in accordance with the CDC and local public health authorities' guidance.
Starbucks said its employees will have a pre-check at the beginning of their shift, which includes a temperature check.
"Starbucks has continued to prioritize the health and well-being of partners and customers, constructively support health and government officials, and show up in a positive and responsible way for the communities we serve," the company said. "This has included serving more than 1M cups of free brewed coffee to first responders and front-line workers, increasing partner benefits like catastrophe pay and other benefits, delivering care packages with Operation Gratitude (and the Starbucks Foundation) and donating meals through our FoodShare program with Feeding America, among other initiatives."