Coronavirus recovery: Starbucks says 90 percent of US stores will reopen by June

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Starbucks has revealed that 90 percent of its stores in the U.S. are expected reopen by early June, albeit with modified service. At present, 50 percent of the coffee chain’s stores across the country remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The piping-hot news was confirmed by company executives in a Tuesday earnings call, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. As the stores slowly reopen, modified service adjustments will include drive-thru, delivery and in-store pickup, plus a new outdoor “handoff” option, allowing customers to pick up their drinks without entering the café itself.

A closed Starbucks coffee shop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A closed Starbucks coffee shop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer emphasized that the chain will cautiously reopen stores in planned stages and monitor the situation as it evolves.

“Only 30 stores will open their cafes [initially] and in those 30 stores there will be no seating and we will monitor what happens [before we move forward],” Brewer said on the call, according to the outlet. “Then, later in the summer, we’ll add curbside access to our stores. We’re managing what we’re learning and applying what we learn accordingly.”

Starbucks shops that remained open during the pandemic have seen same-store sales drop 25 percent on average, per Nation’s Restaurant News.

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The Seattle-based chain is focusing on the future, however, and will reportedly begin debuting new spring beverages that were delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak as soon as next week.

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Starbucks will also continue serving free, tall coffees for first responders and front-line workers through May 31. Since the promotion began in late March, the coffee chain says it’s served over 1 million cups of joe to those fighting the novel coronavirus on the front lines.