Starbucks CEO on safely reopening stores: 'We've landed on something that is working'

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Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told "The Daily Briefing" Tuesday that his company is taking a "monitor and adapt" approach as 85 percent of the coffee shop chain's locations across the U.S. reopen this week.

"We've been working on the COVID response for many, many weeks now," Johnson told host Dana Perino. "We have three principles that guide our decisions. First, the health and well-being of our Starbucks partners and the customers we serve. Second, we support government and health officials as they work to contain the virus, and third, we want to show up in a positive and responsible way in the communities that we serve."

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The company is transitioning from its "contain and mitigate" phase, which limited service to drive-through locations only, to the "monitor and adapt" phase where it will reopen cafes with safety precautions in place. However, Johnson explained it won't be back to business as usual quite yet.

Cafes will implement policies depending upon the location, allowing customers to safely order and pick up their coffee.

This Thursday, March 19, 2020 file photo shows a closed Starbucks coffee shop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

This Thursday, March 19, 2020 file photo shows a closed Starbucks coffee shop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Starting Monday, customers using the Starbucks app could pick up their orders from a barista at the door. In locations where social distancing guidelines can be applied, customers may be able to pick up at store counters. Dine-in will still be prohibited until it is deemed safe.

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"As we open 85 percent of our Starbucks throughout the United States this week, we are focusing on delivering a safe, familiar, and convenient experience to our customers," Johnson said. "That will include drive-through, plus mobile order for pickup, or delivery or curbside. In a few cases, we will let customers come in the store for takeaway, but at this particular time we haven't started opening cafes.

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"We have thoughtfully opened stores ... where we can serve customers in a way we know is safe," Johnson said.

"We are going to adapt. As we monitor, see cases of COVID continue to decline, we might expand some of those experiences in our stores. If we see a certain city or market where the cases begin to increase, we might constrain certain services. So this monitor and adapt phase is something that everyone can participate in."

With more than 15,000 locations across the country, Johnson said he hopes the company's reopening will give other business owners the confidence to follow Starbucks' lead.

"We've worked closely with the CDC to implement safety protocols, to give us confidence that we can do this in a way that does not contribute to the spread of the virus," he explained.

"By creating that confidence, we hope that that is a sign for other businesses to be thoughtful and responsible with the way that they open. We can balance both the priority of the health needs of the country with the priority of the economic needs," Johnson continued.

"In fact, if we don't start getting people back to work, then we've got 30 million people applying for unemployment, and people are now concerned about how they will feed their families. So we have to balance both in a responsible and thoughtful way."

"We are managing this in 82 markets around the world…and we’ve taken what we’ve learned and adapted it for the U.S."

— Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, 'The Daily Briefing' 

In order to offer these modified services, Starbucks is taking a number of actions to protect is employees and guests. The company is providing all its locations with protective equipment, including facial coverings and gloves. Additionally, employees will have to check in prior to the start of their shift and check their temperature.

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The coffee giant will also enhance cleaning and sanitation procedures in its locations.

"We have to be concerned about both the health crisis and what could evolve potentially into a humanitarian crisis," warned Johnson.

"That requires us to be thoughtful and responsible in how we do this. All the work that we’ve done over the last several months, in partnering with health officials, with the CDC, to ensure we have...the proper safety protocols," will enable the company to "open back in a way that creates safe experiences for our customers."

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"Every business is unique ... they’ve got to think about what works for them, but we’re confident we've landed on something that is working for Starbucks," Johnson told viewers.

"We are managing this in 82 markets around the world ... and we’ve taken what we’ve learned and adapted it for the U.S."

Fox Business' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.