Starbucks pausing use of personal cups due to coronavirus concerns

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 22:53:20-05

Starbucks will pause the use of personal cups due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the company's EVP and president of company-operated business in the United States and Canada said in an open letter Wednesday.

"First and foremost, the health and well-being of our partners and customers remains top of mind and our highest priority, and we will continue to act thoughtfully and courageously despite the disruption and uncertainty COVID-19 brings to our daily lives. As part of communities worldwide, we are navigating this situation with nimbleness, learning and adapting as new information is made available," Rossann Williams wrote.

Starbucks will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for "for here" ware, she said.

Williams said the company's two key priorities include caring for the health and well-being of its partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus.

In addition to the new policy on personal cups, she added that Starbucks has already taken the following precautionary steps in response to the outbreak:

  • Taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities, increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs, adding paid time for the company's partners supporting this work
  • Pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in stores. The company will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for “for here” ware
  • Provided scenario-based procedural information to store teams on how to report and support anyone who may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support
  • Restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31
  • Modified or postponed large meetings across Starbucks offices in the U.S. and Canada.

"We’ll continue to do what is right for our customers and partners. Our hope – as always – is that after this is over partners will look back and say, ‘I can’t believe I work for a company that cared so much for me, my family and my community,'" Williams wrote.

Related: Amazon says employee has tested positive for coronavirus

Click here to read the entire open letter.