Starbucks staff members were informed that the coffee giant would need to start cutting hours due to the ripple effects of COVID-19.

News that Starbucks would need to start cutting partner hours came out in an open letter online after the second quarter financial report was released. Months of closures, new social distancing regulations, and overall dips in national sales all led to the decision. 

"Our intent is to keep partners safe and employed as we rebuild our business, safely and responsibly. I am especially grateful for all the partners – in our stores, and our support centers – who continue to work around the clock to reimagine what’s possible as we modify stores and adapt to new ways of operating. Yet, even as we re-open more than 85% of our stores here in the U.S., and know from our experience in China, we are not immune to the widespread economic impacts of COVID-19.

Customer routines and occasions have changed – for all retailers – and it will take some time to recover. As many of you are already seeing, the need for modified operations and reduced store hours as well as economic impacts and shifted consumer behaviors are unfortunately impacting our partner hours."

—Rossann Williams, Starbucks Executive Vice President and President U.S.-company operated and Canada

Employees, known within the corporation as "partners," will be given several options during this difficult period:

  • Continue to work with reduced hours.
  • Take unpaid leave through September 30, known as the new COVID-19 Leave of Absence. The employees who choose this option will continue to accrue 20 hours per week toward their benefit eligibility and the corporation will continue to pay for health insurance premiums during the leave period.
  • Leave the company entirely.

Starbucks locations all over the country are experiencing shorter hours and diminished foot traffic. Gone are the days of hanging out for hours at your local coffee shop, sipping and snacking away.

Though over 85 percent of the Starbucks storefronts have reopened, slower sales are seen in the takeout, drive-through, and curbside service models.


Courtesy of Starbucks

Read more about the announcement in the open letter to employees here.

What do you think about this latest business move? Will Starbucks be able to bounce back to the way things were before? Sound off in the comments!