Starbucks is unrolling their “monitor and adapt” strategy to reopen many of their chain locations in the United Stated now after their mid-March closures.
CEO Kevin Johnson informed the company in an open letter that the re-launch means “every community will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation” and decide when to fully reopen more locations depending on neighborhood conditions.
Johnson agreed the decision is a “human one,” based on a myriad of changing information. But field location managers will assess each situation in their areas based on four main criteria: “the local status of the public health crisis, guidance from health and government officials, community sentiment and store operational readiness.”
Starbucks started reopening stores in China based on these kinds of factors, Johnson said.
In the United Stated many of the company’s 15,000 stores have already transitioned to drive-thru only, while other locations are offering alternative pickup, curbside delivery and at-home delivery.
“As was the case in China, [monitor and adapt] means we will gradually expand and shift the customer experiences we enable in our stores,” Johnson added. So some stores will continue as drive-thru only, others will let customers order on the mobile app for contactless pickup and delivery, and still others may reopen for “to-go” orders.
“As we experienced in China, this will be a journey and we are thoughtfully preparing for this next phase as we adapt in the U.S.,” Johnson said.
He explained that 60% of Starbucks’ US stores have a drive-thru, and 80% of orders were already being placed “on-the-go” before the pandemic hit.
Starbucks (SBUX) warned last week that its upcoming earnings will be slashed in half because of the virus. Shares are down 17% this year.