Starbucks

As Starbucks Locations Reopen, Workers Question Risking Their Life for Coffee

“We’re not forcing anyone to come back, but it is a managed risk,” said one manager. “We have no idea which customers have been following procedures or who has been in hospitals”

Starbucks employee
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Restless coffee addicts emerging from lockdowns are doubtlessly cheering the return of some normalcy, after Starbucks said it would be reopening almost 90 percent of its locations by June 1.

But many employees are questioning why a company known for its highly personalized drinks is opting for a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to nationwide reopenings amid a public health crisis.

"It seems to be bad to reopen when you have an ongoing worsening pandemic," said one barista in Chicago who is currently on quarantine after his manager came down with a fever.

At a time when few other companies have made a definitive public statement about their timeline, Starbucks began reopening stores May 4, with new sanitation and safety protocols that include worker temperature and health checks, required masks, closed seating areas and only drive-thru or mobile orders.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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