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March 19, 2020

Starbucks: virus Plan from China Will Work Here

Yahoo: "While for many U.S. restaurants it seems the sky is crashing down, Starbucks Corp. has a unique perspective after having gone through the same thing in China. Their chief executive officer’s message is this: If the strategy to contain coronavirus worked in China, it will work in North America too. “Our team in China defined elevated cleaning protocols for stores,” CEO Kevin Johnson told investors during a webcast for health reasons. “They basically created a model we are now using around the world, and we know that model worked.” The company now expects 95% of its China stores to be open in some form by the end of March. Currently 90% are open, although many are operating with reduced hours. For context, the virus began sparking widespread alarm and disrupting daily life in China in the second half of January. In the U.S., Starbucks is paying more workers to ensure its stores are cleaned more frequently. It’s also guaranteeing pay for any hourly workers who have come in to contact with the virus and need to stay home. The company has moved to close some locations and operate the rest via carryout, drive-thru or delivery... Facing weeks or months of being closed or carryout only, the National Restaurant Association today called on President Trump for relief measures, including tax credits, tax cuts and access to loans and funding. While immediate aid may be needed for much of the industry, Starbucks’ CEO assured that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.“We have a strong balance sheet, great partners and great resolve to come out of this,” Johnson said."

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