All Starbucks locations will require customers to wear masks as of July 15, making the coffee giant the first national restaurant chain to require face masks.
The company made a statement about the new policy on July 9, writing, “In its continued effort in prioritizing the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers, Starbucks today announced that beginning on July 15, it will be requiring customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned café locations in the US.”
At the moment, face mask policies vary from state to state and county to county. Certain Starbucks cafes have already required face masks in alignment with local ordinances. In San Diego, for example, one Starbucks employee refused to serve a customer who wasn’t wearing a mask. Face masks are required in public in San Diego County, except for people who have a health condition that prevents them from wearing one.
Employees won’t be required to refuse to serve customers without masks. Instead, those customers will be asked to either put a mask on or use drive-thru or curbside pickup options to get their coffee.
While Starbucks is the first national restaurant chain to require masks, it’s one of a handful of national chains to require face masks in all locations across the country.
Costco began requiring face masks on May 4. “We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Costco president and CEO Craig Jelinek wrote in a statement.
Apple made a similar announcement on May 17 as stores began to reopen worldwide. The company said they will “provide [masks] to customers who don’t bring their own.”
Other businesses have also put face mask requirements in place, including AMC Theaters, Walt Disney World and American Eagle. Many business have instituted additional safety precautions, such as temperature checks and social distance guidelines.