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Starbucks is speeding up its plans to upgrade U.S. stores with convenient service options for safety-minded customers as it looks to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced on Wednesday.
The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain will add on-the-go options such as drive-thru access, curbside pickup and walkup windows at hundreds of company-owned store locations to accommodate customers in the age of social distancing. The new service options will be integrated with the Starbucks app and implemented at stores over the next 18 months, well ahead of Starbucks’ original timetable of three to five years.
In addition, a number of Starbucks Pickup stores will open in densely populated cities such as New York, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco after a successful pilot program in Manhattan’s Penn Plaza. The new streamlined store format allows customers to avoid long lines by ordering and paying ahead on the Starbucks app.