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America's Largest Coffee Chain Is Now Requiring All Customers to Wear Masks

Coffee-lovers will no longer be able to order their morning cup of joe at this chain without a face covering.
starbucks coffee

Starbucks will be the first national restaurant chain to require customers to wear masks while inside store locations nationwide.

"In our continued effort in prioritizing the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers, beginning on July 15, we will be requiring customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned café locations in the US," Starbucks representative Reggie Borges said in a statement to Business Insider.

Currently, many independent restaurants across the nation are recommending customers to wear masks, if not refusing to serve them if they don't comply. No such national restaurant chain has made the same call, until now. Instead of denying customers who don't adhere to the new rule, employees will ask them to put on a mask or direct them toward an alternative ordering option. This includes the drive-thru window or curbside pickup.

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In the event that a customer outwardly rejects an employee's commands or even worse, begins to harass them, staff have been trained on de-escalation practices. The announcement comes a week in advance of when it will be required for all locations to enforce this rule. This way, management has time to put signs up and let people know about the upcoming changes.

Business Insider also reports that a model from the University of Washington demonstrates that if 95% if the U.S. population wore face masks when out in public, 33,00 deaths could potentially be prevented. Still, many customers remain anti-mask and have become violent at other chains. For example, a 19-year-old worker at a McDonald's in Oakland, California was recently assaulted after asking a customer to put on a face covering.

Hopefully, Starbucks employees don't receive much backlash from customers—especially, with a week's notice in advance. After all, if patrons are against wearing a mask, they can still get their Mocha Frappuccino through the drive-thru window.

For more, read up on 5 Horrifying Mistakes Servers Have Seen at Reopened Restaurants.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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