Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has had to rapidly evolve its response to the growing coronavirus pandemic. The chain has been paying workers in stores that have fully closed, offered sick leave to employees who contract, or think they may have contracted, the coronavirus, and it has increased the hourly rate of all working employees by $3 per hour.
The coffee chain has also moved to a drive-through and delivery model in its stores that have remained open. Now, Starbucks has made a bold move to help those on the front lines of the current pandemic.
What is Starbucks doing?
The coffee giant has decided to offer free coffee to a wide range of frontline workers and first responders. Starbucks laid out the details of the offer in an emailed press release:
"Free brewed coffee for frontline responders to COVID-19: Until May 3, any customer who identifies as a first responder or frontline worker supporting our healthcare system will receive tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at no charge -- including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff and medical researchers."
In addition, the Starbucks Foundation will donate $500,000 to frontline responders. According to the press release, $250,000 will "support delivery of 50,000 care packages to healthcare workers" and the other $250,000 will go toward "Direct Relief to support delivery of personal protective equipment and essential medical items."
Every cup helps
While it's a small gesture, overworked medical personnel and frontline workers will likely appreciate the comfort that comes from a cup of coffee. This is Starbucks doing its part to support the work that many people must continue to do even while others have to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.