Starbucks Opens New Cafe Staffed Entirely by Senior Citizens

published Sep 5, 2018
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(Image credit: somjade dachklung)

A newly opened Starbucks cafe staffed entirely by senior citizens has opened in Mexico City, perhaps another sign that the company is making good on promises to create a more inclusive workforce.

According to WXPI, Starbucks partnered with the National Institute for the Elderly to “spearhead a program of labor inclusion,” giving its older adults an income boost at the same time. Currently, only seven seniors are employed at the store, all between the ages of 55 and 66 (although they are currently being trained by a younger contingent of staffers).

If you’re worried about the elderly employees’ well-being, know that Starbucks has their backs: The seniors only work six-and-a-half-hour shifts, and are guaranteed two days off per week. Plus, their medical needs are fully covered by insurance.

Starbucks’ Plan to Be a More Inclusive Workspace

Starbucks’ Mexico locations already employ around 65 seniors, and the company’s goal is to hire 120 more by the end of the year. Starbucks has made some changes to accommodate the special needs of its older employees, as Yahoo reports: Branches where the elderly work are one floor, and the shelves have been lowered.

The store run by senior citizens comes in the wake of Starbucks’ recent commitment to create a more accepting and diverse workforce. Back in July, the company announced that it plans to open a second store staffed by deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Washington, D.C. (the first is in Malaysia), and in May employees underwent “racial bias training.”

Why This Kind of Opportunity Is Needed

In an ideal world, senior citizens who want to stop working should be able to comfortably enjoy that lifestyle. But the reality is that some of them (those who may still be supporting their families, for instance) still need extra money, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. If they want to work they should have the opportunity to do so, without feeling shut out of the economy because of their age.

Starbucks’ efforts to support people who might otherwise not being able to find work should be applauded.