Coffee retail giant Starbucks has suspended its ‘Happy Hour’ promotions offering buy-one-get-one or BOGO drinks, citing concerns of overcrowding as covid-19 cases increase.
The company will not be conducting its next planned Happy Hours, scheduled for December 17 and January 7. In last December, the coffee chain had conducted the monthly Happy Hour events in each week of the month.
Instead of Happy Hour events, Starbucks reportedly will offer more “Double Star Days” for its loyalty program members.
Reuters quoted an internal memo as saying, “with the anticipated rise in cases as a result of holiday travel and the latest guidance from the scientific community to not gather indoors in large groups for a prolonged period of time, we feel it is best to pause Happy Hours.”
The company said it will now reassess future plans as it continues to monitor the situation.
Starbucks workers reportedly were alerted to the change on December 1 through a memo.
Starbucks’ monthly Happy Hour promotion offers one free drink with all handcrafted beverages, sizes grande or larger on select Thursdays, during Happy Hours from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The company, which had halted the Happy Hour events at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, reintroduced the deals on June 18 with free drinks.
Starbucks had temporarily closed most of its US stores earlier this year amid the worsening coronavirus crisis. The company also shortened operating hours at some locations, and offers convenient order and pick up options including mobile order, Drive-Thru, and curbside pickup, to maintain social distancing.
The company in June had revealed its plans to close up to 400 company-owned locations in the U.S. over the next 18 months. In July, Starbucks said its business was steadily recovering globally as most of its outlets reopened.
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