Starbucks opens cafe staffed entirely by elderly people


07 September 2018|26 Dhul Hijjah 1439|Independent

Starbucks has opened a cafe in Mexico City that will hire exclusively elderly staff.

The coffee chain has been working with the National Institute for the Elderly since 2011 in order to launch an initiative that offers senior citizens more employment opportunities.

This particular branch, which is based in the Colonia del Valle neighbourhood, has taken on 14 people between the ages of 50 and 66 as part of the programme thus far.

Shifts will be capped at six-and-a-half hours and employees will be entitled to medical insurance for major expenses.

They will also be given two days off each week and will be trained by younger employees until they feel confident enough to go it alone.

The cafe will operate much like any other normal Starbucks with the exception of minor adjustments made to the store’s layout – such as lowered shelves – to reduce the risk of employees injuring themselves.

“It took us two years to land the best scheme to contribute to the elderly community in Mexico,” explains Christian Gurría, CEO of Starbucks Mexico.

“Opening the doors of our stores to senior baristas was not a goal, it was an act of congruence with the inclusion philosophy of Starbucks,” he told Mexican news agency Notimex.

“It’s becoming more difficult to employ people over 40 years of age, but the need to keep elderly people in work exists.

“If the opportunity is there I’m happy to help.”

This particular branch is frequently visited by young people and students and the aim is to encourage interactions between them and the elderly staff.

Gurría added that he hopes to expand Starbucks’ elderly employment initiative by hiring at least 120 senior citizens in Mexican branches by the end of 2019.