Blue Bottle Coffee closes all 71 of its stores temporarily in response to the Coronavirus. They are the largest coffee chain in the US to take this step. While Starbucks has closed some stores, many others have moved to a takeaway model and remained open, although this is not something that pleases everyone – their employees have signed a petition asking that they are allowed to stay at home!
In a statement, Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan said “While we wish we could remain open to offer you a safe haven in these uncertain times, we simply do not have the benefit of enough information to ensure our public spaces are safe,”
Outside of the US, Japanese and Korean shops continued to operate with Meehan stating “we believe it is currently safe to operate there with the enhanced health and wellness measures we have implemented.” We’re not sure what wellness measures they could have implemented in Japan that they couldn’t implement in the US, and that statement sounds a bit strange, but perhaps someone will clarify the reasoning.