In an endeavor to encourage diversity and inclusivity, Starbucks has opened a new ‘silent cafe’ in the Yuexiu district of Guangzhou in China. In this Starbucks store, more than half of the employees are hearing impaired.
Starbucks has over 3,800 of its stores across China, and this is possibly the quietest. Fourteen of its thirty employees are hearing impaired.
Also aimed at encouraging customers to learn more about the hearing impaired community, the store is designed in a unique manner. Sign language symbols and indicators are fixed across the store.
Further, the store uses a special ordering system, whereby customers can place their orders without speaking a single word. For instance, all the food and beverage items are numbered. This helps customers order items of their choice easily and effectively. If customers have any special needs and requests, they can write them down on notepads.
Also, two-way digital displays will facilitate easy communication between customers and employees.
But that’s not all. In a bid to create more professional and work opportunities for the hearing impaired community, the store will provide lessons on sign language and coffee workshops in sign language in partnership with the Guangdong Deaf People Association.
This, however, is not the first ‘signing store’ of this brand. The first Starbucks signing store was opened in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2016 while the second opened in Washington D.C in October 2018.
Isn’t this a wonderful example of inclusivity? Don’t you think other brands must follow suit? Do let us know your thoughts on the same.
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