- Starbucks is closing all its dining rooms in Cleveland, a company spokesperson told Cleveland.com.
- The spokesperson said the decision was based on local COVID-19 factors.
- Other restaurants and stores have been cutting their opening hours as staff call out sick.
Starbucks is closing all its dining rooms in Cleveland, Ohio as the number of COVID-19 cases rise.
Stores in the area will only serve to-go orders from Wednesday, January 12, a company spokesperson told Cleveland.com.
Customers can still order in store, on the Starbucks app, and at the drive-thru, but won’t be able to consume their sandwiches and drinks in the lobby, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the decision was based on local COVID-19 factors.
“As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, local leaders can, and do, scale operations based on partner availability and local COVID-19 factors,” the spokesperson told Cleveland.com.
Starbucks did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.
Other restaurants and stores have been cutting their opening hours and limiting services because of rising COVID-19 cases. Nike, Walmart, and Macy’s are among the companies reducing hours as more staff call off sick with the virus.
Coronavirus cases are soaring across the US. Ohio’s seven-day moving average of new cases hit a record high of 22,000 on Saturday, though this has since fallen to 19,000, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. In comparison, at the height of last winter’s peak, the state’s seven-day moving average reached 12,529.
The rise in cases comes amid the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Studies suggest that the variant is more transmissible than previous variants like Delta, though some data suggests that its symptoms appear milder.
Growing staff sickness isn’t the only staffing headache that retailers and restaurants are facing.
Employers say they’re still struggling to find enough workers amid record quit rates, forcing some restaurants to slash opening hours, scale back their menus, ditch on-site dining, and hike up prices. Americans have been leaving their jobs to find better wages, benefits, and working hours, return to education, switch industries, or take early retirement.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said at the company’s earnings call in October that some stores had cut back on evening hours because of a lack of staff.