Starbucks opens branch for people with disabilities

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Starbucks opens branch for people with disabilities

An employee from Starbucks Korea receives an order from a customer who orders an Iced Americano through an electronic notepad. [STARBUCKS KOREA]

An employee from Starbucks Korea receives an order from a customer who orders an Iced Americano through an electronic notepad. [STARBUCKS KOREA]

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Thursday, Starbucks Korea has opened a branch in central Seoul that aims to improve the awareness of people with disabilities.  
 
Located inside Seoul National University Dental Hospital (Snudh) in Jongno District, central Seoul, the cafe will expand job opportunities for people with disabilities and create an environment where all people will be welcome without prejudice, according to Starbucks Korea.
 
Starbucks Korea said half the workers at the branch will be persons with disabilities. Of 12 current employees, six are people with disabilities.
 
The establishment of the new branch was made in partnership with Snudh and Korea Employment Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
 
The coffee chain also said a portion of the branch’s sales will be donated to Snudh's central oral health center for disabled people — the three groups will have a discussion to decide the percentage. The money will be used toward dental surgery for low-income people with disabilities.
 
The branch offers Braille menus and Braille guidance. Also, it introduced a movable point of sale system using tablets so that customers who have mobility difficulties can easily check their orders.
 
“Opening of the Snudh branch is being watched by all Starbucks branches across the world in terms of realizing Starbucks’ mission and value that focuses on achieving balance with local communities,” Song Ho-seob, CEO of Starbucks Korea, said on Thursday’s report. “We will try our best to realize a space in which all people can be welcomed through various campaigns that the Snudh branch is planning to hold.”
 
Starbucks Korea plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Snudh and Korea Employment Agency for Persons with Disabilities in order to come up with specific measures for promoting employment opportunities and improving awareness for people with disabilities as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic stabilizes.
 
BY CHEA SARAH   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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