Starbucks' ‘Silent Café‘ has opened in China
- A 'silent' Starbucks has opened its doors in China
- New initiative aims empowers people with disabilities
- Starbucks in Guangzhou has hired only the hearing impaired staff
- New ordering system allows customers and staff to communicate without words
As an initiative to support the employment of disabled people in Guangzhou, Starbucks has opened a ‘Silent Café‘ where almost half the staff are hearing impaired.
Fourteen out of the thirty staff members have trouble hearing, and so Starbucks has created an outlet that doesn't require customers to say anything - nor the staff to hear anything. “This might be the quietest Starbucks over the 3,800 shops on the Chinese mainland,” says Leo Tsoi, Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks, China.
The newly opened 'silent café' has a special ordering system where all food and beverages are numbered, lettings customers write down their order along with specific requests allowing them to efficiently place orders without having to say a word.
Chen Siting, a staff member shares her thoughts about the concept, "We cannot hear you but would like to share a tasty coffee with you," says Siting. "I believe more people like me could find a career they are passionate about in the future," she continues.
Like Siting, Zhu Jieying, is also hearing impaired, making him Starbucks’ first hearing impaired coffee master. Jieying has been working at Starbucks for approximately seven years. Jieying has hopes that the initiative could open more opportunities for those who are disabled, and encourage them to prove themselves and encourage them to explore more possibilities in life and the work front.