Amid staffing shortages, reopening Starbucks is a tall order

Feb. 3, 2022, 5:00 p.m.

The Tresidder Starbucks temporarily closed on Tuesday, Jan. 25 because staff were “unavailable due to COVID-19,” according to Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) senior account manager Andrea Fleming Martin.

Starbucks will reopen this Saturday, Feb. 5, and its operating hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Students will continue to use the Starbucks mobile app to place orders, with the exception of those who cannot access the app on their phone, Martin said.

The Tresidder Starbucks’ temporary closure is the latest in a series of recent changes to campus dining. Independent dining facilities in Yost, Murray and EAST reopened in late January following COVID-related closures. Stern and Wilbur lunch specials have been temporarily discontinued. And late-night dining operations remain indefinitely closed. Many of these changes are due to challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It sucks,” Jessica Quiroz ’23 said in an interview with The Daily. A regular customer, she recently was unable to order on the mobile app and visited Starbucks to place an order in person, only to find out that it was closed. “As a student, I feel like I kind of need caffeine to function.”

Quiroz said that as someone who is “very coffee reliant,” she sometimes plans studying and other parts of her day around a trip to Starbucks. A few of her friends do the same thing. “It might throw some of us off,” Quiroz said.

Mathieu Johnson ’25 echoed Quiroz’s disappointment. He found out that the Tresidder Starbucks was closed after seeing signs on the doors.

“It was unexpected to me because a lot of other places are already opening, or they were about to reopen,” Johnson said. “And Starbucks was already open and then closed.”

Although Johnson does not frequent the Tresidder Starbucks, he said that the closure impacts other students because the Starbucks is very convenient, and because besides Coffee House, there are few additional options on campus.

“If any other place in Tresidder closed as well, then I would probably be equally as disappointed as well, even if I don’t go there,” Johnson said.

The closure reflects R&DE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, R&DE has “proactively worked with café operators regarding enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and safety procedures and additional protocols,” Martin wrote. R&DE also offers online and mobile app ordering and touchless payment options, and brand café operators are required to follow local, county and state COVID-19 requirements such as indoor mask mandates, according to Martin.

The Tresidder Starbucks first opened in August 2012. It is the first company-owned Starbucks on a university campus, according to the Residential & Dining Enterprises website.

Anne Li '24 is a news desk editor, staff writer and former beat reporter. Contact her at news ‘at’

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