or hearing-impaired caffeine fiends in Guangzhou, getting their morning cup of joe has become much easier with the opening of Starbucks’ first “signing store” in China.
The outlet opened at the Oriental Wende Plaza in the city’s Yuexiu district on Sunday, which marked China’s 29th annual National Day for Helping the Disabled. It aims to raise awareness for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community by employing baristas with hearing challenges. All staff at the store can communicate in sign language.
In addition, the store is equipped with a brand new “easy ordering” system that uses writing pads and double-sided display screens. All food and drinks are number-marked so that customers can finish ordering without ever opening their mouths, according to Starbucks.
In addition, the store boasts a new line of products such as notebooks and mugs that were designed by hearing-impaired artists and will offer sign language lessons along with coffee-making workshops taught in sign language.
This is Starbucks’ third “signing store” worldwide, following openings in Kuala Lumpur and Washington, DC. Leo Tso, chief operating officer of Starbucks China, touted it as perhaps the “quietest” of the company’s 3,800 locations across the Chinese mainland.
The store is one of a number of high-profile openings for Starbucks in the Middle Kingdom which has also seen the launch of the world’s biggest Starbucks and a fancy “Reserve Bakery Cafe” in Shanghai. The chain is aiming to double its number of outlets in China by 2022.
[Images via Starbucks]