Starbucks China has opened up its first-ever signing store in Guangzhou, Guangdong province that is dedicated to offering employment and career advancement opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The Starbucks branch opened its doors at the Oriental Wende Plaza in Guangzhou city’s Yuexiu district on Sunday, which was also the 29th anniversary of China’s National Day for Helping the Disabled, according to Shanghaiist.
“As a coffee leader deeply rooted in China, for China, Starbucks is committed to creating equal opportunities for everyone, as well as a unique third place experience that addresses a wide range of community needs. The new Signing Store is an example of how we are building inclusive environments and careers for our partners,” chief executive officer of Starbucks China, Belinda Wong, said in the press release.
“This store truly creates a sense of belonging for everyone and is a strong testament to our continued commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive working environment.”
Starbucks China has equipped the store with a brand new “easy ordering” system where customers can write down their order on writing pads. This system also uses double-sided display screens and number-marked food and drinks so that customers can place their orders without ever opening their mouths.
There are also vibrating pagers that will be given to the customers when their orders are ready for pick up.
The branch wants to encourage those who want to learn more about the deaf community and therefore, offers sign language lessons and coffee workshops for the hearing impaired, the press release noted.
On top of the workshop, the Starbucks store also features artwork and merchandise created and designed by deaf artists like the art piece hanged on the wall that shows the sign gesture for love.
There are also sign language symbols printed on the umbrellas in front of the store and on the aprons of baristas with the word “Starbucks.”
“The Guangdong Deaf People Association is proud to partner with Starbucks to provide training and opportunities for the Deaf and hard of hearing community,” Yitao Fan, vice chairman of China’s Deaf People Association & President of Guangdong Deaf People Association, said in the press release.
“Thanks to Starbucks, Deaf partners are empowered to develop their careers in a vibrant and supportive environment, while the store provides a strong platform to drive societal awareness around Deaf Culture and the needs of the community.”
While this may be the first Starbucks “sign store” in China, the company has already opened two other branches — one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and another in Washington DC.
Images via Starbucks Press Release