The coffee chain Starbucks has opened its first cafe in Mexico and Latin America that is completely operated by staff aged over 60.
Located in the Colonia del Valle neighborhood of Mexico City, the store opened its doors Tuesday.
Starbucks Mexico CEO Christian Gurría told the news agency Notimex that the aim of the new store is to provide employment opportunities for seniors that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
A team of 14 workers aged between 60 and 65 will work at the cafe.
Gurría said that 65 of the company’s 7,000 employees, or “partners,” are older adults but added that the goal is to reach 120 senior workers by next year.
He explained that to make the senior employee program a success and to ensure workers’ safety, Starbucks only employs older workers at single-story branches and has adopted measures such as lowering shelves and limiting shifts to a maximum of 6.5 hours.
The company also provides senior employees with insurance for major medical expenses and guarantees them two days off per week.
Since 2011, Starbucks has collaborated with the National Institute for the Elderly (Inapam) to design a pilot program which provides adequate working conditions for senior employees.
Starbucks and Inapam also signed an agreement in 2013 that is intended to provide ongoing employment opportunities for older Mexicans.
“I’m very happy and grateful to be part of this beautiful Inapam-Starbucks project that gives me the opportunity to learn something so different and removed from what I did before,” said employee Carmen Lazo.
“I’m excited about what’s to come, I’ve always liked to give my best effort in everything I do and this time will not be the exception,” she added.
“. . . Opening the doors of our stores to senior baristas was not a goal, it was an act of congruence with Starbucks’ philosophy of inclusion,” Gurría explained.
Source: Notimex (sp)