Lonely Planet Writer

A new Starbucks in Mexico is entirely staffed by seniors

If you are visiting Corporativo Coyoacán in Mexico City and fancy a coffee and cake, pop into the new Starbucks and you’ll be in for a surprise. In what seems like a wonderful initiative, the store is entirely staffed by seniors aged between 50 and 65, as part of a collaboration between Starbucks and Mexico’s older person’s agency, Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores (INAPAM).

Starbucks in Mexico City will be entirely staffed by seniors. Image: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

While 14 seniors work at this store, Starbucks aims to employ 120 seniors across the country by the end of 2019. Employees must be 55 or older to work at the new café, fulfilling a 2011 initiative between INAPAM and Starbucks to improve the working conditions of older people and to offer them opportunities for improved levels of well-being and quality of life. In return, they get the benefit of employees with experience, people skills and wisdom accrued over their careers.

Starbucks aims to employ 120 seniors across Mexico by the end of 2019. Image: Starbucks

The seniors at the new café have two days off per week and their shifts are capped at six-and-a-half hours. Their package includes medical insurance for major expenses, and minor adjustments, such as lowered shelves, have been made to the café’s layout to reduce the risk of them injuring themselves. Senior team members employed in the future will be placed in single-storey branches of the chain.

Starbucks employs 14 seniors at its café in Mexico City. Image Starbucks

This initiative is particularly welcome in Mexico, which has 12.4 million people over 60 in the country. “It took us two years to get the best scheme off the ground to contribute to the community of older adults in Mexico,” said Christian Gurria, director of Starbucks Mexico. “Opening our doors to older adult baristas was not a special goal, it is congruent with Starbucks’ philosophy of inclusion.”