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Starbucks CDMX Store 'Perks Up' Senior Citizens' Lives

September 7, 2018

Starbucks said the opening builds on an employment agreement it signed with the National Institute for Older Persons (INAPAM) in 2011 to offer seniors job opportunities that will improve their quality of life.

Mexico City - Starbucks customers in Mexico City may notice something distinct about one particular coffee shop's new employees: They're all senior citizens.

The new coffee shop is part of the company's push to provide more job opportunities for seniors, Mexican news agency Notimex reported on August 28.

Located in the Colonia del Valle neighborhood, the store has seven employees who are between 55 and 60 years old. It's currently also staffed with younger employees who are training their older counterparts to eventually run the location themselves.

The chain is also working to promote interaction with the elderly, since their stores are traditionally staffed by young people and students. "Starbucks celebrates its commitment to providing opportunities to everyone and being a multi-generations company that embraces diversity and inclusion and welcomes everyone who is seeking employment," the company told The Washington Post in a statement.

Starbucks said the opening builds on an employment agreement it signed with the National Institute for Older Persons (INAPAM) in 2011 to offer job opportunities to seniors that will help boost their quality of life.

People 60 and older made up 10 percent of Mexico's population in 2017, but that figure is expected to more than double to 25 percent by 2050, the United Nations projected. Mexico's expanding senior population may also become vulnerable to poverty, according to a Rand Corporation study.

There are currently about 65 seniors among the 7,000 "partners" who work at Starbucks in Mexico, and the company hopes to increase that segment of the workforce to 120 by the end of the year, the CEO of Starbucks Mexico told Notimex.

Starbucks has also made some alterations to help accommodate the older staff. Their work shifts are limited to 6.5 hours per day and they receive at least two days off a week. Also, Starbucks is looking to employ them in locations that are only one floor and have lowered shelves. The seniors also receive medical insurance like all employees.

"It took us two years to land the best scheme to contribute to the elderly community in Mexico, opening the doors of our stores to senior baristas was not a goal, it was an act of congruence with the inclusion philosophy of Starbucks," CEO Christian Gurría said.

"It's becoming more difficult to employee people over 40, but the need to keep elderly people in work exists," Gurría said. "If the opportunity is there, I'm happy to help."

Sources: NotimexTodayThe Washington Post