Malaysia appears to be the preferred choice for Starbucks’ Signing Store yet again! The world-renowned coffee chain opened its new outlet this time in Penang to promote inclusivity at the workplace – even the front of the store has the word ‘Starbucks’ in sign language!
This is the fourth outlet in the world with two outlets located in Washington D.C. and Guangzhou, China and another outlet in Bangsar, Malaysia.
Run entirely by 6 deaf baristas and 7 other employees who are known as ‘hearing partners’ and fluent in Malaysian Sign Language, these folks are ready to whip up a good cuppa! Other unique opportunities available to the special needs staff include professional training and development courses, sign language classes and internships.
What’s more amazing is the fact that hearing-impaired baristas get to be part of the Coffee Masters Programme to increase their knowledge on the art of coffee-making and their barista craft as well as other career development seminars!
According to The Star, Razman Tan Abdullah, President of the Penang Deaf Association, “Starbucks stores are a place for many kinds of people to come together, and we’re proud to invite everyone to experience the vibrant deaf culture that has thrived here in Penang for over 70 years.”
Meanwhile, Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei managing director Sydney Quays added that “by valuing the perspectives that people with disabilities bring into the workplace, we are able to provide a uniquely uplifting experience that made people feel represented and give them a sense of belonging.”
Here are just some of the unique features of the Penang outlet which makes for a memorable customer experience!
- visual alarms, point-of-sale systems with attached customer displays and digital trays.
- mural wall in the store featuring artwork by local hearing-impaired artist, Lim Anuar.
- one-of-a kind merchandise featuring images representing sign language.
- Don’t know sign language? Fret not, customers can still place orders by marking a simple menu card and passing it to the barista.
Deaf partners also use handwritten notes to communicate with customers. Every order placed will be assigned a number on the receipt. Once a beverage has been prepared, the assigned number is displayed on a screen when the order is ready for collection.
Kudos to Starbucks for celebrating inclusivity at the workplace!
*Featured image sourced from Business Insider, Malaysia