The renowned coffee shop chain announced opening the first of its kind facility with an inclusive design in Seoul, South Korea.
The new cafe, located at Seoul National University Dental Hospital (SNUDH), demonstrates Starbucks' commitment to diversity and equality. It also enhances career opportunities for people with disabilities.
The new facility's opening was made possible by its collaboration with organizations such as the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for People with Disabilities (KEPAD), which began in 2012. According to David Song, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Korea: "The opening of the store, which focuses on inclusive design, marks an important moment for Starbucks in South Korea and around the world." Song hopes that other companies, both in Korea and elsewhere, will follow suit.
Half of the new inclusive space employees are people with disabilities, and they hold positions at almost all levels. Thanks to the partnership with KEPAD, all employees receive individual training, including basic Korean sign language expressions.
It should be noted here that you can't just open an institution and declare it designed for people with disabilities. There are many different nuances to consider. Starbucks' design laboratory in South Korea created the project. Members of the disabled community helped test a unique bar that optimizes space for employees using auxiliary vehicles such as wheelchairs.
Other unique features of the new cafe include a POS terminal with two monitors, one of which is rolled out to the customer's side, a mobile POS terminal, a speech-to-text system, and various digital signage and Braille menus. All doors in the place are open automatically. At the same time, the company will continue to collect information that will make the institution even more convenient for visitors.
According to a statement from Starbucks Coffee Korea representatives, the new cafe will host various seminars and other events focused on people with disabilities.