Why Your Local Starbucks May Be Changing Its Hours

Have you been craving your favorite Starbucks drink, spent the whole first part of your morning getting excited for your caramel macchiato or chocolatey frappuccino, only to realize that the cafe is closed when you arrive? Or maybe you've logged into the app to place an order to go pick up in the perfectly timed walk between your bus stop and work, only to see that the store isn't taking orders because it is closed.

This may be happening more and more around the country. In the Starbucks Reddit, which is unofficial and not affiliated with the company, a customer posted about their local store being closed at unpredictable times and having fluctuating hours. "My regular Starbucks has been changing their store hours to weird times for the last month or so. One week last month they were only open from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., right now they're only open from noon to 6:00 p.m." The customer posted, "What's that about?" After Starbucks made the decision to permanently close upwards of 600 stores across the US and Canada and move towards new strategies to meet their customer's needs, it now seems like many Starbucks stores are changing their hours unexpectedly (via QSR).

However, there is a good reason you might be noticing your local store is closed on certain days of the week, or at different times during the day. 

The reason some Starbucks stores are changing hours

While it's easy to speculate on why local Starbucks stores would change their hours as part of a larger corporate plan, the reality of the situation is probably much simpler. As the world continues to move through the effects of the pandemic, the US is experiencing a labor shortage that is greatly impacting the food service industry. This is making it difficult for many restaurants, Starbucks included, to operate at the level customers are used to.

According to Business Insider, local Starbucks stores have the power to modify their hours as needed without direction from corporate. When the stores are short staffed and don't have enough workers to cover a full schedule, the solution is often to modify what hours the store is open. Some locations, like two on the University of Alabama campus, closed the dining areas and were limited to drive-thru operations only. Others, like one in Ohio, are closed two days out of the week due to the lack of workers.

The labor shortage continues to affect the entire restaurant industry, with 78% of restaurant operators reporting that they do not have enough workers to handle normal business in a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association. If your local Starbucks is closed at a time it is typically open, this is probably the reason.