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Starbucks’ Gathering-Spot Model Is Threatened by Coronavirus

来源:纽约时报    2020-03-13 04:33

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        For millions of people, visiting Starbucks is a daily ritual. But these are extraordinary times for one of the world’s most popular brands.        对于数以百万计的人来说,去星巴克是每天的例行公事。但对于这个世界上最受欢迎的品牌之一来说,此刻是一个非常时期。
        As the virus sickened tens of thousands of people in China, the company closed more than 2,000 stores. When it arrived in the United States, the first serious outbreak was in Washington, the coffee chain’s home state. And last Friday, Starbucks became one of the first major American companies to have an employee who tested positive for the infection.        随着病毒在中国感染数万人,该公司关闭了2000多家门店。当病毒到达美国时,第一波严重的疫情发生在这家咖啡连锁店的老家华盛顿州。上周五,星巴克成为首批有员工在病毒检测中呈阳性的美国大公司之一。
        The last few weeks have been “very challenging times for all of us,” said Rossann Williams, the executive who oversees the company’s 200,000 workers in the United States. “We’re all learning as we go.”        过去几周,“对我们所有人来说,都是非常具有挑战性的时期,”负责管理公司美国20万名员工的高管罗森·威廉姆斯(Rossann Williams)说。“我们边走边学。”
        Starbucks has long marketed itself as a social gathering spot — a “third place” between work and home, a symbol of normalcy for millions of people who buy coffee every day. Its bustling cafes are designed to build community and promote interaction between customers and baristas.        一直以来,星巴克把自己定位为一个社交聚会场所——介于工作和家庭之间的“第三个地方”,是数百万每天购买咖啡者正常生活的象征。它那些熙熙攘攘的咖啡馆旨在打造社区,促进顾客和咖啡师之间的互动。
        In recent days, however, that philosophy has come up against the threat of a rapidly spreading pandemic that has made people anxious about gathering in public places and sent shock waves through the global economy.        然而,最近几天,迅速蔓延的疫情让人们对聚集在公共场所感到焦虑,并给全球经济带来了冲击,星巴克的这种理念也遇到了冲击。
        Now cafes could start to empty out, as public health authorities urge people to work from home and avoid crowds. For service workers like the baristas at Starbucks, the threat of infection is especially severe.        现在,随着公共卫生部门敦促人们在家工作,避开人群,咖啡馆可能会无人问津。对于像星巴克咖啡师这样的服务人员来说,感染的威胁尤其严重。
        To reassure the public, Starbucks has prohibited customers from using their own cups and established an intensive cleaning regimen, requiring employees to wash their hands and disinfect “high touch” surfaces every half-hour. Even stricter protocols may lie ahead if the situation worsens, Ms. Williams said, like mandatory gloves and face masks for employees or the removal of chairs and tables. She said stores in the United States could be temporarily closed in extreme cases.        为了让公众放心,星巴克禁止顾客使用自己的杯子,并制定了严格的清洁制度,要求员工每半小时洗手并对“高接触”表面消毒。威廉姆斯说,如果情况进一步恶化,未来可能还会出台更严格的规定,比如强制员工戴手套和口罩,或移除桌椅。她说,在极端情况下,美国的店面可能会暂时关闭。
        The outbreak is already hurting Starbucks’ bottom line. While more than 90 percent of its stores in China have reopened, the company told investors last week that it expected sales in China this quarter to fall by around 50 percent, or as much as $430 million, from a year ago. The company said it was too early to say how the virus would affect its business outside China. Starbucks’ stock price has fallen more than 25 percent over the last month.        疫情已经损害了星巴克的利润。虽然该公司在中国超过90%的门店已经恢复营业,但该公司上周对投资者表示,它预计本季度在中国的销售额将较上年同期下降约50%,至4.3亿美元。该公司表示,现在就说这种病毒将如何影响其在中国以外的业务还为时过早。在过去一个月里,星巴克的股价下跌了超过25%。
        The virus’s toll on the company’s workers could also be significant.        该病毒对该公司员工造成的损失可能也是巨大的。
        “They’re the ones who are more likely to be exposed, because they’re out in the public, and also more likely to pass it on again,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.        “他们是更有可能暴露在病毒之下的人,因为他们面对公众,而且也更有可能把病毒再次传播出去,”经济政策研究所(Economic Policy Institute)高级经济学家伊莉斯·古尔德(Elise Gould)表示。
        Across the industry, they are also less likely to have health insurance or paid sick leave. “It exposes the economic inequality that already exists,” Ms. Gould said.        整个行业也不太可能有医疗保险或带薪病假。“它暴露了已有的经济不平等,”古尔德说。
        On March 5, Starbucks temporarily closed a store near the Seattle Art Museum after an employee tested positive for the virus. The news reached senior leaders at 9 p.m. By 9 a.m. the next morning, the store had been thoroughly sanitized, and it reopened on Monday. All the employees who had worked closely with the person who tested positive were told to stay home for two weeks, with pay.        3月5日,在一名员工的检测结果呈阳性后,星巴克暂时关闭了西雅图美术馆附近的一家店面。消息在晚上9点传到了高层领导那里。到第二天早上9点,这家店已经彻底消毒,并于周一重新开张。所有与那名检测结果呈阳性者有密切接触的员工都被告知在家休两周带薪假。
        In its marketing, Starbuck has long highlighted its efforts to promote the well-being of employees, whom the company calls “partners,” such as offering health insurance to part-time workers.        在市场营销中,星巴克长期以来一直强调其致力于促进员工的福利,例如向兼职员工提供健康保险。该公司将员工称为“合作伙伴”。
        Even while its stores in China were closed, Starbucks continued to pay the majority of its salaried workers, a group that includes many baristas, according to a recent securities filing.        根据最近的一份证券备案文件,即使星巴克在中国的商店关门,星巴克仍继续向包括许多咖啡师在内的大部分付薪员工支付工资。
        And on Wednesday, Starbucks told its workers in the United States that it would provide up to two weeks of paid leave to any employee who was infected with the virus or had extended contact with a co-worker or household member who tested positive. (Under its previously established policy, Starbucks allowed employees to accrue an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked: A barista working 23 hours a week would accumulate about five sick days over a year.)        周三,星巴克对美国员工表示,它将为感染病毒或与检测结果呈阳性的同事或家属密切接触的员工提供长达两周的带薪休假。(根据先前制定的政策,星巴克允许员工每工作30个小时就可以累积一小时的病假时间:每周工作23个小时的咖啡师一年可以休5天左右的病假。)
        Still, in interviews, Starbucks employees expressed concern that the enhanced safety measures were at odds with on-the-ground realities. While few questioned the wisdom of the new protocols, some said the policies were putting more pressure on staff who already felt overworked.        尽管如此,在采访中,星巴克员工仍对加强后的安全措施不适于实际情况表示担忧。尽管很少有人质疑新协议的合理性,但一些人表示,该政策正给已经超负荷工作的员工带来更大压力。
        A Seattle-area employee who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the company said it was unrealistic for employees to perform the full cleaning process every 30 minutes when cafes were busy. An Atlanta-area worker who also declined to be named said the cleaning duties had pulled workers away from the counter, creating longer lines and larger crowds that may have inadvertently increased the risk of contagion even as the company tried to defuse it.        一位要求匿名的西雅图地区员工说,在咖啡馆繁忙时,员工每30分钟执行一次完整的消毒过程是不现实的。一位不愿透露姓名的亚特兰大地区员工说,清洁工作使员工暂停服务,造成了更多的顾客排更长的队,即使公司试图消杀病毒,也可能无意中增加了传染的风险。
        Underlying the strain at Starbucks is the company’s so-called lean staffing model, a common feature of retail and fast-food outlets in which managers seek to minimize the number of workers assigned to each store, often with the help of software that predicts customer traffic. The goal is typically to have just enough workers to cover demand, and no more, leaving little margin for error.        该公司所谓的精益人员配置模式是造成星巴克压力的根本原因,该模式常见于零售和快餐店,管理人员通常借助可预测客户流量的软件,设法最大程度地减少分配给每家店铺的员工数量。其目标通常是计算出刚好能满足需求的员工数量,从而不再多雇人,误差幅度很小。
        Like many other companies, Starbucks gives managers strict “labor budgets,” and over the years some have said they were disciplined for exceeding them.        与许多公司一样,星巴克为经理们提供了严格的“劳动力预算”,多年来,总有人说他们因超出预算而受到处分。
        “The lean model can be quite unforgiving,” said Saravanan Kesavan, a retail expert at the University of North Carolina. “Store managers are going to have a lot more difficulty managing absenteeism in stores that employ lean staffing compared to other stores that do not.”        “精益模式可能会过于严格,”北卡罗莱纳大学的零售专家萨拉瓦南·科萨万(Saravanan Kesavan)表示:“相比其他门店,那些采用精益人员配置的门店经理在缺勤管理上面临更多困难。”
        The fast-food and retail industries have long known that they are vulnerable to epidemics. But they have sometimes played down the threat.        长期以来,快餐和零售行业深知它们易受流行病影响。但是他们有时也会淡化威胁。
        Not long after the SARS outbreak in 2003, the possibility of a pandemic was the first threat to its business that Starbucks listed in the “risk factors” section of its 2005 annual report. In its most recent annual filing, however, the company placed pandemic risk far lower on the list, after weakening economic conditions, changing consumer tastes, rising real estate costs, and natural or man-made disasters.        在2003年SARS暴发后不久,星巴克在其2005年度报告的“风险因素”部分,排在首位的威胁是发生大流行病的可能。然而,该公司在其最新的年度报告中,将大流行风险放在了靠后的位置,排在经济状况疲软、消费者口味改变、房地产成本上涨以及自然或人为灾难之后。
        Across the service industry, many employees face pressure to work even when they are sick. More than half of people who work at hotels and in food service do not receive paid sick leave, according to the Department of Labor. That is also true of about one-third of workers in the retail industry.        在整个服务行业,许多员工即使生病也面临工作压力。劳工部称,超过一半的在旅馆和餐饮服务业的员工没有带薪病假。零售业中,约三分之一的员工也是如此。
        Two McDonald’s workers said in interviews that they almost always worked when sick for fear of missing a paycheck. “We have no choice,” said Fran Marion, a McDonald’s worker in Kansas City, Mo. “If I’m sick, call off, that means I have to miss half my rent, putting food on the table for my kids.”        麦当劳的两名员工在接受采访时说,他们生病时也几乎总是工作,因为担心没有工资。“我们别无选择,”位于密苏里州堪萨斯城的麦当劳员工弗兰·马里昂(Fran Marion)说,“如果我生了病,请了假,这意味着我不得不失去一半的房租钱,无法将食物摆上孩子的餐桌。”

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