Starbucks Has A New Signing Store!

starbucks has a new signing store!

How many of us have seen differently-abled people unable to get jobs? With certain disabilities come certain limitations, but Starbucks Malaysia is trying to change that. They recently opened their second Signing Store in Burmah Road, Penang, which is operated by 7 Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners from all across Penang, all fluent in Malaysian Sign Language. The first Signing Store sits in Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur. 

This Starbucks Signing Store is aimed at offering employment opportunities for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Penang, which is a pretty great step forward. There are also other branches across the globe, in Washington D.C., United States and Guangzhou, China, showing the company’s dedication in building an inclusive environment.

starbucks has a new signing store!

“We created the Starbucks Signing Store three years ago as a place to celebrate the contributions of our Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners. By valuing the perspectives that people with disabilities bring into the workplace, we were able to provide a uniquely uplifting experience that made people feel represented and gave them a sense of belonging,” said Sydney Quays, CEO of Berjaya Food Berhad and managing director of Starbucks Malaysia & Brunei. 

He added, “Given Penang’s rich culture and historical relationship with the Deaf community, we hope the opening of the Starbucks Signing Store will be a welcome addition to enrich the lives of many more Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons around the island.”

More than a diverse work environment, these Signing Stores also serve to create awareness around the deaf culture - an important value many people overlook. Educating the public and teaching them about the community is one way to bring the regular customers and the deaf community together.

“It is an honor that Starbucks Malaysia has chosen Penang to open its second Signing Store in Malaysia. I believe that through this innovative approach, members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community will feel empowered to develop their careers in a vibrant and supportive environment. Thanks to Starbucks, I am confident there will be an increase in employment opportunities as well as accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in Penang,” said YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang.

In partnership with the Penang Deaf Association, store partners received professional training and development experiences, including Malaysian Sign Language classes and internship opportunities. Starbucks Malaysia will also be contributing RM1 from every Vanilla Fig Frappuccino sold on the launch day at the Burmah Road signing Store to initiate programs alongside PDA which will benefit the community. 

“We’re very excited to partner with Starbucks to provide richer career opportunities and sense of belonging to the Deaf community in Penang,” said 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.”

Signing Store partners can take the Coffee Master Program to enhance their knowledge and skills, receiving black aprons that feature a special embroidery with ‘Starbucks’ in Malaysian Sign Language upon completion.

starbucks has a new signing store!

The new Starbucks Signing Store has touchpoints around the store so as to cater to both the partners and customers, providing a conducive workspace. A slight difference can be noted in the way baristas use sign language to call out orders, instead of the usual calling of names. Orders are placed via a menu card and handwritten notes will be used to communicate with customers. Using a numbering system, customers will receive a number of their receipt, and that number will be shown on a screen when the order is completed. Basically, it makes for a pretty quiet environment (perfect for dates or for working in).

By: Celestine Foo