Starbucks Hires Senior Citizens in New Branch in Mexico City

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rapidly / ˈræpədli / (adv) – in a fast manner

    The country’s unemployment rate is rapidly decreasing because of the job opportunities provided by the government.

  2. longevity / lɑnˈʤɛvəti / (n) – an individual’s long life

    Most of my relatives have great longevity; they have reached the age of 100.

  3. learn the ropes / lɚn ðə roʊps / (idiom) – to learn how a task is done

    It was easy to learn the ropes at my new job because my coworker trained me well.

  4. render / ˈrɛndɚ / (v) – to provide, supply, or perform

    I am required to render three hours of overtime today.

  5. isolation / ˌaɪsəˈleɪʃən / (n) – the state of being separated from others

    I usually associate isolation with loneliness.


Read the text below.

A coffeehouse that is staffed by elders has recently opened in Mexico City.

Starbucks, in collaboration with the state organization National Institute for Older Persons, established the branch in Colonia del Valle neighborhood last August. This collaboration aims to provide Mexico’s senior citizens with more job opportunities.

Statistics from the United Nations revealed that the aging population in Mexico is rapidly increasing due to factors like longevity and declining birthrates.

The branch hired 14 senior citizens aged 50 to 66. Although the elderly employees would eventually run the branch’s operations, they were expected to learn the ropes from the younger staff.

These seniors are required to render only six-and-a-half hours per shift. They will also be entitled to two full days off in a week and will be given health insurance that will cover major medical costs. For safety purposes, Starbucks hires only elderly workers at its single-story branches.

In line with its goal to help Mexico’s elderly community, the company aims to employ a minimum of 120 elderly employees in the country’s branches by the end of 2019.

On a similar note, a coffeehouse in Singapore called Reach Community Café is also manned by elderly staff. These staff members are volunteers who rotate tasks in cooking, brewing, and interacting with elderly customers. The café is an initiative funded by the charity Reach and City for All Ages, a program under Singapore’s Ministry of Health.

According to Reach, the café aims to drive elders away from isolation by giving them an opportunity to interact with fellow senior citizens.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How do you think hiring senior citizens will affect Starbucks’ image?
• In your opinion, should other Starbucks branches also employ senior citizens? Explain.

Discussion B

• Why is it important to provide work opportunities for the elderly? Discuss.
• What other jobs do you think can be provided for the elderly? Share your ideas.