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Problem solved -- Starbucks stores reopen in U.S. and Canada

By Nathan Salant     Apr 26, 2015 in Food
Seattle - More than 8,000 Starbucks cafes in the U.S. and Canada reopened Saturday after being shut down the day before because of a computer failure.
Company-owned stores in the world’s largest coffee chain were forced to close Friday afternoon after their computers stopped operating during a standard systems update.
“All Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada are expected to open as usual on Saturday,” the company said in a written statement Friday, according to the Associated Press.
“We apologize to our customers for this inconvenience,” the statement said.
The outage was repaired a few hours later, and no problems were reported Saturday when the stores reopened.
The outage did not affect nearly 5,000 privately operated Starbucks franchises in stores, hotels and airports, the AP said.
But many customers at company-owned locations probably were disappointed that the computer reboot went without a hitch late Friday because many affected stores gave out coffee and other drinks for free after their electronic cash registers stopped operating.
“I’m not going to complain about a free cup of coffee,” said Suveer Sharma, who stopped in at a Starbucks in Seattle before leaving on a trip to Idaho.
The problem began Friday evening at East Coast stores, where baristas posted “Cash Only” signs, and later began giving away drinks and food.
Initially, Starbucks said its stores would remain open during the computer outage but then reversed course and close stores early.
Starbucks stores do the bulk of their business in the morning hours so the outage did not have a huge impact on sales, the AP said.
Starbucks has been trying to increase its afternoon and evening sales by expanding its menu but has not yet announced whether those changes have been successful.
The company also said four of its Evolution Fresh stores and six of its Teavana Tea Bar stores were forced to close Friday but also were expected to reopen Saturday.
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