Before the pandemic, baristas would clean visibly dirty mugs before refilling them. But now employees will only accept clean mugs, and they won’t touch them: Instead, a customer will place their own cup into a larger ceramic mug. The barista will hold the ceramic mug’s handle rather than the cup when preparing the drink. Once the beverage is ready, the customer will pick their cup up from within the mug. Personal mugs that don’t fit will be placed on trays.
Starbucks will also resume offering drinks in reusable mugs for people who plan to consume their beverages on premise. Customers who go through Starbucks’ drive-thru still have to accept their drinks in Starbucks’ disposable cups.