Starbucks creates deaf-friendly store in Japan

Located in Kunitachi City, Tokyo, the store is the fifth Signing Store in the world. (Courtesy of スターバックス コーヒー ジャパン 株式会社)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Starbucks opened its first Signing Store in Japan on June 27, expanding career opportunities for 19 Starbucks employees with hearing disabilities.

Located in Kunitachi City, Tokyo, the store is the fifth Signing Store in the world; other stores are located in Penang and Bangsar, Malaysia, Washington D.C., and Guangzhou, China.

The store leverages technology and art to create an immersive experience in sign language and Deaf culture. 

Starbucks opened its first Signing Store in Japan on June 27. (Courtesy of スターバックス コーヒー ジャパン 株式会社)

In addition, the staff at the stores all know sign language, so they can help the deaf or hard of hearing to order, creating a friendly dining environment.

If you don’t know the sign language, there are designs that help you learn the language. You can see the sign language of “Starbucks” which is printed on the wall and on the aprons of the staff.

If you don’t know the sign language, there are designs that help you learn the language. You can see the sign language of “Starbucks” which is printed on the wall and on the aprons of the staff. (Courtesy of スターバックス コーヒー ジャパン 株式会社)

Asked about the recent opening, Ryotaro Sato, shift supervisor said: “We’re looking forward to sharing new experiences with our customers and demonstrating the diversity of communication that they can experience at the Signing Store.”

With 208 square meters of space, the store interior was designed with accessibility and human engagement at the heart. You have several options when ordering in the store, including contactless speech-to-text voice recognition through a tablet at the register, pointing to items on the menu, or writing on a notepad.

You have several options when ordering in the store. (Courtesy of Twitter)
You have several options when ordering in the store. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Starbucks has continued to expand in Taiwan in recent years, and there is a high possibility that Starbucks will open its first signing store in Taiwan in the near future as well.