Starbucks Puts a Pause on Happy Hours as COVID-19 Spike Continues

The coffee giant will focus on other individual promotions in the meantime.

Starbucks' wildly popular buy-one-get-one happy hours are the highlight of every coffee lover's month, but with COVID-19 numbers still on the rise, the company announced in an internal memo that it would be putting a hold on one of its most popular promotions in the name of safety.

Traditionally, Starbucks hosts a happy hour once a month, when customers can buy any handcrafted drink at its regular price and get another drink free between 2 and 7 pm local time. It's maybe the best deal Starbucks offers, so naturally, it draws a crowd.

You may recall that crowds, especially in closed-off spaces, are a problem right now—public health officials have repeatedly stated that gathering indoors increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Starbucks executives hope that pausing happy hours for a little while will limit overcrowding in stores and therefore reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus.

As of now, Starbucks has only canceled the December 17 and January 7 happy hours, so if conditions start to improve, we could see the promotion's return as early as February, according to a report from Reuters.

In the meantime, Starbucks Rewards members can expect to find other occasional promotions which are visible in the mobile app.

MORE: We Ranked Every Drink on the Starbucks Menu

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.
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