3 years ago, Starbucks debuted Malaysia’s first Signing Store in Bangsar Village II, as a way to celebrate deaf partners.
Yesterday (Tuesday, 19th November), the American coffee chain launched Penang’s first Signing Store in Burmah Road, Penang. Malaysia is now the only country to have 2 Signing Stores and the Burmah Road outlet is only the 4th Signing Store in the world.
The objective of this launch is to offer employment and development opportunities to the deaf community in Penang. The outlet will be manned by 7 Deaf and Hard of Hearing employees (referred to as partners) who are fluent in sign language.
In addition to the store sign spelled in sign language, the deaf baristas’ black or green apron also sports a special embroidery of ‘Starbucks’ in Malaysian sign language. In case you’re wondering, the Washington D.C. (US) and Guangzhou (China) are the only 2 other countries to have a Starbucks Signing Store.
Don’t worry if you’re not equipped with sign language as customers can put their orders down in writing. The number assigned will appear on the screen next to the pick-up counter once your order is ready.
Similar to other Starbucks partners, those working in the Signing Store can also undergo the Coffee Master Program to widen their knowledge on coffee and barista craft. Upon succeeding the program, the Deaf and Hard hearing baristas will receive their black aprons.
Did you know that Starbucks Malaysia recently opened its 300th outlet at Bukit Bintang Junction? There’s no denying it, Malaysians simply can’t live without coffee 😉