This New Starbucks Outlet In Penang Is Only The Fourth Of Its Kind In The World

Yep, it's special.

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This New Starbucks Outlet In Penang Is Only The Fourth Of Its Kind In The World
Take a walk down a popular street - or a shopping mall, in fact - and chances are you'll see one or maybe two Starbucks outlets.

The American coffee chain is arguably one of the most popular coffee chains in Malaysia.

They are so popular, in fact, they recently opened their 300th outlet in the country at the Bukit Bintang Junction.

But this brand new Starbucks outlet in Penang is a little bit more special compared to the other outlets in Malaysia.


On Tuesday (19 November), Starbucks Malaysia opened the doors to its brand new Signing Store in Burmah Road, Penang.

If you're wondering why this outlet is so special, it's because this outlet is dedicated to offering employment and development opportunities for the Deaf And Hard of Hearing community in Penang.

That's right; you will be served by Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners (fun fact: Starbucks told us that they refer to their employees as 'partners') at the store.

The Signing Store in Burmah Road is the second Signing Store in Malaysia, and the fourth in the world after the one in Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur; Washington DC, United States; and Guangzhou, China.

The Signing Store in Burmah Road is operated by seven Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners from Penang who are fluent in Malaysian Sign Language.

Starbucks Malaysia said that the touchpoints in the store have also been modified to cater to the partners, with the inclusion of visual alarms, digital trays and point-of-sale systems with an attached customer display to ensure that the partners have a safe and conducive working environment.

To top if all off, the three-storey outlet also features a mural designed by local Penang deaf artist Lim Anuar.

How cool is that?

Giving back to the community

According to Starbucks, these Signing Stores serve as centers for driving awareness around the Deaf culture and community needs.

Starbucks Malaysia had partnered with the Penang Deaf Association (PDA) to provide professional training to its store partners, including conducting Malaysian Sign Language classes and internship opportunities.

In conjunction with the launch of the Burmah Road outlet, Starbucks Malaysia has pledged to donate RM1 from every Vanilla Fig Frappucino sold on the day to initiate programs alongside PDA that will benefit the community.

On top of that, the Signing Store partners are also given a chance at career progression, just like their able-bodied peers.

The partners can undergo the Coffee Master Program to deepen their coffee knowledge as well as their barista craft.

Sydney Quays, the Managing Director of Starbucks Malaysia, told reporters that the company's aim is to have the Burmah Road Signing Store to be fully operated by their deaf partners.

If you happen to be in Penang, remember to check out the Signing Store, yeah? 

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