Starbucks customers in Mexico City may notice something distinct about one particular coffee shop's new employees: They're all seniors.
The company recently opened its first cafe operated by people ages 50 and older, in partnership with the National Institute for Older Persons (INAPAM), a government welfare program in Mexico. Fourteen older workers will run the shop.
“It’s becoming more difficult to employ people over 40 years of age,” said Christian Gurria, the chief executive of Starbucks Mexico, according to Reuters. “But the need to keep elderly people in work exists. If the opportunity is there, I’m happy to help.”
Starbucks said the opening builds on an employment agreement it signed with INAPAM in 2011 to offer job opportunities to seniors to help boost their quality of life.
Mexico's elderly population is increasing rapidly, according to U.N. data, following trends previously seen in Europe, owing to lower birthrates and greater longevity. People 60 and older made up 10 percent of Mexico's population in 2017, but that figure is expected to more than double to 25 percent by 2050, the United Nations projected.
Mexico's expanding senior population may also become vulnerable to poverty, according to a Rand Corporation study. “One of the primary challenges facing Mexico is a growing older population. The demographic transition in Mexico combined with the lack of formal sources of income in retirement place many older persons in a state of financial insecurity,” the analysis said.
Starbucks said it employs more than 7,000 people in the country, across 61 cities. The company aims to staff 120 older workers in Mexico by the end of next year.
The company told The Washington Post in a statement, “Starbucks celebrates its commitment to providing opportunities to everyone and being a multi-generations company that embraces diversity and inclusion and welcomes everyone who is seeking employment.”
The older workers hired to run the Mexico City cafe will receive additional benefits, the company said, including an increase in total coverage of their health insurance and an adjusted work schedule to fit their needs.