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Even Starbucks Wants to Cancel Rent

Plus, Tyson is reducing beef prices, and more news to start your day

A “Starbucks Coffee” sign hanging in front of a window. Photo: haireena/Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Starbucks is negotiating rents after poor sales

One of the biggest problems facing independent restaurant owners is the fact that, though governments have mandated shutdowns or limitations of service, rent is still due. Though some landlords have been forgiving, many are asking for full payments regardless of sales. So the multi-billion dollar international corporation is following in tenants activists’s footsteps and demanding their landlords cancel the rent.

According to Restaurant Business, Starbucks is asking landlords of its company-owned stores (which account for about 9,000 of its U.S. locations) for a year’s worth of rent forgiveness after their earnings drastically fell. An email sent to landlords reportedly explained the rent ease would be “to support modified operations and adjustments to lease terms and base rent structures, so we can withstand this uncertainty together,” and Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer confirmed the company is having conversations over “what may be commercially reasonable lease concessions in the current environment.”

However, even having the pressure of a corporation like Starbucks isn’t making landlords budge. The request has reportedly been “not well received,” though it’s unclear if part of that reception is the ridiculousness of a place like Starbucks getting rent relief before any independent business owner. Starbucks, welcome to the resistance.

And in other news...

  • A man in Indiana was arrested after throwing hot coffee at a 7-Eleven clerk, all because he was asked to wear a mask inside the store. [Insider]
  • Pizza-ordering platform Slice, which charges pizza restaurants a flat fee for delivery services, received $43m in funding. [Restaurant Dive]
  • Closing meat plants means gassing pigs. [NYTimes]
  • Potbelly sandwiches is also talking to landlords about concessions, and might be closing 100 locations if it doesn’t get relief. [NRN]
  • New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio suggested restaurants and bars might be able to reopen with limited capacity, but restaurant and bar owners say that would just make things worse. [NYPost]
  • Tyson Foods will reduce some beef prices, as the price of groceries continues to rise. [CNN]
  • AB InBev is launching a line of hard seltzers. [FoodDive]