Starbucks may not be the cheapest place to grab a cup of coffee, and the chain’s popularity (and resultant lines) means it’s usually not the quickest either. But with convenient locations, courteous staff, and ergonomic interiors, Starbucks is easily one of the most comfortable places to sip a drink as you lounge about.
Actually, Starbucks is comfortable enough that it’s a nice place to be even if you’re working, as telecommuters who take their laptop to the coffeehouse will attest. But during a special event being held this month at Starbucks locations in Japan, Starbucks would rather you shut down your PC, along with your smartphone or any other electronic devices you happen to have with you.
Dec 11 marks the 20th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol environmental accords, and to mark the occasion, 601 Starbucks branches in Japan (481 located in the heavily populated Kanto region, which includes Tokyo) will be turning down their lights from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, relying on candles to do the bulk of their illumination duties.
While Starbucks isn’t enacting a chain-wide ban on electronics during the hour, the website for the event, dubbed “Nothing is Charming,” states that “Customers may be asked to refrain from using smartphones, PCs, and other electronic devices,”seemingly leaving the decision up to individual branches, but indirectly implying they’d like customers to comply with the suggestion of turning their gadgets off for 60 minutes.
▼ Starbucks’ promotional video for the event
In somewhat of a contradiction, Starbucks is asking people to help share their experiences from the event on social media by using the hashtags #ライトダウンポートレイト (“light down portrait”) and #NothingisCharming. It’s not clear if Starbucks is making an exception to its “no electronics” request for cameras or if they’d prefer social media posts to be entirely text-based, just as it’s a little murky as to whether they want people to post during the event (a tricky maneuver when you’re not suppoed to be using your phone or PC) or to wait until after it’s over and the lights come back on.
Either way, though, Starbucks is looking to be a little quieter during the event, which should be nice for everyone who’s not hammering away at a report while sipping their latte.
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