A Starbucks in Malaysia Is Opening a Store Staffed by Deaf Baristas

Store is the first of its kind in the world

The Bangsar Village II Starbucks welcomes and serves both deaf and hearing customers alike.

A Starbucks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is going where no Starbucks has gone before.

The store is the world’s first to be staffed by deaf employees, specifically 10 deaf employees and three hearing employees. A sign at the store spells out Starbucks in manual hand signs to clue customers in on what to expect.

“We are proud to support people with disabilities through fulfilling work to create a culture of empowerment and to bring new perspectives to the workplace, which ultimately makes us a better company,” said Sydney Quays, managing director, Starbucks Malaysia. “We have a rich history of creating opportunities for underrepresented groups and our aim is to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more Deaf partners.”

Starbucks worked with the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID) on the project. SID provided two sign language interpreters for the hiring process, training, coaching, and teaching sign language to hearing employees.


The Bangsar Village II Starbucks store “provides a welcome environment for Deaf and hearing customers alike,” according to a company release. Orders will be displayed on a point-of-sale dual screen so that customers can make sure their order is correct. Order numbers will be displayed on a large screen for seamless order pickup.