Upcoming Investments Unveiled to Further Enhance Retail Partner Experience
SEATTLE – In line with Starbucks unwavering commitment to elevate the partner (employee) experience and offer partners a bridge to a better future, the company is proud to introduce the latest in partner investments. These developments include accruing paid vacation time sooner, continued investments in partner pay, innovative financial well-being and skills-building benefits, partner-centric scheduling, and the introduction of the first-ever North America Barista Championship.
The company's dedication to actively listening to partner feedback and introducing significant investments in the partner experience, such as these, has played a pivotal role in solidifying its status of serving the best benefits across the industry for hourly retail work.
According to the results of a recent Benefit Index analysis conducted by AON, Starbucks continues to deliver more valuable benefits for retail hourly partners than any of the more than 50 other U.S. companies included in the study, inclusive of Fortune 200 and Fortune 500 companies.
The comprehensive benefits package provided by Starbucks goes well beyond the industry average and is set apart by its accessibility to a broad subset of its retail hourly workforce—including anyone working an average of 20 or more hours a week.
“Investing in our partners is what drives our success,” said Sara Trilling, executive vice president and president of Starbucks North America. “It’s what makes us all partners. And an important way we do this is by investing in our partners’ journey, to bridge to a better future at Starbucks and beyond. This entails engaging with, and listening to, their ideas and feedback while continuing to raise the bar by offering competitive pay and the best benefits package in the industry. This independent study from AON has validated we are an industry leader in our work to enhance the partner experience.”
With significant ongoing investments of more than $1 billion since last year to uplift the overall partner and store experience, the company has seen a positive shift in hourly turnover rates, which are now below pre-pandemic levels. In addition, Starbucks has invested more than 20% of the profits from fiscal year 2023 back into the partner experience through wage increases, training, and new equipment. These investments have led to a more consistent partner experience in company-operated stores across the U.S. Coupled with higher wages and the expansion of hours, these investments have not only resulted in lower turnover, more meaningful improvement in our customer connection scores year-over-year but have also increased hourly total cash compensation by nearly 50% since Fiscal Year 2020.
Highlights of partner investments include:
Vacation Accrual: With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – Starbucks nurtures the limitless possibilities of human connection. Starting this February, hourly partners will accrue paid vacation time sooner, beginning just 90-days after hire, allowing them to engage in more meaningful connections with family and friends outside of work sooner than ever before.
Competitive Pay: Sustained investment in retail partner pay remains a priority. Starbucks moved the wage floor for all U.S. retail hourly partners to $15 per hour in 2022 and has continued to add incremental increases, while recognizing and rewarding tenure. Starting with competitive pay — Starbucks provides U.S. hourly retail partners an average wage of nearly $17.50 per hour, a barista wage range between $15 and $24 per hour and a total compensation, with benefits, of approximately $27 per hour. Effective January 1, eligible U.S. retail hourly partners will see an incremental pay increase come to life, with at least a 3% increase and differentiated pay for eligible tenured partners. Eligible partners with 2-5 years of service will get at least 4% and those with 5 or more years of service will get at least 5%.
Introduction of First-Ever North America Barista Championship: Starbucks partners take pride in their craft and have fun while doing it. They celebrate each other and their wins. With the long-awaited, first-ever North America Barista Championship kicking off this February, Starbucks partners will have the opportunity to showcase the unique role they play in bringing the Starbucks experience to life for customers each day, demonstrating their commitment to connection, craft, and community. This program will be open to eligible baristas and shift supervisors in participating U.S. and Canada stores as well as eligible Siren Retail roles.
Career Mobility: Craft isn’t just about coffee – it shows up in how partners hone and master their craft in their day-to-day roles. To further support partner career growth and mobility, the company is exploring credential and certification programs to build on the industry-leading Starbucks College Achievement Plan.
More than 23,000 partners are currently on their unique educational journey to earning their first-time bachelor’s degree through Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP), a first of its kind partnership with Arizona State University’s (ASU) top-ranked online degree program. Tuition and fees are covered upfront for partners, helping to remove the hurdle of rising tuition costs that often block their pathway. To date, more than 10,000 partners have graduated and 20% of partners enrolled in SCAP are first-generation college students. Starbucks is committed to helping at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025, with an expected investment of approximately $250 million or more by 2025.
Financial Wellness: Financial wellness is feeling confident about your financial outlook and knowing what to do next with your money. Financial wellness benefits at Starbucks are grounded with equity ownership in the company through annual Bean Stock grants, which have awarded more than $2 billion in additional earnings to partners, to-date. That’s why our employees are called partners—we each have an ownership stake in the future success of our business. Starting this January, partners will be able to sign up to receive the new Siren Card – a premium card offering a high-tech banking experience designed exclusively for Starbucks Partners. Built with cred.ai and Visa USA, the Siren Card comes packed with exclusive tech features the world's first "automatic credit score optimizer," 24/7 and the guarantee to never pay account fees or interest, all supporting financial wellness with zero effort.
Partner-Centric Scheduling: Starbucks is dedicated to partner-centric scheduling and providing partners with hours that align with their individual needs and preferences is a top priority. This is reflected in Starbucks commitment to diligently create work schedules that carefully balance the availability of our partners with the staffing needs of individual stores. To achieve this, Starbucks collects a range of preferred, minimum, and maximum hours to build a complete picture of partner preferences and assist store managers in scheduling and managing their workforce. This improved scheduling protocol will enable partners to contribute to the personalization of their ideal schedules. Together, these efforts will help Starbucks improve the stability, flexibility, and consistency of schedules.
These investments are all part of the company’s legacy of providing top-tier benefits, surpassing competitors to offer unmatched value while evolving its offerings in response to partner feedback. The company recognizes changes to wages, benefits, and/or terms and conditions may not be unilaterally implemented for partners in stores with organizing underway and may be subject to collective bargaining in good faith for partners in stores with certified union representation. As part of the company’s partner promise, and through ongoing partner investments like these, the company is devoted to bridge a better future for all partners like Vic, Corinne, Justin and Andrea.
Vic Ruiz, store manager from Ladera Ranch, CA, recounts his heartfelt experience of how the Starbucks Family Expansion Reimbursement Program made it possible for him and his wife to adopt a wonderful baby girl.
"I look at the whole process and I'm just blown away. Starbucks made it a lot easier and has those benefits to support anybody to live the dream of becoming a parent. It didn't cover the entire adoption and we didn't expect that. But it does give you peace of mind. It does ease it a little bit that some of those costs are covered. It took a little bit of weight off our shoulders and made that financial impact a little more manageable."
Corinne Kinder, store manager from Wentzville, MO, shares her experience of utilizing her Bean Stock to secure a down payment for her dream home, while offering valuable guidance to her fellow new store partners.
"In conversations with my partners, I go through the benefits and how it has positively impacted my life and how it can positively impact them. I tell them, next year you're going to accrue Bean Stock. This is why we're partners because we own stock, because you can use it to empower what you want to do in your life. You can buy the house, you can buy the car, you can choose to keep it going or you can sell it to do the things you want or need to do. It's an amazing benefit. Let that money work for you and what you want to do in life.
Justin Brengel, a barista from Deltona, FL, shares how his eight years in store paved the way for his college journey and the pursuit of an extraordinary fellowship (internship) experience at Starbucks Support Center.
“Currently, I am pursuing a degree in criminal justice and criminology. However, after taking a class in digital marketing, I have become interested in pursuing a career in this field or communications. It is the storytelling element in these areas that I have come to truly enjoy. Going back to school has provided me with this opportunity to change my life, even though I am now doing something outside of my degree.”
Andrea Coyle, store manager from Beverly Hills, CA, talks about her initial exposure to mental health support, thanks to the services offered by Lyra.
"Because of the coverage I have, I feel like I can actually, finally, take care of my health. I've had the same therapist the entire time. I truly think she changed my life."
For decades, Starbucks has consistently offered hourly partners the best benefits and perks in the industry—including comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage options for eligible partners and their families and industry-leading gender-affirming care and Family Expansion Reimbursement Assistance benefits. With flexibility to choose from more than 20 plans that vary in terms of how medical expenses are covered and how much the plans cost out of partner paychecks and out of pocket, partners are empowered to choose the plans and programs that best align with their needs and goals.
Learn more about how Starbucks continues to deliver the best benefits for hourly retail work.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 38,000 stores worldwide, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at stories.starbucks.com or www.starbucks.com.