Starbucks Makes Historic Investments In Employees


Starbucks Coffee Company announced a wave of investments for its partners (employees), building on its 50-year history and tradition of listening and learning, while investing its success back into its people. Announcements of both operational and wage investments for U.S. partners and company-operated stores are designed to retain and recruit the best people and affirm Starbucks as one of the very best jobs in retail – a reflection of the company’s unwavering belief that success is best when it’s shared.

“As Starbucks celebrates our 50th anniversary we are reminded that our heritage is based on the simple concept that our green apron partners are the heartbeat of Starbucks and that success is best when it’s shared,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. “Today, we are announcing another historic investment in our partners, knowing that when we take care of our partners, they take care of our customers, and all stakeholders benefit. This is how we continue to build a great and enduring company. One that is committed to the ideal that doing good for one another – and for society – is good for business over the long-term.”

In a letter to all U.S. partners, Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president, president North America, emphasized the company’s continued commitment to listen, learn together, and deliver real, measurable value to partners, customers and shareholders. The investments the company will be making will enhance wage, training and in-store experiences, nationwide.

Investments include:

  • Unprecedented Investments in Wage: Building on substantial wage and benefit investments throughout the pandemic, Starbucks is prioritizing another significant investment to recognize and reward tenured partners while also ensuring all partners earn at least $15/hour in Summer 2022. This next investment culminates in a total of approximately $1 billion in incremental investments in annual wages and benefits over the last two years.
  • Training and Recruiting: The company added recruiting specialists across all U.S. markets and is extending its $200 referral bonuses to help attract new talent. The company is also investing in store partner training, including a complete redesign of the company’s “Barista Basics” guide for partners to include added training time for all roles as well as practice shifts and looking to expand beyond its 40 highly successful training stores around the country currently dedicated entirely to training partners in this area.
  • Store Partner Hours and In-Store Experiences: With significant customer demand for Starbucks and an increasing pace of beverage innovation, Starbucks has invested in forecasting capabilities to improve store staffing; testing of a “shifts app” aiming to make it easier for partners to work available shifts that meets their personal needs; and improving behind the bar floor design and equipment, including testing a Cold Beverage Station in select stores around the country. A team of support partners and data analysts, as well as a Store Manager Council, are working side by side with our store partners to help shape this work.
  • Partner-Centered Innovation: Finally, to ensure ongoing improvements for retail partners, Starbucks has brought together a team of partners to design and test initiatives that will ultimately improve the partner experience and reduce complexity in stores. The 20,000 square foot Tryer Lab is focused on bringing new innovation and ideas to action in stores with a test and learn approach. This team, which includes a rotation of over 20 of our talented store partners, is focused on several initiatives, including 1) behind-the-bar layout redesigns 2) innovative store equipment and technology, and 3) evolving operational roles in stores. This partner-focused effort helps hold support partners accountable to the store experience with real-life challenges being designed by both support center and store partners, together, working shoulder to shoulder.

“Our founder Howard Schultz believed in the dignity of the human experience, in building a successful company, and that our success should always be shared,” said Williams. “These new investments show the continued commitment we all have to creating the best opportunities and experience for our partners.”

With innovative benefits for part-time employees, including health care, equity ownership for all levels in the organization, free college tuition through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan with Arizona State University and Mental Health support through a partnership with Lyra, Starbucks has been on the forefront of investing in its people since the opening of the original store in the Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971. The introduction of these latest investments builds on unprecedented partner investments uniquely designed to support partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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