Starbucks Will Give U.S. Front-Line Employees And Managers Raises Of At Least 5% In October

Image courtesy of jojoling

If you’ve heard rumblings in the news recently about Starbucks employees complaining that they’re underpaid and not being scheduled for enough hours, the coffee chain wants you to stop worrying: they’re giving hourly employees and managers raises in October, and making unspecified dress code and benefits changes as well as doing something about scheduling issues.

The announcement says that “partners,” in Starbucks-speak, at corporate-owned stores in the United States will receive raises of at least 5%, and that the pay increases will vary by location.

The bigger raise in areas with a higher cost of living, CEO Howard Schultz explains, “is intended to ensure Starbucks remains a retail employer of choice in all the markets where we operate,” or to make sure that employees don’t walk out the door to make more money at the McDonald’s down the street.

The company will also boost stock awards that their employees receive after two years of service, perhaps to make them feel even more invested in the company. This program has the either terrible or amazing name of “Bean Stock,” and changes to it are another way to boost the compensation of loyal employees.

While the letter pretends to be directed to employees, it’s really intended for members of the public who may have started to become uncomfortable with patronizing Starbucks after hearing complaints or just noticing that employees at their regular coffee haunt seem overworked and stressed. The letter makes promises about changes to benefits that will help with out-of-pocket expenses, and begins by mentioning the college program that everyone behind the counter surely already knows about.

We peeked in over at the gathering place on Reddit for Starbucks fans and employees (sorry, we refuse to say “partners”) alike, /r/Starbucks, to see how the letter is going over. The general feeling is cautious optimism, but employees are justifiably cynical. One commented:

“This isn’t a letter for partners to read. This is a letter that they will somehow get into the media so that public perception of the company will go back up. People will read this letter and think that its such a wonderful company whereas in reality it won’t get any better for the partners.”

Investing in the U.S. Starbucks Partner Experience [Starbucks]

The Starbucks Experience: Challenges for customers and partners. [Starbucks Melody]

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