Starbucks - Great company if you can handle it | Glassdoor

Employee Review

Employee Review

Helpful (743)

"Great company if you can handle it"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Barista
Former Employee - Barista
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Starbucks part-time (More than a year)

Pros

The benefits are out of sight. I was offered Starbucks stock after my first year, as well as 401k through Fidelity, and a superb Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan. You can cover your whole family with that plan, and it can include domestic partners. I got a pound of free coffee every week and free coffee all day (although I think that was specific to my store, which bent the rules). There's also an Employee Assistance Hotline which you can call if you're having issues in your personal life. And HR is really responsive--they won't see you as a troublemaker if you're legitimately having an issue. They will handle it.

Also, sexual orientation and gender identity are included in their anti-discrimination policy. None of the gay or lesbian people on my staff got crap for it, even though about half the staff was quietly conservative Christian and Republican.

If you're a people person, you develop relationships with the regulars and it's fun to make their day. I felt it was pretty rewarding to make drinks. I loved the artistic side of it. And again, the free coffee...just awesome.

They're also usually pretty flexible about scheduling, so it's ideal for if you're working two jobs or are a student. I worked with people in their 50's who had their own careers, but worked part-time at Starbucks for the health insurance.

The vacation time system is also pretty sweet. I worked with a guy who was there for 10 years and took like a month vacation to his home country.

The staffs can be really tight...or they can be really vicious. But a spirit of teamwork is definitely encouraged. And exemplary work is recognized.

In an 8-hour shift you get three breaks: one 30-minute clock-out lunch, and two 10-minute on the clock breaks.

You'll also occasionally get those amazing customers and you live for seeing them. We had four customers who every year each put 100 bucks in our tip jar around Christmas. Sometimes those people can make your day with the things they say and do.

Cons

If you work at a store worth their salt they will work you to the bone. Especially in a large or high-volume store there is so much to do, so much to clean. A morning shift person will have the absolutely insanity of a morning rush, but an evening person should be expected to handle evening rushes with a limited staff as WELL as get the place spotless in what I believe is not a reasonable time. We could get the place clean by 10:45, all right--if we broke the health and corporate rules about when to tear things down. And of course if that was ever found out we were in deep. And if we went over 10:45 we were also in trouble. Management sometimes has some very unrealistic ideas about what the job actually entails and what rules and boundaries should go with that.

The pay in my state starts near minimum wage. The ceiling for a barista is $10/hr, which you hit when you've been there about five years. But tips help, and some high-volume affluent stores will have tips up to $4/hr.

There's also a tendency to have fanatical management. Other "kindly" corporations like Whole Foods have this too--the managers drink the Kool-Aid and worship the company. I once spoke with my manager because my schedule was being changed with less than 24 hours notice, and that was against state law. She got this crazed look in her eye and spat "Starbucks law goes above state law!" But that's only a tendency. There are some pretty cool managers out there. Mine was insane.

The customers are spoiled rotten so they also get kind of unreasonable about their Starbucks. They will stand there and demand that you make a drink five times because there's still foam on that latte and they said NO foam, not LIGHT foam. This is a business model of Starbucks': everyone is special, and we will bend the rules for everybody. And I've had people scream at me and call me a (b) and promise me that they would make me lose my job. I've also had stuff thrown at me. But, that's also just customer service.

These last few years Starbucks has been obsessed with selling, too. There's a lot of pressure on the staff to make sure people go home with $15 bags of coffee and sub-par espresso machines. It's hard to maintain the relationships they want us to maintain while trying to sell stuff.

Overall, if you can put up with the customers and the physical demand, and if benefits are more important than income, do it. It's rewarding in its own way. Wear insoles.

Advice to Management

Drop the obsession with sales. You're damaging customer relationships and making yourself look like "Just another corporation."

Other Employee Reviews

Other Employee Reviews

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Store Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Starbucks full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Health benefits, Free college through ASU, the team you work with

    Cons

    Corporates lack of investment into the stores operational need. For example, they kept decreasing how much labor we earned but increased the complexity of drinks and sales targets. Can’t keep up with market rate for base and total comp for baristas and store managers. They used to care about customer experience and staff experience, and now it’s clear that they’re only profit driven.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the new CEO, stop feeling beholden to stockholders at the expense of basic coverage so stores can be clean with efficient service, and be an environment that doesn’t burn out the staff


  2. "Supply Chain Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Global Supply Chain Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Global Supply Chain Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Starbucks as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The ability to explore my project under my own personal curiosities and take it in a direction that interests me most.

    Cons

    Big emphasis on word-of-mouth knowledge of job function and building personal relationships around the office. Definitely not an objective con about the job, most everyone around the office is incredibly approachable, but with a 10 week intern program the ability to learn the scope of your role, make personal connections with full time and interns, and deliver a final project/presentation can be a very intense process.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, very nice internship program. I heard about the status of my return offer within a few weeks of returning to school and made a lot of very quality connections at the headquarters that make it a big selling point to return.

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