Whoever comes to the U.S. for the first time, he or she is likely to look for a cup of fresh-brewed coffee with its strong fragrance at Starbucks. This company is one of the most widely spread and fast-developing corporations all over the the world and its flexible policy and well-organized purchasing operations has allowed the owners to build up a coffeehouse chain in U.S., China, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. Although each country is different in the sense of culture, traditions, mindset and beliefs, Starbucks has succeeded in each of them and its management and compensation system suits any location and social order. Its high popularity rates can be supported by the fact that “Starbucks, which began as a hometown coffee roaster in 1971 and has grown into the world’s trendiest coffee brand, bragged that six of its stores were landing somewhere on the planet every day“ (Fellner, 2008, p.2). Those, who criticize or look for the reasons of company’s success, agree, that such a special popularity can be justified by the fact, that Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker, who founded the corporation in Seattle, really cared about production of good-quality coffee. “Love of the product was what drove them originally, and Starbucks today would argue that the same passion for coffee is still at the heart of the business” (Simmons, 2005, p. 24). Of course, such a passion for own products is essential for success of the company, but service and inner relationships between employees and employers impact company’s reputation to a great extent. Good-quality products, pleasant atmosphere and workers’ satisfaction have eventually led to the company’s success and fame all over the world.
Unlike many other corporations, such as McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Starbucks is a purely customer-oriented company, which aims to set a contact and tight relationships with its customers. If one reads the website with the job description provided by the company’s managers, he will not find simple and clear descriptions of responsibilities for baristas, shift managers, shop-assistants or cleaners, but owners’ preference for personal connection with customers, laughing, pleasant atmosphere, fostering a deep sense of purpose at their coffeehouses. It is important to brew coffee and tea, deliver it to the customer and sell as much as possible, but there are some additional aspects, which specify job at Starbucks. All employees need to have a preparation training and are taught how to exceed people’s expectations. They need to know everything about their products, history of their company, offer information in case of diets and allergies and even let customers taste coffee before they order. Such an individual approach to each customer is a well-known “Starbucks experience” strategy (Boscor & Talpau, 2011, p. 53). Practice of conducting of blind tests among employees of all ranges has become very popular and efficient within the company and all workers are able to identify the products, ingredients and flavors of their coffee. Nothing can be worst than incompetent and unconfident person in front of a customer, who is ready to pay for more than just a cup of coffee, for a good brand performance.
As for the monetary compensation at Starbucks, it varies from annual salary for barista, which comprises minimum 16 000 $ up to 63 000 $ for retail store manager. Financial bonus and extra payments depend on the city, skills, years of experience other factors, which might improve employee’s performance at work. For example, in the United Kingdom the starting salary is 12, 482 £, it can reach 16, 533 £ point after an employee works for 5 years at the company. Such an encouragement provides a constant people’s being interested in getting a job at Starbucks (Average Salary for Starbucks Corporation Employees 2016). According to individual workers’ testimonies, they always get some health benefits after working two months, do not get discriminated during the hiring process, receive breaks at reasonable intervals. As far as non-monetary compensation is concerned, the system of bonuses in the company is very diversified and effective. Workers usually are motivated and they receive not only a higher payment, but also some kind of acknowledgment in the company, if they respect and promote the specific style and culture of Starbucks. There is an annual competition between employees and the best informed and qualified worker becomes the coffee-master for the whole year (Boscor & Talpau, 2011, p. 53). This person is to inform the customers about all products, entertain them and he or she gets a very special honored status within the store. Work at Starbucks seems to be more than just a job, because it is a way of living, third place, friendly atmosphere and great opportunity to get a very high level of qualification.
Advantage for employers and employees at Starbucks can be logically induced from the described job specification and company orientation. Although two-thirds of the whole staff world-wide are represented by part-timers, company owners and employers aim to treat all their workers equally and try to establish trust and strong commitment to one’s job. “Standards for quality, cleanliness, service and speed apply internationally, but the personality of the barista is seen everywhere as the essential expression of the Starbucks brand” (Simmons, 2005, p. 142). This particular attention to employee’s personality allow employers to find a right person, who understands that his main responsibility is to attract customers and approach each of them individually. It is not a Starbucks style to hurry up the customers and make them stand in long lines, that is why employees must move and speak fast, know how to divide their work and help each other at the moments of overload. Improvement and efficiency of relationship between workers and their employers are achieved on two different levels: local and global one. Personal negotiation has been always a technique used by Starbucks’ managers, they encourage their employees to exchange the motivational cards with “Welcoming”, “Involved” and Knowledgeable” on them, discuss their professional and even personal problems. This leads to satisfaction and agreement on both sides. A well-planned organization of hours, no overtime and in most cases three days-off system is not only more cost-effective for the company, but also spares the valuable family time for its workers. Besides, they get a great experience of working in a big corporation and at the same time practicing their professional and personal skills quite freely.
Boscor, D.; Talpau, A. (2011). “Customer-oriented marketing – a strategy that guarantees success:
Starbucks and McDonalds”. In Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences 4, p. 51-58.
Fellner, K. (2008). Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino. New Brunswick,
N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
Average Salary for Starbucks Corporation Employees. PayScale. (2016). Retireved from
Simmons, J. (2005). The Starbucks Story: How the Brans Changed the World. Singapore: Marshall
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