Starbucks Changes Things for Workers and Customers


Working at Starbucks can be busy, as customers constantly come in to order new drinks, but when things about your work environment are hard to handle, as it is, making some changes could be a good thing. Starting in Oct. 20, Starbucks employees will be getting a change, as the company has recently made several changes to its employee handbook. Some changes are being viewed by workers as positive and others not so much, but the fact is workers do seem to have a positive outlook on their future with Starbucks.

Amongst all of the changes being made, the only negative one seems to be that the dress code is changing. Though its not a major difference, baristas and shift managers will not be allowed to wear watches, rings (even wedding rings with stones), or bracelets. They will also not be allowed to wear skirts that are more than four inches above the knee. This change does not seem to bother too many current employees but the positive changes are definitely warranting relief for some.

In the previous rules baristas and supervisors had to cover up tattoos, which they will no longer have to do, and they can now sport nose studs. In addition, some dress code rules have been relaxed, such as removing the rule that the workers’ shirts had to be tucked in, and, as well, they can now wear shorts, black jeans, skirts, khakis, ties and scarves.

Even after all these changes the one that seems to be bringing the most excitement is, of course, the pay raise. Though this change will not happen until January, workers will be getting a pay increase, though the specific amount has not been released. They will also be allowed to have one free pastry or pre-made food item during their shift. Baristas and supervisors already get one free beverage during their shift.

These changes, which apparently took months of discussion and debate, were officially announced in a letter to the 135,000 employees that Starbucks has. Many have been expecting these changes after it was announced that the dress code and the policies were in review, during the month of September. Though the employees seemed to be happy about these changes, customers seem to be concerned about the new relaxed dress code, especially where the rules now permit piercings and tattoos. Customers and employees, alike, have expressed their opinions via Social Media.

Speaking of customers, Starbucks is also make a change for one very lucky customer, though any can try their luck during a chance to win a promotion that gives free drinks for life. Chief Executive, Howard Schultz, announced the contest which will start Dec. 2 and go all the way until Christmas. The contest states that anyone who buys a Starbucks card during that time will have a chance to win “free drinks for life,” though its actually daily drinks of choice for 30 years. According to sources, a grande latte a day, after 78 years, would cost $113,880, making the chance to win drinks for even 30 years worth the investment in one or more gift cards.

The reason for the contest seems to be the companies gloomy numbers around the holiday season last year, though they did sell over one billion gift cards. Schultz said that he noticed last year that many people ordered their gifts online, rather than turning to retailers. This year Schultz wants to promote the company during the holiday season.

After all these many announcements, it seems that Starbucks is certainly changing the game for employees and customers. Though the change for employees is much bigger, customers do seem to be appreciating the sentiment, especially since many already buy gift cards throughout the holiday season.

By Crystal Boulware


Wall Street Journal
USA Today
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