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January 20, 2011


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I filled out the form in 2004/2005 and got a bic pen. I wonder where they found the baristas to fill out this years form? I'd love to hear from someone who got it.


undoubtedly, the company will proclaim this as a victory since we are still on the list.


"The year of the partner" and it slips 5 points down the list. Any questions?

giving up

If you look at the criteria they judge, they are CLEARLY only looking at the corporate office positions, NOT the stores themselves.

Otherwise I'd be making $33,000, with 70 hours a year of professional job training, onsite child care, and the opportunity to telecommute your Frappuccino to you.



Way to turn a blind eye! Truth be told, I'm surprised we even made the list at all this year.


This is the biggest piece of bullshit I've read yet. So, Starbucks is in the top 100 companies to work for, and yet, wages remain stagnant, no sick days for baristas or shift supervisors, or personal days. Yes, there is health insurance, and that IS a plus, but as a 5 year employee, working conditions have gone down, not up, which seems to reflect the position on the list.

Baristas are hired in at just above minimum wage ( in most states).


It is almost like a bait & switch for new partners at the store level. Several of our best hires over the last year or so come in, all bright eyed and full of Starbucks sparkle, so ready to demonstrate that world class customer service.

After a few weeks they start asking about the perks listed in Fortune, which they checked out prior to applying. I just have to tell them they are all available as long as they want to travel over a thousand miles to take advantage of the child care or gym.:-(


LARGE disconnect with what happens in Seattle and how the stores and field offices function! A real learning is happening of what damage that was done over the last few years and what it will take to fix. Large companies during times of downsizing realize this and plan accordingly. Starbucks is doing what they can and they are trying. Perhaps they are feeling this rebound in Seattle but not in the stores or field offices. Time is ticking and as the economy improves things will get very interesting as partners look elsewhere....Long way to go Howard, long way to go.

James Connolly

I guess Starbucks isn't advertising in Fortune as much as they used to...


WTF is a "Distribution Partner?"

I'm wondering if this category somehow magically includes every single hourly employee, because there's no way the most common job at Starbucks could otherwise have such a high average pay.


I'm in disbelief they even made the Top 100!! After the crazy year 2010 was with pushing Via, Frappuccino Happy Hour, Christmas B1G1 beverages, flavored coffees, the new way to make bar drinks and blended drinks,how can SBUX even be considered one of the Top 100 places to work for?


How can a company be considered a good place to work if they actually expect you to work?!!

Darth Sidamo.

The process involved with fortune is different than many think. Only a small part is actually partner surveys. Companies their selves actually put together presentations and pitch how great their company is to the group that ranks companies. Starbucks of course boasts those benefits like childcare and things only seen in Seattle or at a higher corporate level.


We should slide off that top 100 list by next year I am predicting.


As a 5 year plus partner I can honestly say that I have seen the downfall and sad change that has occurred. The mgmt. used to actually train people, but now they are just thrown into positions. We wonder why service & quality suffer.

Procedures have changed so frequently that anyone who has been there for any time have made drinks, steamed milk and sold products in MANY different ways.

Howards battle cry of "back to basics" was a disappointment to all of us. Via and all this other BS came along and the coffee shop aspect was lost. We have become the McDonalds of the coffee world.

Even regulars laugh at the newest beverage making routine.

I will continue to do what I am told because I am a partner who has small children and I need to keep my benefits, but even those have lost their luster, as they have been tinkered with as well.

Now I hear that Howard is giving copies of his new book to all partners. I am embarassed for him.


after seven years, its really sad to say just how bad it is to work at starbucks.many of us indentured slaves are looking elsewhere for jobs in a bad economy.many of us would take a pay cut to get better working conditions and still have health care.
each year they have asked more of baristas , after seven years its really too much.

each day you wake up and wonder, what new thing about my job are my customers going to tell me about ?

what other employers, that pay low wages , put the responsibility of covering one's shift, when they are sick , on those poor baristas.isn't this a managers task ?
the flip flops this compny has made could make one crazy.

random house has a new book this summer " how starbucks drove me insane"

i will not be suprised when told we must furnish our old tooth brushes to scrub the tile grout clean. dont laff , we would be recycling our brushes......blah , blah, blah

Austin Bearista

You're implying that we'll ever have enough coverage to clean the tile grout. Don't be so hopeful :P


austin bearista

you are so right, thats one of my big complaints, the work load has increased steadily while available labor goes down.two people on the floor some mornings , and they want you to "deep clean" ?

and god all these checklists, people just fill them out without reading them, there is no time, its time to work on the exit strategy.

peace to all the hard working baristas out there, "we'll keep pushing till it's understood, and these bad times start treating us good" b. springsteen.


I work in Seattle and we DO NOT have free child care and gym access. While these things are in the building you still have to pay for them. The child care is run by Bright Horizons and is so expensive it isn't an option for most people I know. It's also not just for Starbucks partners. It's funny to read the rumors on this site about what working at the SSC is actually like.

 Red cup

Any partner that has lasted with this company for years doesn't have any problem with working as you put it what we are sick of is all this new bs that makes no sense and I already know what I'm going to do with my howard book use it as firewood.


Red Cup,

Great idea! Baristas should arrange city wide book burnings of the Howard book. The date and time could be coordinated. It could be on Colbert Report!

Free Refill

To be honest I used to work for #9 ranked REI. They had some decent perks, but I am shocked they are 90 spots above Starbucks. The pay was similar and they gave you a great discount. But I found myself always having to make a choice. Should I buy more really cool gear that is really really cheap, or should I pay rent and eat better food. It sucked. In the end I had to quit because I wasn't getting enough hours. sound familiar to anyone? Starbucks, as a whole, cares way more for their employees(partners) than REI. I can't speak for each individual store, but as a whole our company is a pretty good place to work. My point is most jobs suck...they are jobs, we are making money for someone else. If you think working for Starbucks sucks, go start your own coffee shop.


Hello. I hear the complaints, but I'm looking for a job and am thinking of applying at Starbucks. I was wondering what the pay for a barista in Long Island is? And for shift supervisor? And only management gets sick and personal days? That seems strange.

Thank you for your time in helping me make a decision.

A Non eMoose

I am recovering from mono, which is as most people know a debilitating illness which leaves one quite unable to work or even crawl out of bed for an extended period. When I first told my store about it, my manager said I had to be the one to get the shifts covered as she was far too busy (with personal issues). I shrugged it off and called every single store in our district and any other nearby stores of other districts. Not a single one could spare a barista for any of my shifts, not even for a pittance of time to let the partners of such-and-such day at least get their halves. Several managers of those stores even chewed me out over the phone for daring to try to take one of their employees. Every single store apparently had all their partners maxed out at 40 hours, some claimed they were all even tapping overtime. This has been the last straw. No doubt corporate will send a mass letter over the Portal touting how they managed the magnificent feat of being on this list, once again blatantly deceiving unaware partners about how they have actually fallen. Meanwhile their incompetence threatens the health of their employees. I will be finding employment at some other location which perhaps does not wish to work their employees into a hospital.


I was Laid Off Back on April 2009, I was a Technician for 5 years, I loved the company, I did everything to make my store's happy and a friendly place to come to everyday.
I am gone like the wind, know one cares how the stores look anymore, FSN the company that took over, has sent out technicians that Don't have a Clue, Larry Eister is over 60+ yrs old, he is the one running the Show and keeping FSN around, because he doesn't want to get Fired and lose his Retirement along with his Medical coverage, I was told by some people that he is doing everthing he can to cover his butt, he doesn't want Howard to really find out what is happening in the Stores.
I just what you to know; I would come back in a MIN. if asked..
I stand for company standards...
None of the Standards are followed in any Starbucks stores, because none of the equipment -- Meet Starbucks Standards Set by Howard, and the people that were in that meeting, Larry Eister was in that meeting. the only way Larry would find out what was going on in the stores, was by having the weekly tech meeting, he still has the weekly tech meetings, but FSN told all the Tech to keep their mouth's shut, and don't say a word, or your job was on the line....
FSN as Doped the Ball SO many times, they are still around, because they signed a 5yr contract with Starbucks.
That will cover Larry and set himself up for Retirement, then Starbucks; will be Screwed again...


So I was told that Starbucks doesn't have any control over this site,
I have posted a lot of items, just to find they have been deleted.
I don't use bad words.
So let's see if this last on here...


if starbucks can come up with "symphony" ,
then what can't they have a web site for baritas that either need their shift covered or are looking for more hours ?

p.s. pepsi would be insane to buy this crazy company.


I left the company last summer after working several years as a store manager. Although the vast majority of veteran partners who I worked with have also left, my heart goes out to those who remain, and who struggle to do a good job in spite of all the absurd BS that the field "leadership" and SSC have thrown at them. Such a disconnect between the stores and those "above" them! Rarely has a company lost it way as thoroughly as Starbucks has. It both saddens and angers me. Howard would do well to save the expense of sending all partners a copy of his new book--I'd be surprised if most didn't toss it right where it belongs--in the garbage!

I <3 music

What would it mean to employees who have stock if pepsi bought starbucks?

Georgia Latte

Abe.... An online scheduling system that posts partners schedules online and allows partners to switch with other partners at other stores was referenced a couple of years ago. I dunno if they ran into snags, or are perhaps testing it in certain areas... Anyone have any input?

Scared barista.

OMG I read these posts from people and pretty much ALL of you have hit it on the head. I am a partner of little over 4 years and I was proud to say I worked for Starbucks at the start. We had pretty much everything.
We had decent (not great or fully live-able) wages.
We had 2 personal days a year.
We had actual 1 on 1 training and time to do it with no pressure.
We had non-coverage to get all the deep cleaning done and leads/mgt could get ALL their stuff done and not take "coverage" away from the floor so we had plenty of people. It was pretty much a set and easier way to make hot and cold drinks. Customers were happy and enjoyed coming in and telling us about their vacations or their families and they had fun also while we were there. When the phases came around we actually had time to read the materials and learn it. We were all on the same page.

Current day Starbucks:
Now I am trying to find a better job since Starbucks pay no where near covers any of my expenses. Wages are very meager to say at best. It is much harder to get a raise. If you are not 110% all the time good luck getting a meets expectations.
Even though it keeps getting announced that Starbucks is making a profit and doing better we still have not received even 1 personal day back. No sick days at all but they tell us not to come into work sick but get your shifts covered if you are sick even though nobody wants to pick up shifts because they are fed up with the BS.
Training....what is that? Like a previous partner said now you don't get a "Learning Coach" (is there such a thing anymore) you are literally thrown on the floor and good luck. You better catch on or else. You are even put with someone that may have only been there a month.
Procedures have changed so much and so often over the 4 years who even knows the proper way to do things now? You can ask 5 different baristas how to make something or what a policy is and you will get 10 different answers.
Now non-coverage is only the couple hours for the SM on monday for payroll and if a store is lucky they get time for tips. Other things like deep cleaning and other previous non-coverage hours have to be done while on the floor and as coverage so it takes time away from the customers and if it is not done the lead/mgt gets "coached".
When a new phase comes out there is no time to actually read the materials and learn the product and drink procedures. You read a sentence here and there and hope you get it all.
Insurance yes we have but it has become so expensive and also the copay's are outrageous and I personally can't even afford to get my medications.
Howard needs to sit down 1 on 1 or with small groups and talk to people who are NOT afraid to stand up and say something. He needs to hear from us not the "filtered" comments 2nd 3rd or even 10th person it goes through.
This is a bit long. Thanks for the ear. I would love to hear any comments on this anyone has to offer.


For everybody mentioning that they have to cover their shifts if they are sick, this is NOT so. This was just a big issue in our city because a few managers didn't follow the sick policy. When you are sick, you are not to work. You should call in as soon as possible and can be ASKED to call around and cover your shift. That is optional, but it's also in good spirit of cooperation to make a few phone calls.

The whole "it's your shift, it's your responsibility to cover it" does NOT apply to sick. If you are sick, it is ultimately up to your manager. They can ask you to help, but you aren't even required to do so. They can request you bring a doctors note on your return to work.

That IS the sick policy. If your manager tells you to come in to work sick, tell them no. Call your PR person or Business conduct. That's how this whole informing baristas of the real policy push came about in this area.


they can not request a doctors note unless the company is 100 percent covered by health insurance.


"Now I am trying to find a better job since Starbucks pay no where near covers any of my expenses. Wages are very meager to say at best."

Starting pay is higher now than it was in your supposed glory days. You said that pay used to be "decent," but then say it is now "meager," even though pay rates have only gone up, not down. That makes no sense.

"It is much harder to get a raise. If you are not 110% all the time good luck getting a meets expectations."

I know this to be false. I can't remember the last time a shift or barista who whom I've worked hasn't gotten a raise during their reviews.

"Training....what is that? Like a previous partner said now you don't get a "Learning Coach" (is there such a thing anymore) you are literally thrown on the floor and good luck."

Your manager must really be terrible, because this is not what happens in my store or any other store I've worked in recently. We still have learning coaches, assigned training shifts, and a full set of tools used to train in new hires. Training may not be as slow paced or hands on as it used to be, but I consider it to be just as effective now, if not more so.

"Procedures have changed so much and so often over the 4 years who even knows the proper way to do things now?"

I do. It's called reading the portal and staying informed about what's happening in the company. It's not that hard.

"Insurance yes we have but it has become so expensive and also the copay's are outrageous and I personally can't even afford to get my medications."

I think my insurance went up about ten dollars a month. That's it. My co-pay hasn't changed.


It is possible that the cost of living has far outpaced barista pay as well as cost of benefits. In most markets when minimum wage was increased it successfully erased a year and a half of raises for many. The cost of insurance has tripled for many as well (The same plan that once was 15-20 a paycheck is now 45-60) as the average tips per store has steadily lowered due to economy as well as price increases. It is very feasible for a person to tip less as their drink costs more.

This does not even take into account the jump to higher gas, food, and housing prices over the past four or five years. Check for check my take home pay is actually lower now than when I started with the company.


hey waltie
on whose time and dime does one "read the portal" ?
that must be some real good koolaid at your store.

peace brother , count your blessings, not many stores are like the one you describe.


I don't like whiners. Do your job, use effective time management, and make it a priority to keep yourself and others informed. It's not hard. If you honestly can't find five minutes to read the portal at least once per shift, you need to seriously readjust your attitude and point of view.

Here's a life lesson: Jobs require people to do things. You can either do those things, or you can sit around and complain. Have fun complaining.



I reread my post and you are correct. They can't request a note for a one off absence. But for chronic misses they can, and they can also ask for an "okay to return to work" if you had mono or the likes and miss a lot of work.

Scared barista.

Waltie I admire the fact you are in a good district and a good store that will allow you to do the stuff needed. I have been in 3 different districts now and all 3 are the same. You do not get the time to read the portal. Your ideas were correct before the economy and changes but after that it is exactly how I described in my areas.
... said it right. Yes we may have gotten raises and stuff but it does not equal the cost of living. I too am bringing home less making more money then I did when I made less money.
The price of the health insurance has gone up a little from our checks but the main and more expensive costs is the change in the perscriptions costs. I have to pay MORE out of pocket now. I have meds that are over $2k. And co-pays went up $10 for office visits.
I am NOT saying EVERY store and district is bad because there are some really good stores out there. I am talking very general. And yes I bust my butt and do not just stand around doing nothing like yes a lot of other partners do. I have even had comments on our customer voice indicating that customers see me working and there is a line to the door and others are standing around taking their time and just chit chatting.
Yes your situation and place is ideal but not realistic in all areas.
Thank you for the time you took to reply. I wish you and everyone else could prove me wrong.


All I'm saying is that you're completely unable to do your job, the problem might not be with the company, but with you. You simply might not be able to do your job, simply because you're good enough.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's something that needs to be said.

James Connolly

@Waltie: "I think my insurance went up about ten dollars a month. That's it. My co-pay hasn't changed."

Copay and premium went up when the company switched from Aetna to Premera Blue Cross, which was about two years ago. In addition the Premera YourCare PPO isn't even as good as the Routine Care PPO from Aetna. So yes, insurance costs more and covers less.

"I don't like whiners. Do your job, use effective time management, and make it a priority to keep yourself and others informed. It's not hard. If you honestly can't find five minutes to read the portal at least once per shift, you need to seriously readjust your attitude and point of view.

Here's a life lesson: Jobs require people to do things. You can either do those things, or you can sit around and complain. Have fun complaining."

My time's better spent on the floor since we barely have enough coverage to get the bare minimum done, and I'll be damned if I spend my breaks working.

"Starting pay is higher now than it was in your supposed glory days. You said that pay used to be "decent," but then say it is now "meager," even though pay rates have only gone up, not down. That makes no sense."

And are the same amount of hours available? How about things like fuel costs? Those have gone up faster than my raises. Some of the wage issues Starbucks has no direct control over, but things like the coverage cuts should be rolled back because we're making money hand over fist.


Let's remember folks, you make coffee at a coffeehouse. It's not exactly rocket science. The economy has been rough on everyone so even Howard Schultz can't magically make things better. Be thankful you have what you have and your company is highly rated. There are millions of people who would love to be in your shoes. You are also free to leave anytime. Don't be like the crybabies at Walmart who complain about how horrible the company is yet they never leave. Maybe some of you should read Schultz's new book. You'll see why this is a difficult, competitive business. Selling expensive coffee in a recession isn't easy.



why do you not see that your store and your experience are exceptions,and not the realities of many others.
It's good that you somehow get the time, to do your job, at the cost of the store, when we are trying to keep labor at a minumum, or your own time.
the management should strive to be like you, but the harsh reality is most don't.

either way i said it before, the people who frequent this board, care enough to speak their mind, or hate starbucks so much that it's blind fury. and you fight the people that care.


@eekingby can you tell us more about this? Because at my store, if you have bronchitis or the flu and you don't come in, you can basically be written up. I had a doc's note for 3 days once, and was only able to take one, and my recovery was, I believe, impeded. Besides being written up there is a silent threat of losing hours later if you can't get a shift covered and are sick. You are expected to call other stores, even if you are vomiting. It is easier to work sick. Then, of course, your partners get sick. It didn't used to be like this at my store a few years and a manager ago, and we are all actively looking for other jobs.


i think a lot of the pressure to work sick if no one will cover stems from the fact that only 2 people are scheduled on the floor at a time in our fast-paced store, and what is the SM going to d about that, cover for you? Not if our SM isn't scheduled.


"I'll be damned if I spend my breaks working"

I never work on my breaks. I use effective time management to get done what needs doing. I don't work on my breaks and I don't expect or allow anybody else to either. So, yes, I'm able to find five minutes per day to check the portal. If you're not able to do that, you're doing something wrong. I'm sorry, but it's true. Five minutes is no an eternity. It's five minutes.

"And are the same amount of hours available? How about things like fuel costs?"

At my store, most partners get enough hours. I don't hear complaints about that. If store partners aren't getting enough hours, they probably have limited availability or the store is simply overstaffed. Labor hours have been cut, but I have yet to seen that it has been excessively so. When I started years ago, I remember having seven people on when we'd now have three. I remember it being a lot of fun because we had time to stand around and talk and joke with each other in the backroom. I can understand why Starbucks looked at their labor and realized that having that many people on was simply pointless and a waste of money.

As for gas prices... that's a completely ridiculous argument. Gas prices fluctuate, going up and down from month to month. Are you honestly expecting a company to take the price of gas into account when setting pay rates? If you can't afford gas, take a bus, walk, or ride a bike. That's a non issue.

"why do you not see that your store and your experience are exceptions,and not the realities of many others. "

Why do you not see that your store and experience might be the exceptions and not the realities of many others? Maybe... just maybe... there are more good, better run stores out there than there are bad ones.

Oh, I know the good ones might be underrepresented here, but that's why I keep posting. People keep saying "X Y Z" even though over the course of six years, dozens of stores, and three or four different districts, I've never seen or heard of "X Y X" actually happening.

Look at the names that people post on this website. There are really about a dozen, and they all keep saying the same complaints over and over complaints. Complaints that I easily refute because I know that 75% of them are straight up lies, 20% are from people who either refuse or are incapable of doing their jobs properly, and then the remaining 5% might have some merit.


As awesome as waltie thinks he/she is, my manger has created an environment where their job is actually the easiest and passes the actual managing duties on to those below him. I am sure Waltie actually believes the crap that comes out of his/her mouth, but when its 10 people saying one thing and one person saying ten things well, maybe you are the wrong one waltie.


Does anyone else read Waltie's comments and imagine it is Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" speaking.


Actually... I'm not wrong. Not on this, anyway. And I don't think I'm awesome.

Allow me to explain myself. Some people are claiming that Starbucks sucks as a corporation because nobody has time to learn the rules, properly train, or do something as seemingly easy as read the portal at least once per shift. I refuted this statements because I know they are false, since I do these things effectively all the time.

Now... maybe I'm wrong and I'm the exception to everybody else at Starbucks. That would mean I'm the only person who knows the new rules, recipes, and policies. That would mean I am the *only* person who reads the portal and keeps updated on new information.

So go ahead and ask some questions about updated recipes or policies. You will get dozens of people answering your question. It happens all the time here. Whenever there is a question on policy, recipes, or new alerts, dozens of people chime in with the answers. That's because *THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING THEIR JOBS!!*

We have the labor we need, we have people who are doing training and being trained. We have people who read the portal, keep their stores clean, and still interact with customers and create the third place environment. It happens every day, all across the country.

And we also have people who complain about how none of this is possible. I honestly understand that most of the complainers believe these things are impossible. That doesn't make them right, it just means they're not capable of doing their jobs properly.

That's just the way it is. And I've never seen the Big Bang Theory, but this Sheldon fellow sounds like a very smart man.

Scared barista.

Whatever Waltie. I am not on here to argue with you or anyone else. This is a place to say what is on our minds. Congratulations that you have such a perfect store and work environment. Unfortunately a lot of us don't.
I wish you the best Waltie because as perfect as you and your store is you will be CEO in no time flat. As for the rest of you that are listening and understand me and know exactly what I am talking about Keep up the hard work. I myself am hoping there is a light at then bottom of the cup....LOL.

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