Hourly pay for Starbucks workers will jump to $15-$23

Starbucks announced Wednesday that its workers in the U.S. will receive a pay raise next year, ranging between $15 and $23 an hour.

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The wage increases will take effect by next summer, the Seattle-based coffee giant said in a news release.

In a letter to employees, Starbucks’ North America President Rossann Williams said the wage increases are part of an overall effort to improve working conditions in its stores.

According to the release, Starbucks employees with two or more years of service will receive a 5% raise in January, while workers with five or more years of experience could receive up to a 10% raise. Workers can also receive a $200 recruitment bonus for attracting new employees.

Starbucks said it was the third time in two years that it has raised workers’ pay, according to The Associated Press.

The company is planning a second pay hike for summer 2022, which will bring its average wage to $17 an hour, CNBC reported. The current average hourly pay is $14 an hour; Starbucks last raised wages in December 2020.

The announcement comes as restaurants, bars and other eateries struggle to fill their staffs. Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Popeyes’ owner Restaurant Brands International said they faced labor challenges during the third quarter of 2021, CNBC reported.

On Tuesday, Costco announced it raised the minimum wage for hourly store workers up a dollar to $17. Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 in 2020, while Target and Best Buy followed suit in 2020.

Walmart raised its minimum wage from $11 to $12 last month, according to CNN. CVS and Walgreens said in August they would increase starting pay to $15 an hour, the news network reported.

“As Starbucks celebrates our 50th anniversary we are reminded that our heritage is based on the simple concept that our green apron partners are the heartbeat of Starbucks and that success is best when it’s shared,” Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, said in a statement. “Today, we are announcing another historic investment in our partners, knowing that when we take care of our partners, they take care of our customers, and all stakeholders benefit. This is how we continue to build a great and enduring company. One that is committed to the ideal that doing good for one another -- and for society -- is good for business over the long term.”

Starbucks’ announcement comes while the company has experienced worker unrest. Employees at three Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York, are attempting to form a union, according to CNBC. The group, Starbucks Workers United, has filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board seeking union votes.

Starbucks said the union vote was not the impetus for its announcement, according to the AP.

“Our founder, Howard Schultz, believed in the dignity of the human experience, in building a successful company, and that our success should always be shared,” Williams said in a statement. “These new investments show the continued commitment we all have to creating the best opportunities and experience for our partners.”