New Starbucks policies relax requirements and raise pay

On Oct. 16, Starbucks excited all of its partners with incredibly exciting news. More self-expression is now allowed because of the relaxed dress code, pay is going to increase and the benefits that come along with the job title are expanding.

When I started working at Starbucks, the dress code was pretty strict. Hair up in a ponytail, no facial piercings, no tattoos exposed, shirt tucked in and black slacks were standard. As of Oct. 20, that’s changing.

As far as piercing goes, the company is still pretty strict, stating “less is more” on their new dress code appearance guidelines. What they are allowing now though is a small nose stud. Stretched piercings are allowed, but they prefer that they aren’t any bigger than 10 mm. My ears are stretched about five sizes bigger than that, but my hair covers them pretty well. As for pants, partners are now allowed to wear denim, dark black though, no visible fade will be accepted. Partners are also allowed to wear scarves now, which is kind of weird to me, but being in the drive-thru window at four in the morning will probably prompt me to bring one a time or two. What I’m most excited for though is the fact that we can now show tattoos. My work wardrobe is definitely limited because of the locations of my tattoos. I have to cover one up with a Band-Aid as it is on my wrist, and the other is on my forearm so I always have to wear long sleeves. Now, I’ll be able to wear polos which will be nice in the summer.

Another piece of the news that Starbucks partners are extremely excited for is the one free food markout a day rule. Currently, we get all of our drinks free while we work but any food that we want, we have to buy. Of course we get it at a discounted price, but we still do have to buy it. Starting in January, though, we will be able to receive one free food markout per shift. This means that we’ll be able to try new food items for free or indulge in our favorites whenever we want.

What a lot of partners are excited for is the announcement of pay increases. In January, all baristas and shift supervisors will receive a pay increase, and according to the Starbucks corporate website, all “experienced” partners will receive a lump sum so “earnings grow as partners tenure.” I’ve been with the company for almost two years, and personally I hope that the raise brings us somewhere in the $13-$15 per hour market.

In addition to all of the changes and additions, Starbucks will create more opportunities for partners to promote within the company and have more chances to review progress with managers. If you’re looking for a job, Starbucks is definitely the way to go.