Behind the Green Apron: Our Sustained Commitment to Partner Care

In a letter to partners (employees) today, Starbucks Canada general manager, Lori Digulla reaffirms commitment to Partner Care and confirms continued investment in hourly partner wages including annual increases of 3% and stock grants in 2021.

Read the full letter below.


Every success, every ounce of progress, every positive moment we’ve experienced navigating this pandemic is thanks to our commitment to our Mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit. We’re getting through the challenge of a lifetime because we are working together, in service of each other, our customers and our communities. It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been perfect, but it has been remarkable with so much to be proud of.  Thank you! And you have my commitment to keep supporting you every step of the way.

The truth is we’re still very much rebuilding our business with continued changes ahead to adapt to and overcome. But one thing that will always be true is we will be 100% committed to our Mission, and partner care and safety will always be at the heart of all our decisions. This pandemic has brought some of the biggest challenges any of us have faced, personally and professionally, but there is so much support available to you now, with more coming, that I want to be sure you know about.

Partner Care

We have always offered leading benefits and support for partners, and we looked for more and new ways to support you from the very start of the pandemic including comprehensive safety protocols and modified operations; multiple pay supports from March through October like Catastrophe Pay, Service Pay, COVID-19 Partner Care pay, COVID-19 leave options; and millions of dollars issued in CUP Fund grants. Importantly, months of closing and reopening stores limited hours worked so we also decreased eligibility hours to ensure benefits-enrolled partners would continue to qualify for benefits.

We sometimes hear that partners are not fully aware of everything available to them so we are re-publishing links and have created a quick reference infographic to capture all the benefits and supports that are available to you – financial, mental, physical, emotional and so much more. Please make some time to explore everything we have to support you and your families. We continue to assess, add and adjust our full package of support to ensure the most valuable and relevant resources are available to you, including some that you have told us are game-changers for you like our mental health benefits, tuition reimbursement, LifeWorks and enhanced resources committed to internal talent advancement and opportunity coming later this year.

Partner Pay

In addition to leading benefits we offer competitive pay. We’ve increased scheduled hours and we continue to work hard to build our business back up, to provide more hours that can further increase your earnings. Despite the fact that we are still rebuilding our business,  I’m happy to share that we’ve made the important decisions to proceed with a 3% annual wage increase for all hourly partners in 2021 which exceeds inflation and what we know most Canadian companies are planning; and we will maintain our pay differential for shift supervisors as we continue to invest in these partners and attract and reward our best baristas to this important role.  More information will be available next month as we prepare for these increases to take effect in January (increase dates remain the same, happening every 6 months, and tied to your anniversary date).

I’m proud to share Starbucks U.S. is also invested in supporting partners by increasing wages for hourly partners. In Canada, we’ve made investments to increase minimum wage by up to 35% over the last five years. At Starbucks, we have a multi-year aspiration to make meaningful investments in pay. It will require all of us, working together, to rebuild and grow our business, so that we all can continue to share in our success.

In addition to the wage increase, we are maintaining our Bean Stock grants, which are a significant investment in your future financial stabililty. Bean Stock grants are what make us “partners”, and later this month we will announce this year’s grant to our eligible baristas and shift supervisors. In FY19 baristas received grants of $600 USD and shift supervisors received grants of $875 USD. When you receive your Bean Stock grant, you are automatically set-up with a Fidelity account and will need to go to Fidelity NetBenefits to: Open your account  and View and accept your grant.

Prioritizing Safety

Compensation is important, but it’s critical that you are, and feel, safe at work. Everything we learned and reimagined since we entered this pandemic has prepared us to navigate what may come. We’re confident and ready to face the challenges ahead together, because we have the operations models, protocols and tools to run our stores safely for partners and customers. We will stay vigilant and flexible to adjust store operations as we need to, store by store and community by community while we maintain all the best-in-class control measures we have in place.

  • We’ve updated our operations guides to support partners in providing the Starbucks Experience through various operations models including: Entry Way Handoff, Grab and Go, and limited For Here operations, reflecting all existing safety measures.
  • We’re continuing to invest in Third Place, de-escalation and safety trainings for all roles
  • We’re introducing new floor decals to help clearly signal where customers should place and wait for their order, which will also support continued efforts to maintain physical distancing.
  • We’ll be sharing additional information and direction for furniture solutions to create a welcoming and safe environment for our customers as we move into the Winter months.
  • We’re not offering Happy Hour in November or December, and we have pulled advertising of our free reusable Red Cups for holiday launch because we don’t want to cause crowds in our stores. Of course, we love to create Best Moments for customers, and welcome more customers back to help rebuild our business, but we’ll be sharing new ways we can inspire and excite customers while protecting physical distancing.

Partners, I am so very proud of our team and how we live our Mission every day, with a smile, bringing hope to each other and millions of customers every week. This is how we will get through our toughest challenges, and I have every confidence we will continue to lead through this to emerge even stronger, and even more committed to each other, our customers and communities, together.

With gratitude,

Lori Digulla

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