Starbucks in Japan vs. America: how are they different?

If you have ever decided to take a trip or move to a different country, one concern that might slip your mind is food. Especially if those countries are Japan and America since they not only differ geographically but also have very different cultures. Then you realize that they both have Starbucks and a wave of relief washes over you. Not so fast! Just because you spot a Starbucks logo in both countries does not mean they are the same.

In this post, I will focus on all the differences between Starbucks stores in America and Japan, and by the end of it, we will know which one is better.

What are the differences between Starbucks AMERICA vs. Starbucks JAPAN?


Starbucks America

Starbucks Japan


Is more contemporary and has a library-like feel

The stores are peaceful and quiet and there are extra floors in most of the store


Has 15,444 stores in the 50 states

Has more than 1,550 stores across the country


Has drinks diverse menu that can be customized

The food menu has a few items

Includes a lot of native foods and drinks that are not found in other countries

Price range

Is affordable

Is expensive

Beverage sizes

Ranges between 8oz to 30oz

Ranges between 8oz to 20oz

Environmental consciousness

Recycles items to reduce waste and carbon footprints

Has greener stores with reusable cups and environmentally friendly construction


Has high traffic

Has higher traffic

Benefits of Compensation

Has partner and family sick time benefits and insurance covers for employees

Employees get various insurance covers

Job Opportunity

Job opportunities available from managerial to barista positions

Foreign applicants need a working visa

Flexibility of working hours

Opens at 5 am and 7 am and closes between 6 pm and 8 pm from Monday to Friday

Opens at 8 am and closes at 7 pm. Time is different depending on the stores

Job satisfaction

82 percent satisfaction

82 percent


Managed by the chief executive officer

Managed by the representative director

Drinks quality



Delivery options

Deliveries are done from the nearest Starbucks store

Has mobile order and pay

Starbucks AMERICA vs. Starbucks JAPAN –How they compare


Starbucks in Japan vs. America

Starbucks America has a contemporary ambiance that is welcoming to all. Most of the artwork and colors are inclusive and create a warm environment for interaction and which everyone can relate.

On the other hand, most Starbucks japan stores have native designs and the décor is representative of the culture of the Japanese people. The ambiance is cozy and relaxing.

Starbucks America, therefore, wins in this category due to its inclusive atmosphere.


In America, there are 15,444 Starbucks stores in all 50 states of which over 8000 are company-operated while the rest are licensed. Japan on the other hand has 1550 stores. The number continues to rise as more stores are opened in different areas.

Starbucks America wins this category since it has more locations all over the country.


Starbucks America has a variety of foods and drinks on its menu. The drinks are hot and cold and can be customized differently. There are also secret menus that involve drink combinations that are not enlisted on the menu boards.

On the other hand, most Starbucks Japan stores have menus consisting of Japanese foods and ingredients. However, most of the drinks are identified by the same names as America’s and also falls under categories like coffee, espresso, tea, and Frappuccino.

In this category, Starbucks America wins since the drinks can be customized and it has some diverse secrete menus and categories that lack in Starbucks Japan.

Price Range

Starbucks America is cheaper than Starbucks Japan. Generally, the cost of living in Japan triples that in America. This cause the prices of the drinks to go higher compared to America. At least an extra $1.00 is charged on Starbucks drinks in Japan.

Starbucks America wins this category since it has cheaper products.

Beverage sizes

Starbucks America has five sizes which include short (8oz), tall (12oz), Grande (16oz), Venti (20oz for hot drinks and 24oz for cold drinks), and Tentra (31oz). On the other hand, Starbucks Japan has all the first four sizes but lacks the Tentra size.

Starbucks America, therefore, wins this category since it has more sizes and, the biggest size.

Environmental Consciousness

Starbucks in America

Both Starbucks America and Starbucks Japan have implemented strategies to reduce their waste and carbon footprints. Starbucks launched its first greener store in japan in 2021. There have also been moves like using recyclable and reusable cups to reduce plastic waste. Also, the designs used in all the stores are environmentally friendly.

Starbucks America and Japan tie in this category since they are both environmentally conscious.


Starbucks Japan has higher traffic compared to Starbucks America. Starbucks stores in America mostly serve in and out customers. This is unlike in Japan where most customers are served and sit around to busy themselves with reading or getting other work done. The number of stores also increases the traffic.

Also, statistics show that the number of people who visit the websites is high but Japan’s is a little higher than America’s. America has registered low numbers in recent years.

In this category, Starbucks Japan wins because of higher traffic.

Benefits and Compensation

Since both the stores in Japan and America have one head management the benefits of compensation are pretty much similar. The employees receive benefits like life insurance, disability coverage, health coverage, employee assistance, vacation, adoption assistance, and commuter benefits among others. Only the terms may differ between the two.

In this category, it is a draw between the two since they both have similar benefits of compensation.

Job Opportunity

Starbucks Japan requires foreign applicants to have a working visa to be apple to get hired. This does not apply to America Starbucks.

Starbucks America wins this category since there are no working visas required for foreign applicants.

Flexibility and working hours

Both Starbucks America and Japan have flexible working hours that include opening roughly around 7 am and closing around 8 pm.

Therefore, in this category Starbucks Japan and America are in a tie.

Job satisfaction

According to overall statistics, 82 percent of Starbucks employees are satisfied with their jobs. This rate is reflected by how the employees are nice to the customers and are vested in what they do.

Starbucks Japan and America both win this category.


Since America is the Starbucks headquarter, the management of its stores is better than in Japan where the representative director manages the stores.

In this category, Starbucks America wins due to better management.

Drinks quality

Starbucks isn’t the best coffee house for nothing. One quality that keeps it number one is continuity. The good quality of drinks in America is passed on to Japan to make the company even better.

In this category, America and Japan tie.

Delivery options

Starbucks continues to include food delivery companies like uber eats in its delivery process. This has however been adopted by Starbucks America more compared to Starbucks Japan.

Therefore, Starbucks America wins this category due to better delivery.

Starbucks AMERICA vs. Starbucks JAPAN – A Comparison Overview

Starbucks AMERICA Overview

The first Starbucks store was opened in Seattle making America the mother of Starbucks. At the time it was only offering coffee beans. When a New Yorker, Howard Schultz came into the picture in 1982 he was inspired by an experience in Italy to bring warmth and artistry to Starbucks. This led to the expansion of the store from Seattle to other places around America. A total of 115,440 stores have been opened since and a locator set up to help the customers with the addresses.

The stores are spread all over the 50 states and continue to attract millions of customers. Starbucks employees and customers in America form a very coordinative community. This relationship has led to the identification of unique drinks that belong to the company’s secret menu. The original menu keeps changing but the customers’ favorite coffee drinks and bakery items are always on the boards.

Starbucks JAPAN Overview

Starbucks in Japan

In 1996 Starbucks opened its first store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan making it the number one coffee house. Since then 1550 stores have been opened all over the country. Unlike the stores in America, the ones in Japan embodied Japanese culture from the drinks served to the unique designs of the cups. A major difference that continues to stand out is the writing of names on the cups. While American stores have adopted it, the stores in Japan use numbers instead of names. This is part of the customer’s preferences.

Just like how employees and customers in the stores in America bond over secret menus the ones in Japan share their culture and have personalized Starbucks to fit their needs comfortably. The drinks and bakery items also consist of Japanese ingredients and formulas.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Starbucks AMERICA or Starbucks JAPAN

Starbucks America is better than Starbucks Japan. Starbucks America is not only cheap but also has a better ambiance. The locations are also many which guarantees that most people have accessibility to the products. The prices of the drinks are also cheaper compared to Starbucks japan. Other than that, Starbucks America has diverse menus and better beverage sizes. When compared to the stores in japan.

Even though the traffic in Japan continues to grow, Starbucks America keeps gaining prominence and finding new ways to ensure customer satisfaction. It also matches steadily Starbucks in Japan in terms of benefits of compensation and job satisfaction.


Which is busier between Starbucks America and Starbucks Japan?

Starbucks America is busier than Starbucks Japan since most of it mostly serves in and out customers compared to Japan where the customers stay longer in the stores.

Are Starbucks America cup sizes bigger than cup sizes in Japan?

No, the cup sizes are similar only that Starbucks America has a 30oz Tentra size that Starbucks Japan does not have

Which one has more locations between Starbucks America and Starbucks Japan?

Starbucks America has 15,444 stores which is more than Japan’s 1550 stores.

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