Working at Coffee Bean vs. Starbucks: Which is a better place to work

Every barista wants to be associated with the top coffee shop chains in the world. To be employed in these institutions would be a plus for anyone in that space. However, potential employees are normally torn between working at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Starbucks.

Finding the right working environment as a barista is always a challenge. I have been forced to switch jobs twice just in search of a favorable environment. My win goes to Starbucks, even though work can be stressful at times. I decided to prepare this post for current and future aspiring employees of the two companies, so they can see which of the two has a better work environment. You will learn what to approve of and what not to tolerate in your workplace.

What are the differences between working at Coffee Bean Vs Starbucks?


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf


Compensation and benefits

Offer a variety of benefits but they are very limited

Has so many benefits for an employee to enjoy.


Employees are underpaid yet overworked

Salaries are still low, but better than at Coffee Bean

Job security and job postings

Layoffs happen very often and jobs are not secure. There are also not so many job postings

Starbucks has career opportunities almost every day and jobs are secure. Postings are also made often

Flexibility in working hours

Although there are shifts, the workload is immense, leading to long shifts

Shifts are reasonable, paid off days, and work-life balance guaranteed


Culture and values

Not taken quite seriously

Upheld and regarded highly

Coffee Bean Vs Starbucks – How does working there compare?

Compensations, perks, and employee benefits

Working Starbucks

Working at Starbucks mean enjoying various benefits including health coverage, stock, and saving, paid time off, parental leave, education, commuter benefit, and partner assistance. They also have perks such as coffee and tea mark out, in-store discounts, recognition programs, partner networks, affiliate discounts, on-site gym, daycare, and dry cleaning, matching gifts program, elite athlete program, Spotify premium subscription, and Care@Work by Compensation of employees is also always increased thus motivating them. Coffee Bean employees also enjoy benefits such as insurance, health and wellness, financial and retirement, family and parenting, vacation and paid time off, employee discounts, sick offs, and even training.

Starbucks wins in this category, with all the compensations and benefits that an employee enjoys.

Work-life balance

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf employees experience so much burnout with most chains being understaffed hence requiring employees to work overtime. Starbucks also has its challenge here. Although its employees are entitled to their off days, finding time to escape the workload is hard. Most times baristas in both spaces have no social life as this is a fast-paced environment that requires all hands on deck. However, when it comes to working hours, employees at Coffee Bean have a harder time and can go for up to 12 hours whereas, at Starbucks, they only take 8/1/2 hours a day, giving them a chance to catch up with their lives outside work.

Starbucks is, therefore, better as employees have some work-life balance compared to those at Coffee Bean.

Positive business outlook

Starbucks has always shown a positive business outlook each year, forecasting better sales and even greater profits shortly. Its employees have been indoctrinated into the system to always stay positive and work towards positive results. Through perks and benefits, they are motivated to stay on track. At Coffee Bean, the recent past has seen them shut down a number of their branches. The overworking of understaffed employees also brings despair to the business.

Starbucks has a positive business outlook as compared to Coffee Bean.

Career Opportunities

Coffee Bean promotes people by posting slots available for anyone wishing to be a team member. It also shares the same with its employees for those that wish to apply and offers training when a person acquires a position. However, with how limited its branches are, not so many people get to enjoy this opportunity. There have also been several layoffs from the company over the last 10 years, hence bringing the worrying question of whether there is job security. With new locations coming up at Starbucks every day, there is always room for employment. The multinational coffee chain always encourages its employees to apply and refers to them as partners who are growing their careers.

Starbucks takes the day on providing career opportunities for its employees.

Culture and values

Starbucks is always about inclusivity and embracing a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome. There is respect that is maintained across all levels, and employees feel the need to keep on going. At Coffee Bean, most employees confess that their work environment is toxic, that not every coworker is friendly and that management just makes work more difficult and harsher. The company does not work hard towards promoting its culture as Starbucks does.

Because of how respect, cultural values, and inclusivity are maintained at Starbucks, it is the better choice.

Job postings

Working at Coffee Bean vs. Starbucks

Quite often, Starbucks posts current job openings for its staff as well as any interested party to apply. Coffee Bean on the other hand rarely posts job openings. As a Coffee Bean employee, you rarely get informed that there is an opening worth applying for. Still, with the little they have to offer, not so many are normally psyched up to apply for those job postings.

Starbucks takes the day on how it presents existing opportunities.

CEO Approval

Coffee Bean employees appreciate their CEO but very few approve of his leadership style and his effectiveness. Most believe that his performance can be better and that the coffee shop can be propelled to do better. It all starts with who is at the helm. At Starbucks, the CEO, Howard Schultz is considered to effectively drive business results, and most employees approve of his management style. The culture, discipline, and resilience encountered at Starbucks chain shops speak for themselves. To top it all, how the CEO has assisted all employees in getting better treatment and services while they go about their businesses makes them approve of his leadership style without question.

Starbucks’ CEO carries the day with his leadership style and his ability to drive results.


Below are the salaries of similar positions from the two companies:


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf



$10.98 /hour

$12.16/ hour

Shift Manager

$13.68/ hour

$14.67/ hour

General Manager

$20.00/ hour

$55,780 per year

Starbucks pays its employees better, even though there is still room for improvement.

Coffee Bean Vs Starbucks – Employee Reviews

Coffee Bean Employee Review

Employees have had a lot to say about this coffee shop chain which includes both the good and the bad.

Leadership and Management

Most former employees were disappointed at how poorly the coffee shop was being managed. Many from different branches complained of being understaffed and overworked, experiencing extreme stress exerted by supervisors and managers, and a toxic workspace that does not encourage an employee to grow.

Poor wages

Another thing to note is how employees from this coffee shop chain desire better pay, citing how they do so much for so little. Notably, some have complained of working overtime or being forced to drop their off days and report to work, due to a huge number of customers. Yet the pay remains the same.


There is so much fun experienced among coworkers and the better time of the day for most employees from Coffee Bean is when they work as a team. As observed, coworkers make life easier.

Free Drinks

Most employees appreciate how they are allowed a free drink during each shift. Who would not want that?

Being overwhelmed

During peak hours, employees get overwhelmed with numerous orders and sometimes rude customers. There is neither time to sit down nor to take a break. Most even complain of having acquired health complications due to burnout, stress, and depression.

Starbucks Employee Review

Working at Tim Hortons vs. Starbucks - Which is a better place to work?

Starbucks has also not been left behind and employees have rated it for what it is:

A fast-paced and thrilling environment

Most employees enjoy how fast-paced Starbucks is, making them learn a lot as they feel the thrill. However, sometimes it gets too much and there is no time for a break.

Great benefits

There are so many benefits to enjoy as an employee at Starbucks, and most appreciate this fact.

Flexible hours

Employees are flexible enough to have a work-life balance. Working in shifts and being able to go on paid offs is a plus and employees could not have it any better.

Low wages

If only the wages could be looked into then probably employees could deliver even more. Most employees agree that it can be stressful working at Starbucks and thus they are just not paid enough.

Rude customers

Quite often employees have complained about how they encounter rude customers. Sometimes this is when an employee has barely gotten any sleep, has worked a long shift, and is running on an empty stomach. They wish clients would try to be human and give them an easy time.

Final Verdict: So, which is a better place to work? – Coffee Bean Vs Starbucks

Starbucks is the better option for a place to work between the two. Employees always want to feel loved, needed, and motivated. Starbucks gives them this and so much more. It puts its employees first, ensuring that they are well taken care of, even as they cater to the needs of its customers. The benefits they receive together with the healthy work environment they are in, make up for everything an employee would need.


Does Coffee Bean provide better employee benefits than Starbucks?

No. Although Coffee Bean provides employee benefits, Starbucks has a broader package for its employees. The benefits of Starbucks are detailed and able to improve their employees’ lives.

Does Coffee Bean value its customers more than Starbucks?

Both coffee shop chains are multinational businesses that value their customers and their feedback. They are both always working towards growing and getting more customers. We cannot look away from the efforts made by Coffee Bean just as Starbucks has, to impress their customers.

Which company values its employees more Coffee Bean or Starbucks?

Starbucks values its employees more than Coffee Bean does. Considering how invested Starbucks is in its employees, there are no two sides to it.

Which company provides a better working environment between Coffee Bean and Starbucks?

Starbucks provides a better working environment since everyone is friendly, and working towards their culture of inclusivity. The environment is not toxic and encourages you to be better. Some Coffee Bean employees have even complained that to survive in that environment, they too had to be toxic. Not at all the right work environment.

Which company invests more in its employees between Starbucks and Coffee Bean?

Starbucks is always about positivity in its partners and team to work towards a better business outlook. It, therefore, invests so much in its employees from benefits to training just so it can retain them and help them be better.

Which employees are likely to recommend their workplace to a friend, Starbucks, or Coffee Bean employees?

Starbucks employees would recommend their workplace to a friend because of all it has to offer.

Do I have to know the drink recipes to be employed at Starbucks?

No, luckily for you, they teach you all you need to know, and the experience is fun. Before you officially start working a shift, you will have to finish the training and learn all policies of the company as well as its products.

Leave a Comment