Working at COSTA vs. Starbucks: Which is a better place to work?

We can trust Starbucks and Costa with our favorite coffee drinks, but what is working in these coffee houses like? If you happen to relocate to Europe and are looking for a job in either company, you will likely get confused and wonder which company is better. There are so many dynamics that make a place great for work, and this is what we will be looking at in both companies. We will explore the work-life balance, pay rates, career opportunities, and many more factors and you will learn which place is better to work, so keep reading.

What are the differences between working at COSTA vs. Starbucks?




Work-life balance


25% of Costa employees have a poor work-life balance due to long hours.


Starbucks rates 0.4 higher than Costa, with 84% of its employees working for 8 hours or less.

Career Opportunities


More than half of employees at Costa feel that the company has great career opportunities for entry-level workers and experienced workers


Starbucks rates 0.5 higher than Costa in career opportunities. This means that the opportunities ta this coffee chain are more expansive than Costa

Compensation and Employee Benefits


A big percentage of Costa employees think that the benefits in this company are meager. They get a 50% discount on food while on duty, health insurance, and retirement benefits


Starbucks partners have little to complain about the benefits and compensation. Some of the benefits include lucrative health insurance, retirement benefits, commuter allowance, tuition fee, and many more

Positive business outlook


64% of Costa employees are not happy working for the coffee chain. Only 36% feel happy and look forward to their days at work


A decent 54% of partners look forward to their days at work and are happy at the coffee chain, which is 18% higher than Costa

Culture and Values


The culture at Costa is of teamwork and accepting diverse talents from the workforce


The culture here is warm and friendly from co-workers to top management, and ranks 0.7 higher than in Costa

CEO Approval


Howard Schultz

Starbucks ranks 4% higher in CEO approval than Costa


Jill McDonald

Job Postings


Job openings as of September 2022


Job openings as of September 2022


Barista $15/hr

Cashier $15

General Manager $82,369

Barista $11/hr

Cashier $15.60

General Manager $89,192

COSTA vs. Starbucks-How does working there compare?

Work-life Balance

Working at COSTA

A person’s work-life balance is achieved when there is an equilibrium between a career and personal leisure time. With 75% of employees working 8 hours or less per shift, it is safe to say that most employees have a healthy work-life balance. At Glassdoor, 2,700 reviews rated the work-life balance at Costa 3 out of 5 stars. This is somewhere in the middle. It’s not so good, and neither is it so bad.

Starbucks employees rated their work-life balance on Glassdoor 3.4/5 stars. This translates to 84% of partners working in standard 8-hour shifts. When one can work and still have ample time with family and other personal activities, the balance is achieved. Starbucks has done well for its employees, with only 16% working long hours and the shifts are flexible.

In this category, Starbucks takes the lead with 0.4 higher than COSTA.

Career Opportunities

COSTA has over 18,000 employees globally and over 3,400 stores. This company has offered all these employees a great career at this coffee chain. According to Glassdoor reviews, career opportunities are rated 3 stars. This means that more than half of the employees feel that Costa has great career opportunities and career growth chances. Employees can go up the career ladder within the organization.

Starbucks is rated 3.5 stars by more than 50,000 Glassdoor reviews in career opportunities. Most partners have found fulfilling career opportunities and chances to grow in this organization. Most baristas are entry-level and are trained to become experts. This opens a pool of career opportunities within and beyond Starbucks. Other skilled workers have found fulfilling careers in management and other roles.

This is an easy win for Starbucks and is rated 0.5 higher than Costa coffee.

Compensation and Employee Benefits

Most employees endure bad paychecks for the benefits in most organizations. At Costa, employees rate the benefits and compensation a meager 2.8. This is clear that Costa employees aren’t impressed with the existing benefits and feel that the company needs to do better. You will get free drinks and buy food at half-price when on duty. If you are good at your job, the Feel Good program rewards you. You will also get 28 holiday days. Workers and their dependents are entitled to health insurance and retirement benefits.

Starbucks’ former and current employees rate their company 3.8 stars. This is an impressive score and shows that employees in this company are happy with the benefits and compensation. The health insurance is expansive and covers more services beyond the normal general health, dental, and vision. Partners can also own stocks, get a commuter allowance, paid sick leave and holidays, and free drinks and discounts on purchases.

Starbucks gets an effortless win with 1 star higher than Costa.

Positive business outlook

This is the overall impression of the employees of the company. At Costa, things are dismal, with only 36% of employees having a positive business outlook. Most of the employees are not happy working at Costa. Most of the employees attributed their negativity to poor and disorganized management. The long hours and minimum wage were another reason for disliking the company.

At Starbucks, partners rated Starbucks 54% positive business outlook. This is more than half, so it’s not as bad as Costa, although it’s not impressive either. Most employees like the benefits and look forward to working with the company. Experienced workers have an easier time than new partners because the job gets easier with time. The main reason partners liked working at Starbucks is the great teamwork and great management in some stores.

This category goes to Starbucks for having a higher positive business outlook percentage than Costa coffee.

Culture and Values

Costa ranks 3.1 stars in the culture and values category. Costa is a strong believer in the inclusion, diversity, and equity of all workers. The company encourages employees to be themselves and bring their unique talents on board. According to the above ratings, about 70% believe this culture is great and the values are great. The majority of Costa workers are satisfied with the culture and positive values of the company.

Starbucks has a culture of diversity and inclusion, where all partners regardless of their beliefs, race, and backgrounds are accepted in the team. The partners agree with this in their reviews by giving the coffee giant 3.8 stars. This is an impressive score and shows how employees appreciate the work culture and values of the company and their co-workers. It is a warm and nice place with amazing people, as one reviewer puts it. Starbucks believes in making connections as people enjoy its top-quality products.

In this category, Starbucks gets a comfortable win with 0.7 stars higher than Costa.

CEO Approval

Working at COSTA vs. Starbucks

Costa employees approve of their CEO, and 56% feel that Jill McDonald is doing great. However, another 44% think the CEO is not taking the company in the right direction. While the majority wins, we cannot ignore the high percentage of people with a contrary opinion. McDonald has been with the coffee chia since December 2019. The minority might get relief if Jill McDonald steps down for a new Costa CEO, as it had been announced in July.

Howard Shultz is the longest-serving CEO at Starbucks and gets a decent 61% approval from employees. The CEO has been on and off and is currently the interim CEO until the company gets a new boss. Schultz has been with this company for decades, and most of its success has been achieved under his leadership. While 39% of employees are not impressed by his leadership, Shultz took over Starbucks in 1980 and made it a world brand.

This one is another Starbucks win with a 5% higher ranking than Costa.

Job Postings

As of September 2022, Costa had 68 recent job postings on Glassdoor and 118 on Indeed. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It can be an indication of a low turnover rate or slow growth. Whatever these few job postings indicate, the bottom line is that they are low.

Starbucks is a large chain with new locations cropping up all over the world. There are also many seasonal employees like summer high schoolers and college students who are bound to leave when schools reopen. At Glassdoor, the coffee chain has 26,475 recent job postings in the United States and the rest of the world. Each Starbucks store hires individually, and hiring time can vary, but it takes two to three weeks to hear back from them.

In this category, Starbucks wins with a landslide, with 26,407 more job postings than Costa.




Barista $11/hr

20 salaries

Barista $15/hr.

419 salaries

Cashier $15.6/hr

4 salaries

Cashier $15/hr.

253 salaries

Shift supervisor $18,690

6 salaries

Shift supervisor $16,028

8,800 salaries

Location manager $$64,883

1 salary reported

Assistant store manager $68,455

594 salaries

General manager $89,192

1 salary reported

General manager $82,369

79 salaries

This category is taken by Costa for the most categories with the highest pay rates.

COSTA vs. Starbucks-Employee Reviews

Costa Employee Reviews

These are reviews from current and former employees at Glassdoor

Current employee

I love the many overtime opportunities here, and I get free drinks. I like the co-workers here, and the food is at a 50% discount.

Former employee

The team I worked with was amazing, and the free drinks kept me going. Costa is a fast-paced environment, and we were always on our feet.


The salary is low, and the managers are horrible and disorganized. They have benefits, but they aren’t worth all the hustle. I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.

Former employee

I worked for two years at Costa, and all I got was long hours with minimum wage. The co-workers were great, and the atmosphere was okay, but all this lacked meaning when receiving your paycheck.

Current employee-barista

I worked in one of the stores in Liverpool, and I would not recommend it to anybody. The pay is low, the benefits are pathetic, and it does nothing good in the long term.

Starbucks Employee Reviews

We compiled a few reviews from Glassdoor of current and former Starbucks employees.

Current barista

I have made lasting friendships in this company, and I always look forward to coming to work. The pay is fair, and the benefits are superb. I wish we weren’t understaffed most of the time.

Former shift supervisor

I loved the benefits and the amazing colleagues. I got a four-year free online Bachelor’s degree from ASU, and I would recommend entry-level and experienced workers to get a job here.


I like the job and the benefits, but the pay rates can do better. The free drinks and Friday tip share are my highlights. I plan to leave soon, but it’s a great company.

Taj-Former barista

I gained friends and lasting skills from Starbucks. The fast pace and the warm atmosphere kept things interesting. I got benefits after working part-time for three months, which was cool.

Current employee

The hours are flexible, but the pay is low. The managers are horrible, and the customers do not make it any easier with their rudeness.

Final Verdict: So, which is a better place to work? COSTA vs. Starbucks

According to the above review, Starbucks is a better place to work than COSTA. Starbucks has unmatched benefits and compensation and has better pay rates for junior employees. Costa has a long way to go in its benefits and employee positive business outlook. Starbucks partners rank their company higher than Costa in most of the above categories. Although it’s not all rosy at Starbucks, most employees have a positive business outlook and approve of the CEO. Overall, Starbucks is a better workplace than Costa.


Which company invests more in its employees between Starbucks and COSTA?

Starbucks invests heavily in its employees with lucrative benefits and better pay than COSTA.

Does COSTA provide better employee benefits than Starbucks?

No, Starbucks’ benefits are far much better than COSTA.

Does COSTA value its customers more than Starbucks?

No, both companies value their employees equally.

Which company provides a better working environment between COSTA and Starbucks?

According to reviews, Starbucks scores higher than COSTA in having a good working environment.

Which company values its employees more between COSTA and Starbucks?

Both customers do well in valuing their employees through policies and perks.

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

Starbucks is 70% likely to recommend a friend to their workplace, as compared to 56% recommendation by COSTA employees.

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