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

Starbucks and KFC are world leaders in fast foods and drinks, with each company known for its specialty. I know people who have worked in both companies, and I have read reviews by current and former employees. I have also interacted with prospective employees from both companies, and the question of which company is better to work for always brings confusion. This has inspired me to come up with this post to bring a fair comparison of both companies. By the end of this read, you will know without a doubt what company is better to work for, so keep reading.

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


KFC(9,000 Reviews)

Starbucks(50,000 Reviews)

Work-life Balance

3.2/5 stars

Over 10,000 reviews gave the company the above rating.

More than half of the employees are dissatisfied with their work-life balance

3.4/5 stars

The above rating is from over 50,000 reviews.

57% of partners are satisfied with their work-life balance

Career Opportunities

3.3/5 stars

More than 50% of employees love the career opportunities the company has opened for them

3.5/5 stars

Most employees were pleased with the available career opportunities, especially those on their first job

Compensations and Employee benefits

2.9/5 stars

The perks are below par at KFC and 46% of employees feel that the company needs to do more

3.8/5 stars

Over 70% of Starbucks employees are satisfied with the benefits and compensation

Positive Business Outlook

46% of employees look forward to their job and have positive business outlook

54% of employees have a positive business outlook and enjoy working at this company

Culture and Values

3.3/5 stars

The culture is friendly and warm, and is customer-oriented. Most employees like their co-workers

3.8/5 stars

The culture here is inclusive, warm, and friendly to both customers and employees

Starbucks promotes equity and community involvement

CEO Approval

71% of employees approve their CEO

Muktesh Pant

61% of employees approve their CEO

Howard Schultz

Job Posting

39,099 at Glassdoor as at September 2022

26,848 at Glassdoor as at September 2022


Cashier -10/hr.

Assistant Unit manager -$57,781

Shift lead $34,164

Barista -15/hr.

Shift manager – $59,378

Shift lead – $48,105

KFC vs. Starbucks-How does working there compare?

Working at KFC vs. Starbucks

Work-life Balance

KFC maintains a standard 8-hour shift for 69% of its employees. We embarked on research to find out what current and former employees had to say about work-life balance at KFC. We looked at reviews over the last 12 months, and over 10,000 employees gave the company 3.2 stars out of five. This is not so great, and neither is it so bad. We can therefore conclude that KFC’s work-life balance is not at its best in this company. Employees feel pressured to work for long hours in peak seasons and are at work more than they would desire.

Starbucks faired moderately in this category and got 3.4 stars out of 5 after over 50,000 reviews in the past 12 months. This translates to 57% of satisfied employees with their work-life balance and 43% who feel overstretched. The majority wins, and means that most employees are satisfied with their work-life balance.

In this category, Starbucks takes a lead as it ranked slightly higher than KFC.

Career Opportunities

Employees at KFC rated the career opportunities at this company at 3.3 stars. This translates to above average and means that the company is above-average in offering career opportunities. The majority of employees said that the company opened a great career path for them, while some felt that it was only good for a first job. Most said that the opportunities to move up the ladder were minimal.

Starbucks ranks at 3.5 stars out of 5. This rank has been steady for the last 12 months and reflects the real picture of what employees think. Partners at Starbucks were enthusiastic and said that opportunities to get promoted were availed to them, but they were not as high as they would wish. Most employees said the coffee chain gave them a lasting career as baristas, supervisors, and managers.

In this category, Starbucks takes the lead as more employees are happy with the career opportunities available than at KFC.

Compensations and Employee benefits

KFC has some great perks for its employees, including health insurance, tuition reimbursement, discounts, and other benefits. However, only 54% of employees are impressed by the perks. Another 46% feel that the company can do better. This translated to a dismal 2.9 stars out of 5. The majority of employees were impressed by the discounts on purchases and free food but did not comment on benefits.

Starbucks, on the other hand, shines in this category with a clean 3.8 stars out of 5. This means that over 70% of employees are happy with the benefits. In the past 12 months, almost all reviews mentioned the great perks at Starbucks. Some employees stated that the benefits and compensations made them stay at this coffee chain. The expansive health insurance was the most mentioned, and the 100% tuition coverage for a four-year bachelor’s degree. Other perks that carried the day are commuter allowances, parental leaves, and disability coverage.

In this category, Starbucks takes a comfortable lead with 0.9 higher than KFC.

Positive Business Outlook

Do employees see the company in good light, or do they dislike the policies and the company in general? At Glassdoor, 46% of employees have a positive business outlook. This is below average and means that more than half of the employees do not like most policies and operations of this chicken and Fast Foods Company. Moreover, only 60% of employees would recommend this company to a friend.

On the other hand, 54% of Starbucks employees are impressed by this coffee giant and look forward to coming to work. Some of the reasons are the treatment of junior employees by the senior management, and the structured environment of this company. This is 8% higher than KFC. Starbucks reviews revealed that 70% of employees would recommend this company to a friend.

Without further ado, Starbucks takes this category for having the majority of employees with a positive business outlook.

Culture and Values

KFC has a 3.3-star rating in this category. Most employees agreed that the culture was inclusive and diverse, which resonates with one of the company’s pledges to work as a family. Employees hailed their co-workers and the immediate senior staff for cooperation and teamwork. This translates to 69% of employees that feel comfortable in the pace of the company, and the environment.

Starbucks is fast-paced, but most employees are comfortable with this pace and rated the culture and values at 3.8 stars. The most impressive value was the promotion of a friendly work environment among partners. The company is keen on diversity, equity, accessibility, and teamwork. Most employees liked the culture and the values that the company stands on.

In this category, Starbucks takes another comfortable lead for its diverse and inclusive culture and values.

CEO Approval

Working at KFC

71% of former and current employees are impressed by the leadership of Muktesh Pant. A good CEO, according to employees, steers the company in the right direction, is grounded, and remains optimistic about the business. This person is inspirational to the employees and makes them feel worthy, no matter the size of the company.

On the other hand, 61% of employees feel that Howard Schultz is doing a great job at Starbucks. The remaining 39% feel he can do better, or he should leave. Schultz has been with the coffee giant for over three decades, and based on its success, he sure knows how to run a successful business.

In this category, KFC takes a lead for having the highest CEO approval rate.

Job Posting

According to Glassdoor, KFC has over 39,000 open positions worldwide as of September 2022.This Company has over 820,000 employees worldwide in over 22,000 locations. KFC only interviews potential candidates once before consideration, which reduces the time it takes to get hired. For managerial jobs, you will likely get two to four interviews, which is reasonable.

Starbucks has over 26,000 open positions worldwide. The coffee giant operates over 34,000 locations globally and has more than 130,000 employees. The stores hire individually and the processing time can vary based on the individual store.

In this category, KFC takes the lead with 13,099 more openings than Starbucks.




Cashier $10/hr.

3912 salaries

Barista $15/hr.

22324 salaries

Shift Supervisor $17/hr.

1897 salaries

Shift supervisor $19/hr.

6101 salaries

Assistant Unit manager $57,781

20 salaries

Shift manager $59,378

920 salaries

Shift Lead $34,164

5 salaries

Shift Lead $48,105

340 salaries

District manager $123,697

14 salaries

District Manager $110,997

297 salaries

In this category, Starbucks takes the lead, as it has better wages and salaries than KFC.

KFC vs. Starbucks-Employee Reviews

KFC employee Reviews

Working at KFC vs. Starbucks

These reviews are taken from Glassdoor and are from current and former KFC employees.


I love the free food and the 25% discount on all purchases. The pay is nothing to write home about, but I like the culture and the work-life balance. KFC is a great company to work for as a first job.


I have been with this company for two years now and it’s my time to leave. The pay is too low and the working hours are long. I’m going to miss the free food, and the great co-workers I have the privilege to meet, and the laid-back environment.

Current Employee- shift supervisor

This company has a flexible work schedule that allows me to spend time with my family, and you get to learn how to make some delicious stuff.

Former employee-barista

There was plenty of overtime, and the co-workers were the best. However, the store I worked for was always short-staffed, and we would be stretched during peak hours. They can do better in terms of pay.


The food is great and I like the flexible hours, plus the customers are amazing. I don’t like the pay, but everything else is great.

Starbucks Employee Reviews

Working at Starbucks

We have picked these reviews from current and former employees at Starbucks from Glassdoor.


My co-workers are the best, and they make it so easy. The customers, on the other hand, are super rude. The pay is average, and it’s a good first job. There aren’t many promotions, but the benefits are great.

Former Employee-former barista

The benefits are out of this world, especially health insurance. I liked the discounts and the free drinks, plus the working hours are flexible.

Current Employee-barista

This job is physically challenging, and the pay does nothing to make it better. I only stay for the benefits and the amazing co-workers.

Former shift supervisor

The perks were great, and the co-workers made it so easy. The pay is low, but the benefits seem to compensate for that. Other than being short-staffed and the not-so-great pay, the company is a nice place to work for a first-time job.

Current employee-cashier

The pay is average, but the perks are great, and the free drinks and food makes life easier at Starbucks. I would recommend it to a friend.

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

Starbucks is the better place to work, according to the statistics above. The culture and values are great and the benefits carry the day. While both companies do not have the best pay rates, Starbucks pays slightly better than KFC. These two companies have employed thousands of people and continue to add more. With that in mind, they have great career opportunities for all skills. They also have flexible shifts, but Starbucks ranks higher in the work-life balance. Overall, Starbucks gets 3.8 stars, while KFC gets 3.5. Starbucks is, therefore the winner in this comparison.


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

Starbucks invests more in its employees than KFC, with more benefits and better pay.

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

Starbucks’ employees are likely to recommend their friends to their workplace at 70%, compared to KFC’s 60%.

Which company values its employees more between KFC, and Starbucks?

Both companies value their employees equally and make each employee’s contributions feel appreciated.

Does KFC provide better employee benefits than Starbucks?

No, Starbucks has much better and more expansive benefits than KFC.

Does KFC value its customers more than Starbucks?

No, both companies value their customers equally.

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

Starbucks provides better a better working environment than KFC according to reviews with flexible hours and good management.

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