Working at McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks: Which is a better place to work?

In the hustle and bustle of my youth, when my parents decided it was time for me to fend for myself, I found myself looking for jobs. Just like many young adults and students like me at the time, we normally think of places that would offer us a job with minimal requirements. At the same time, we want an employer who will have your best interest at heart.

So, when I went out looking for jobs, these are the two main things that I was looking for in an employer, and I am sure many of you look for the same as well. However, finding such an employer in New York can be quite challenging. This article looks at two of the most common employers to see which one is better.

What are the differences between working at McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks?




Work-life balance

Offers a relative balance between work and personal life.

Offers a better work-life balance than McDonald’s.

Career opportunities

Has average career opportunities.

Has more career opportunities.

Compensations and employee benefits

Has good compensation policies.

It has more benefits for its employees, such as paid off days.

Positive business outlook

Has a good business outlook

Has the most positive business outlook.

Culture and values

Has great core values that employees find appealing.

Has a culture that is loved by most of its employees

Job security and advancement

Promotions and job security are high

Has better job advancement than McDonald’s.

CEO approval

An average number of employees approve of him

The majority of the employees approve of him

Job postings

Has fewer job openings

Has more job openings


Has fair salaries for all its employees

Employees are paid accordingly.

McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks – How does working there compare

Work-life balance

Working at McDonald’s

McDonald’s has some of the most flexible plans that allow its employees to balance their work and personal life. They understand that an employee’s personal life affects productivity at work. McDonald’s employees are entitled to 3 weeks of vacation per year, paid sick leaves, and during the summer season, they have something called summer hours which allows workers to leave work early. All these features make McDonald’s a good employer since they allow employees to have days to take care of their business, making them more productive at work.

On the other hand, Starbucks has even better policies that allow workers to have a good work-life balance. Apart from being allowed several paid sick days. Starbucks employees are allowed partner or family sick days, allowing them to take care of their loved ones when they fall sick. This allows the employees to have a positive attitude toward the employer. Starbucks also gives its employees $ 10000 per adoption or surrogacy. This allows the employees to have growth in their personal life as well.

In this category, Starbucks wins as they have a wide variety of policies that allow employees more time to take care of their issues.

Career opportunities

These are opportunities that allow employees to reach their career goals. McDonald’s has training programs that allow employees to have more skills to run the organization properly. This also allows employees to progress in the organization, and this allows subordinate workers who take the training to progress higher in the organization. This allows employees to stay motivated in delivering services in the company since as they progress higher in the organization, they get more benefits.

Starbucks also has amazing policies that enable the employees to have more career opportunities that allow them to progress in the organization as well. They have training programs that are tailored for different levels of employees in the company. This not only makes the employees efficient and reliable in service delivery but also allows them to progress to even higher levels in the organization. Starbucks also allows its employees to take online bachelor’s degrees, and they cover the full cost of tuition. This allows workers to have more knowledge, therefore, increasing their career opportunities.

Starbucks, therefore, has the best career opportunities among the two employers since it offers a wide variety of packages that allow for career progression.

Compensations and employee benefits

Compensations and employee benefits keep the workers happy and more productive. McDonald’s company has several benefits that its employees are entitled to. They take life insurance for their employees; the thought of sickness or death is not a pleasant one, but it is relaxing to know that your family will not struggle with finances once you are dead or sick. They also take a medical and dental plan for their employees; these allow the employees to have a healthy life, both dental and wholesome health. This makes employees more productive since they do not have to take many sick days. They also take retirement plans that allow their employees to save for when they retire from service; they also add some amount of money to the employee’s savings. This keeps employees motivated since their future is secured.

On the other hand, Starbucks also has very attractive benefits that most would want from an employer. They also have a retirement plan that allows employees to save for their retirement. This keeps employees motivated as they are certain of a good future. Starbucks’ employees also enjoy commuter benefits for on-the-job errands; some of these commuter benefits include transit passes that allow them to move in the city with ease. They also take up health plans for their employees, which makes the employees work better as their health is taken care of.

McDonald’s wins in this category as it offers its employees more benefits.

Positive business outlook

A positive business outlook allows the business to be loved by many, not only its employees. McDonald’s has various methods that it uses to improve its outlook toward its employees and the general public. McDonald’s carries out campaigns and promotions that allow the customers to know the company more. They also have family festivals that allow the employees and family members to interact with other family members of other employees.

On the other hand, Starbucks also uses the same strategies as McDonald’s. They also use campaigns such as the pink campaign, which was aimed at increasing awareness of breast cancer. These campaigns help Starbucks to earn the people’s goodwill and support the community. They also have fun days for the family members of their employees; this encourages cohesion among employees, making them have a healthier working environment.

In this category, both companies are the same since they both have a positive business outlook for their employees.

Culture and values

McDonald’s has a more traditional set of values and working culture. In modern days these cultures and values may not have the best effect on the morale of the workers. This makes it a less desirable employer for most who are looking for jobs.

Starbucks, on the other hand, has a unique set of values and a culture that has the interest of the employees at heart as well as the interest of the company. This makes Starbucks more desirable as its culture and values offer more satisfaction.

Once again, Starbucks is the winner since it has a better set of values and culture for its employees.

Job security and advancement

Working at McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks

McDonald’s employees have good job security. The job security at McDonald’s is good since it is a well-established company. Employment for employees is guaranteed as long as the employee sticks to the terms stipulated in the latter of appointment. Advancement is where an employee can progress to higher levels in the organization. At McDonald’s, employees have to work extra hard in order to get a promotion; this is due to the stiff competition among employees.

On the other hand, the job security at Starbucks is among the best in the country; this is partly because of the policies that secure employees and the fact that Starbucks is a well-established company. In terms of on-the-job advancements, Starbucks also has the best this is because it has training programs that allow employees at all levels to increase their skill set, making them entitled to promotions. Starbucks is a fast-growing company, which allows for many opportunities to arise; hence advancement for employees is available.

In this category, Starbucks is the clear winner since it has more opportunities for advancement and better job security.

CEO approval

CEO approval plays a major role in influencing the employee’s morale and relation to the company because people tend to work better if they approve of their leader.

Most of the employees at McDonald’s approve of their CEO, Mr. Kempczinski Chris’s performance. In a recent study, 68% of the employees at McDonald’s approve of his performance. This means that an above-average number of employees are pleased with his workmanship. This directly affects their morale and performance.

On the other hand, Mr. Schultz Howard, Starbucks’ CEO, has the approval of over 75% of the employees at the company. This means that most of the employees are pleased with how he leads the company, and this will translate to them having more morale to work.

Starbucks’ CEO has more approval from the employees of the company.

Job postings

Job postings are the advertisements that a company puts out to the public in order to attract new employees.

McDonald’s is a well-known company around the world; however, in recent years, the company’s growth has slowed down significantly. Since the growth of the company is slow, the number of postings it will have will be less.

Starbucks, on the other hand, is growing exponentially and is opening branches all around the world. This makes it need more employees, and hence the number of postings it will send out will be numerous in the state.

Starbucks has more postings than McDonald’s, making it more popular among job seekers.


Salaries for various positions at McDonald’s



Shift manager

$ 12.40 per hour

Customer service representative

$ 11.00 per hour

Shift leader

$ 13.00 per hour


$ 10.75 per hour

Crew member

$ 10.70 per hour

Salaries for various positions at Starbucks



Shift manager

$ 14.65 per hour

Customer service representative

$ 12.45 per hour

Shift leader

$ 15.10 per hour


$ 12.61 per hour

Crew member

$ 13.75 per hour

Starbucks has better salaries for its employees compared to McDonald’s

McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks – Employee reviews

McDonald’s Employee Review

A crew member at McDonald’s says that the company employs child groomers and that the management was horrendous and that they had a lot of favorites and that the working environment wasn’t good either.

A cook who is a former employee said that it was a good place to get in a few hours of work; however, the customers were hard to deal with. With hard work, however, success is guaranteed.

Another crew member who was a former employee says that much attention is given to employees as they come and go. The employee complained that the salary was pretty basic and the working environment was stressful.

A crew trainer who is a current employee says that the job is fulfilling, especially because it is the employee’s first job. The employee says that the free meals when working are good and the management is flexible with scheduling. However, the employee sighted that things can get very stressful, especially when working with customers who lack manners.

An assistant store manager who is a current employee sighted that many of the employees take advantage of others, and the employee mentioned that it would not be great for a person who looks out for others as they will end up feeling drained.

Starbucks Employee Review

An assistant manager who is a current employee sights that there is a lot of politics once you start getting promoted and that customers are the main motivating force in certain locations.

A barista who is also a current employee says that it is great for people who love interacting with others. The barista, however, didn’t like that some other employees let others take the fall for them. The employee, however, enjoyed the fact that they learned how to make coffee.

A manager who is a former employee at Starbucks sights that it is a great place to work and that the team that they led was good. They also enjoyed the fact that the job came with many benefits.

Another barista who is a current employee sighted that the benefits and working environment were great, but the pay wasn’t enough compared to the amount of work they did.

A shift supervisor who is a former employee said that the working environment can be pretty stressful but they found the job to be easy and enjoyable.

Final Verdict: So, which is a better place to work? – McDonald’s Vs. Starbucks

Generally, Starbucks is the better place to work since it offers numerous policies that are attractive to most people who are seeking jobs. According to many reviews by most of the employees at Starbucks, the company seems to be having a good culture that contributes to a better working environment in the organization.


Does McDonald’s provide better employee benefits than Starbucks?

No Starbucks offers better benefits to its employees.

Does McDonald’s value its customers more than Starbucks?

This question will be best answered by the customer ratings provided online. Starbucks values its customers more than McDonald’s since it has higher ratings.

Which company invests more in its employees between, Starbucks and McDonald’s?

Starbucks invests more in its employees since it provides its employees with more benefits than McDonald’s.

Which company provides a better working environment between McDonald’s and Starbucks?

Starbucks provides a better working environment for the two companies since it has more policies that cater to the needs of the employees.

Which company values its employees more between, McDonald’s and Starbucks?

Starbucks values its employees more than McDonald’s since it offers better working conditions and benefits.

Which employees are likely to recommend their workplace to a friend, Starbucks, or McDonald’s employees?

Starbucks employees are more likely to recommend their workplace to a friend since they have better working conditions.

Are McDonald’s employees more satisfied with their salaries than Starbucks?

No, McDonald’s employees are not more satisfied than their counterparts at Starbucks.

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