Starbucks’ Newest Perk for Parent Employees Marks a Huge Boost for Their Employer Brand

October 17, 2018

Starbucks has been on a roll lately with boosting their employee perks and benefits. Earlier this year, the successful coffee chain made some significant updates to its sick-leave policy and paid parental leave program – the former gives employees the opportunity to accrue paid sick time off based on hours worked and the latter has been expanded to give non-birth parents up to six weeks of paid leave.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Starbucks has added another perk to its growing list of timely and relevant employee benefits; subsidized backup child care for its employees.

The new policy, that was announced in early October, is a solution for the fact that even an employee’s regular, dependable child care can break down. Starbucks, in connection with, will pick up the tab of 10 backup daycare days for employee parents when their regular child care network falls through.

What this means for Starbucks’ employer brand

Employers, on the whole, rarely update their perks and benefits packages on such a universal scale let alone update them several times in a single year. The fact that Starbucks has done exactly that makes them a shining beacon as far as employer brands are concerned.

It’s also important to note that although employers have indeed begun embracing other forms of perks for their employees, covering child care is rarely on the menu at even large, socially aware, proactive companies. Starbucks is definitely leading the charge in this arena, proving to the public even further that they’re an employer of choice.


5 reasons why Starbucks likely came to this decision

Why would a company decide to offer such a potentially expensive perk? There are 5 good reasons that might have influenced Starbucks’ decision:

They care about their employees.
The best reason for employers to invest in making their employees’ lives easier is because they’re empathetic to their struggles. Lapses in child care are stressful and frustrating and having this policy to fall back on effectively alleviates that for the employee and helps Starbucks team members who are trying to care for a family feel supported.

Maximize employee retention.
Up until a certain age, children absolutely must have someone tend to them – so if there is nobody to handle the duty, the parents have no choice but to forego work and stay with them. Sometimes a consistent lack of child care forces employees to quit their jobs. By assisting in employees’ childcare needs, Starbucks is better able to retain the employees they have spent time and money training.

Gain a competitive edge.
With the current low unemployment rate, companies are battling with each other to land high-performing, dependable employees. If a job applicant who happens to be a parent is deciding between Starbucks and another company to work, this perk may just tip the scales.

Create positive press.
You’re reading about it right now, aren’t you? These untraditional and/or unexpected employee perks are interesting to the general public, so they gain lots of positive attention. The buzz helps strengthen Starbucks’ employer brand by publicly associating them with treating their employees well.

Increase customer loyalty.
Consumers, and especially those among younger generations, love doing business with companies that do good things. When people hear about this perk, it creates a stronger bond with Starbucks beyond, “I absolutely adore their lattes.”

These 5 benefits offer hefty return on investment for Starbucks and may pay off big in terms of retaining trained employees, increasing employee satisfaction, and attracting employees that they so desperately need to keep up with their continued growth and operation.


Since Starbucks has already added many non-traditional perks, stepping into child care is a natural first step that surely their parent employees whole welcome. The benefit is available to both full and part-time employees, regardless of how many hours a week they work. In the near future, we may see Starbucks make even more child care and family-related perks available to its workforce and that’s a truly great thing for any U.S. company (the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not require companies to provide workers with paid parental leave).



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Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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