Starbucks Employee Sparks Conversation About Workers' Wage Gaps in Viral Video

A Starbucks employee who works at a location of the coffee chain within a Target store has sparked an intense debate via a TikTok video about the relative perks of her job.

As noted by Shopfood.com, Starbucks licenses its brand name and products to Target, allowing shoppers to experience the coffee chain in-store. However, those working at these licensed Starbucks locations are actually Target employees, and as such, they do not receive the same benefits afforded to those employed by Starbucks proper.

In her video, TikToker Anna (@annalovescoffee) simply wrote, using on-screen captions: "Corporate workers knowing Target Starbucks workers get $15/hr doing less work."

Paired with audio featuring the lyrics, "breaking my heart," the clip insinuated that Target's Starbucks employees have a better situation.

The clip has amassed over 197,000 views, 18,000 likes, and hundreds of comments at the time of writing. It has drawn reactions as countless Starbucks employees from both corporate and licensed stores flocked to the comments section to debate each working environment's pros and cons.

Some, for example, strongly agreed with Anna's stance: "I've worked at both corporate and Target Starbucks locations....Target is easily my first choice and recommendation," offered @myacallanan.

"Worked at a corporate [Starbucks] and hated my life," said @bayanrafati.

But many others felt that the benefits offered by Starbucks corporate outweighed any of the job's negative attributes.

"But no free drinks, food, bags of coffee, 30% discount, Spotify, tuition ..." said @paul614 in response to the clip.

"Corporate Starbucks is 10x better than Target [because you] get free food and drinks and don't work alone," echoed @slyky2244.

Anna took to the comments section in an effort to further explain her point. "The free tuition sucks though because you have to work 20 hours a week," she said. "I would rather have more money."

A significant portion of viewers also used the comments section to compare their wages with other Starbucks employees around the country.

"I'm sitting at $12 with corporate," wrote @seanjaxhunter, on one end of the pay scale.

"Girl I'm making almost $17 working at a corporate store and I just started," countered @natalyperez589.

For context, Starbucks' minimum wage currently varies depending on each store's location. However, in October, the company announced that it would be adopting a $15 minimum wage for all its U.S. baristas, a change that they expect to fully implement by the summer of this year.

Target, meanwhile, has offered its U.S. employees a $15 minimum wage since 2020.

Newsweek has reached out to both Anna and Starbucks for additional comment on her video but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Starbucks Employee
A Starbucks barista working in New York. On TikTok, an employee at a Target Starbucks location made waves after comparing the job to working for Starbucks corporate. Ramin Talaie/Corbis/Getty Images