Starbucks says it will help baristas in China pay their rent

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Starbucks to Open 2,500 More Stores in China

Many of China's 30,000 Starbucks employees — the chain's second-largest market — are about to get a work perk that'll make their American counterparts envious. The coffee megachain announced it will help thousands of its workers pay rent in a country where the cost of living is rising fast. It's not uncommon for Chinese companies to offer some sort of centralized housing for employees, and Starbucks says a subsidy is something workers over there have been asking about for a while.

It wouldn't put a dollar figure on the investment, other than promising it's "multimillion," but the company did say on average it expects to pay around 50 percent of the rent for workers who qualify. In order to be eligible, employees need to be full-time baristas or shift supervisors — Starbucks says that means about 7,000 workers will be eligible immediately, and another 3,000 "in the near future." Unlike the claustrophobic-dorm situation Chinese workers face elsewhere (one that's come under lots of fire), Starbucks will give out a monthly allowance that varies from city to city, and workers can apply it to the housing of their choice.

Related: Starbucks locations around the world:

Starbucks locations around the world
See Gallery
Starbucks says it will help baristas in China pay their rent
A woman walks into a Starbucks Coffee, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
People walk past the first Starbucks to open in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The three-floor coffee house in Bogota is the first of 50 that the Seattle-based company plans to open here in the next five years. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Baristas Truong Nguyen, left, and Ben Ruthruff, right, talk with customers near a display of special Seattle Seahawks Starbucks cards on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at a Starbucks store in Seattle. The Seahawks began a one-week fund-raising campaign Wednesday with Starbucks to benefit Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's A Better Seattle program, which seeks to reach at-risk youth and prevent gang violence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz poses for the photographer before a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, May 13, 2013. Schultz, visiting Bangkok this week to mark the coffee giant's 15 year anniversary of opening in Thailand, said Monday the coffee chain's first stores in India and Vietnam have been received positively and it might soon be time to give Myanmar a shot too. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Two customers sit outside a Starbucks vandalized by angry protestors in opposition to Mexico's newly sworn-in president, in Mexico City, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Protests began early Saturday morning with violent confrontations in the streets and protest speeches from opposition parties inside the congress, where Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office. Protesters continued vandalizing downtown businesses, smashing plate glass windows and setting office furniture ablaze outside. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pedestrians walk past a branch of the Starbucks cafe chain in west London, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. A committee of British lawmakers says the government should "get a grip" and clamp down on multinational corporations that exploit tax laws to move profits generated in Britain to offshore domains.The committee says major multinationals including Starbucks, Google and Amazon are guilty of immoral tax avoidance. Starbucks announced it is reviewing its British tax practices in a bid to restore public trust. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
In this photo take Dec. 3, 2010, a Starbucks logo is displayed at a store in Philadelphia. Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, that customers with certain BlackBerry smartphones, iPhones and iPod touch can now use those devices to make purchases at all of its U.S. company-run stores.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this Feb. 14, 2010 photo, a sign outside a Starbucks hangs over the Riverwalk with the Navarro Street bridge in the background in San Antonio, Texas. Starbucks plans to begin paying a 10-cents-per-share cash dividend to investors.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
FILE - This file photo made Nov. 2, 2009, shows a Starbucks coffee shop in Arlington, Mass. Starbucks releases quarterly earnings after the close of the market Wednesday, July 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Shown Tuesday, August 11, 2009 is a Starbucks Coffee shop at Adriatrica, a development in McKinney, Texas, designed to look like a Croatian Village.(AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
A worker cleans the sign outside one of many Starbucks outlets in Beijing Friday April 27, 2007. An Internet campaign was started in January calling for the removal of a Starbucks coffee shop from Beijing's famed Forbidden City. Critics say its presence in the former imperial palace is a smear on China's historical legacy. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
** FILE ** South Korean tourists queue up to buy coffee at an outlet of Starbucks at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, in this Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 file photo. A member of China's legislature has revived calls for the removal of a Starbucks coffee shop from Beijing's Forbidden City, saying its presence was a smear on China's historical legacy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday March 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

Several major American chains have had trouble in China recently — KFC and Pizza Hut's parent company, Yum Brands, gave up earlier this year and spun off its China unit, for instance — but Starbucks claims it hasn't experienced the slowdown. This housing announcement comes alongside bigger news that the company plans to crank out 500 more locations in China this year alone. Ambitiously, it expects to create 10,000 new jobs in the country every year through 2019.

More from Grub Street:
Prepare for Sweetgreen Domination
A Food-Waste Start-up Just Got $100,000 on Shark Tank
Chipotle Sued Again, This Time for Misleading Investors About Food Safety

Read Full Story

People are Reading