Starbucks is copying companies like Home Depot and Apple as the war for talent heats up

  • Starbucks is partnering with to roll out new child and elder care benefits to workers.

  • Benefits include 10 subsidized care days a year, with in-home care costing just $1 per hour.

  • Corporate and in-store workers — including those working less than 20 hours a week — will have access to the new benefits.

  • While similar benefits for caregivers are available at companies including Apple and Home Depot, they are uncommon in the restaurant industry.

As the battle to hire and retain workers heats up,Starbucks is rolling out new benefits for employees.

On Tuesday, the coffee giant announced it had partnered with to offer all employees — both corporate and in-store, part-time and full-time — a new range of child and elder care benefits.

Employees will now have 10 subsidized backup care days a year, with in-home care costing just $1 per hour and in-center backup childcare costing $5 per day. All Starbucks workers will also have access to unlimited senior care planning and a premium membership to for free.

"This is a need across our country. Working parents today have a kid or kids, and also parents or grandparents," Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks, told Business Insider. "Stuff happens from time to time where you have a sick kid or a parent that needs a little bit of assistance — and that can be a little bit of a strain on a working family."

The new benefits come at a time when restaurants and retailers are inventing new perks for their employees, though Crawford emphasizes that Starbucks has debuted new benefits through periods of high and low unemployment.

The US unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, a 48-year low, in September, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, there are more open jobs than ever, with the food industry having 909,000 job openings in July, an increase of 161,000 from a year ago.

"For some brands, it's actually capping their sales potential," John Hamburger, the founder of industry trade publication Franchise Times Corp., told Business Insider.

While companies are adding more benefits to attract workers, few have gone as far as Starbucks. Apple and Home Depot have similar childcare benefits that include 10 days of subsidized backup care, but it is rare for restaurant servers, baristas, or kitchen staff to receive such a perk.

"We are setting a little bit of a trend here, which I hope other companies will follow," Crawford said.

Starbucks has long been ahead of the competition when it comes to offering workers benefits, with perks such as tuition coverage and a generous parental leave program.

"If you look back at our history, we've been an absolute leader in terms of support for our partners, since really the '80s when we first launched healthcare for partners who work 20 hours a week," Crawford said.

See Also: