Starbucks in China to Help Pay for Employee Housing

By Mike Pomranz |

© Zhang Peng / LightRocket / Getty Images

Some people spend so much time in Starbucks they practically live there. Pretty soon, Chinese employees will be able to make that association a bit more literal.

About 7,000 of Starbucks’ 30,000 employees in China are about to become eligible to have their housing subsidized, according to the Seattle Times. The hope is that the benefit, which will be available to full-time employees, will make working as a barista or supervisor more appealing and help the coffee giant make the leap from their current 2,000 Chinese locations to 3,400 locations by 2019.

“You have a lot of people migrating into bigger cities, and the cost of living and rent in those cities is higher,” said John Culver, head of Starbucks operations in China and the Asia Pacific region. “We want to make sure we’re giving them the opportunity so that they can afford to live there.” Sounds like we’re going to have some very jealous Starbucks’ employees in places like San Francisco and New York.

Not to say Starbucks hasn’t incentivized working for the company in the US. For instance, last year the company greatly expanded their college tuition program Stateside. However, receiving housing as a benefit “has been expected in China, especially for non-married workers,” one expert told the Times.

For now, unlike other Chinese companies, Starbucks will simply be helping to cover part of workers’ rents—not opening dormitories. Though at the rate the company is expanding, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were all living in Starbucks housing one day. Futuristic movies always show humans wearing matching outfits. Maybe it will be a green apron?

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