Whether you need to switch jobs or get your first job after incarceration, former felons can have a hard time finding good employment options. Anyone with a record interested in the coffee shop industry will want to know: Does Starbucks hire felons? We contacted them directly to find out.
One of the best things about being a barista is you can work around your life. Whether this is a short- or long-term job solution for you, we’re going to help you get a job at Starbucks with a felony. We’ll start by looking at questions like:
- Are there other jobs than barista?
- Does Starbucks hire people with misdemeanors?
- Do I get free coffee?
- Does Starbucks do background checks?
- Do they do on-the-job training?
At Successful Release, our team includes people who are former felons or have worked closely with them. Our first-hand experience means we can help you overcome these challenges and move your career forward. We’re here to help you!
Let’s find out how you can get hired at Starbucks with a felony record.
Does Starbucks hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
We contacted Starbucks to ask if they hire former felons, but they did not respond. However, former Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz wrote a letter to US Senator Cory Booker in support of the Ban the Box movement and explained the Starbucks’ approach to hiring:
At Starbucks, we support the idea that there are smart, compassionate ways to try to provide more individuals a second chance. We do not inquire about criminal histories on initial job applications and we run background checks only after a conditional offer of employment. Our intent is to provide applicants with a criminal history the chance to be evaluated as a whole person by having their circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis, including the opportunity to present any information they choose to ensure we have a full picture of who they are before making a final hiring decision.
Starbucks doesn’t ask about criminal history on initial job applications and only runs background checks after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Their equal opportunity employment statement, unlike most companies’, mentions giving a chance to those who have a record:
Starbucks is an equal opportunity employer of all qualified individuals; including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, and regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Starbucks will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with all federal, state, and local ordinances.
Has Starbucks hired felons in the past?
Although the company didn’t tell us whether or not they’ve hired felons in the past, they appear to have a strong commitment to giving everyone a fair chance. There are several online reports and a Reddit thread saying Starbucks has hired felons before.
Does Starbucks hire people with misdemeanors?
Starbucks didn’t tell us anything about hiring candidates with misdemeanors. But they clearly support giving people a fair chance, so it’s safe to assume that having a misdemeanor doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting a job at Starbucks.
Is Starbucks on the Ban the Box list?
The Ban the Box movement is an important step towards giving people a fair chance at getting a job regardless of their background or record. Employers who agree to “ban the box” do not make candidates answer questions about whether or not they have been convicted of a crime on job applications.
Another initiative is the Fair Chance Business Pledge. In addition to banning the box, companies taking this pledge “are committed to providing individuals with criminal records, including formerly incarcerated individuals, a fair chance to participate in the American economy.”
Yes! Starbucks is officially on the list of companies that have taken the Fair Chance Business Pledge to Ban the Box and give people with a criminal history the chance to get a job.
And, as stated in their hiring policy, Starbucks does not ask about a candidate’s criminal history on initial job applications, conducts background checks only after a conditional employment offer has been made, and then considers each candidate on a case-by-case basis.
Does Starbucks have special programs for hiring felons?
Our research did not reveal any specific programs at Starbucks focused on hiring former felons, or helping them in other ways. But they are committed to Ban the Box hiring practices and evaluating candidates on a case-by-case basis.
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
Even though Starbucks did not respond to our request for information, Successful Release found enough information in our research to rank your odds of getting hired at Starbucks with a felony record as high. Their job application doesn’t ask about your criminal history and background checks only happen after a conditional offer of employment, both of which are good. Plus, they have taken the Fair Chance Business Pledge and committed to the Ban the Box movement.
What are some entry-level jobs?
Their careers page lists all positions available at each location, which includes retail jobs in their stores, retail leadership jobs, corporate positions and manufacturing jobs (equipment maintenance mechanics, machine operators, etc.).
Their main entry-level job position is Barista — making and serving coffee beverages and food as well as taking customer payments for their orders. Baristas do a little bit of everything that needs to happen in a store.
An entry-level position at Starbucks is a good way to jumpstart career. When you show you’re dependable and are great at interacting with customers, you will increase your chances of being promoted into more advanced positions (shift supervisor, shift manager, store manager, etc.) with higher compensation.
How to get hired at Starbucks with a felony
How can you get a job at Starbucks? You’ll want to shape up your resume to match what they’re looking for, and pay attention to the kinds of qualities they talk about in their job descriptions.
For example, Baristas have to “Engage with and understand our customers, including discovering and responding to customer needs through clear and pleasant communication.” Therefore, any previous experience you’ve had in other coffee shops or cafés will be very helpful. Highlight how you like helping meet each customer’s needs.
How do you highlight your skills to make your resume shine? See our Complete Guide to Making an Incredible Resume (for Former Felons).
Starbucks is looking for people who are enthusiastic, positive, customer-oriented, can learn quickly, build relationships, work as part of a team and have strong interpersonal skills.
When you get invited to an interview, you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Here are some interview tips for Starbucks:
- Appearance: Being a barista puts you front and center with customers, so keep in mind that some people will assume you’ve done time just because of the way you look. Appearance matters so much in this case that Starbucks makes a “Look Book” to explain their dress code. If you match this, the interviewer can picture you working there that much easier!
- Mannerisms: A barista is all about serving customers, so you want to pay attention to how you interact with the people interviewing you. Maintain good eye contact. Keep your answers short and relevant, with examples of good customer service.
- Job History: If incarceration has left your resume with large gaps in your employment history, then you need to be ready to say something about that. Starbucks is inclusive but demands honesty, so it’s best to talk about your record now. Control the narrative! Say you went through some difficult personal times, but are now back on track and moving forward. Focus more on your present positive life, not your past.
Does Starbucks do background checks?
Yes, Starbucks will have a background check done on you after they’ve offered you a job. Nailing down employment will depend on that background check, actually. Starbucks will either decide your record disqualifies you or if they’ll give you a chance to explain your side of the story and make a case for why they should hire you.
Here is some important information you should know about background checks:
Some states don’t even look at information that is more than seven years old. If your offense was six years ago, waiting a year before you apply is a good strategy. A felony conviction from seven or more years ago shouldn’t be a factor in the following states:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.
Other states are good about not looking at any cases where you were found not guilty. The states that won’t include not guilty cases in a background check are the following:
- Indiana (limited check)
- New York
There are still many states that will look at your whole record, including any not guilty verdicts. Those states are:
- Indiana (extensive check)
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
What do people think of Starbucks as a place to work? Starbucks has more than 12,000 reviews on glassdoor.com, giving the company an overall ranking of 3.8 out of 5 possible stars, which is fairly high. An impressive 76% would recommend working for Starbucks to a friend.
The highest score people give to Starbucks as a workplace is 4 stars out of 5 for the company’s culture and values, followed very closely by a 3.9 for compensation and benefits. People seem to really love working at Starbucks!
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
Does Starbucks hire felons? We think they are open to it, but some felonies might hurt your chances. Since their entry-level barista positions include interacting with customers and taking payments, anything in your record that includes monetary theft or violent interactions with people are going to count against you.
Consider what’s on your record — it will help you think about how to get hired at Starbucks!
Does Starbucks drug test?
Starbucks didn’t tell us whether or not they conduct drug tests. We couldn’t find a clear answer to this question in our research, either. It seems to be up to the manager to some extent, as well as where the store is located.
If it’s a licensed store inside another establishment such as Target, the Starbucks workers may be subject to the drug testing policies of the hosting business.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
Successful Release needs your help to give the best information to others who are facing the same challenges you have faced. Did the information in this article help you get a job at Starbucks with a felony?
Share all the details, both good and bad, so we can help others in the community!