• Hospitality industry is readying for a hike in minimum wage under President Joe Biden
  • Starbucks gives wages much higher than minimum wage: CNBC
  • For new employees starting wages would be increased by 5%

Beverage company Starbucks is raising hourly wages for its senior employees beginning Dec. 14, as the U.S. hospitality industry prepares for higher minimum wages under the new government.

In an internal memo to employees, Starbucks said that baristas, shift supervisors, and café attendants will receive a pay increase of at least 10% starting Dec. 14, if their start date was before Sept. 24, CNBC reported.

Starbucks employees who work at locations directly operated by the company, and have worked for the company for three years, will receive a minimum hike of 11%, and wages for starting staff will increase by 5% to incentivize more people to apply for positions.

Rossann Williams, president of Starbucks' company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, wrote the memo to the employees on Nov. 2, according to a report by Business Insider.

She wrote in the memo that the company is “making one of the most substantial investments in pay” in Starbucks’ history.

Starbucks has received favorable feedback on its benefits and wages compared with other retail and restaurant chains. It was among the companies that offered emergency pay to its employees during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Starbucks also is allowing its employees to take an unpaid leave of absence through March 2021, if they are uncomfortable coming to work during the pandemic, but their other benefits will exist.

A hike in the minimum wage has been a longstanding demand of workers in the U.S. Florida was the most recent state to vote in a ballot measure that allowed the minimum wage to be increased to $15 per hour over six years. Seven other states in the country have set a $15 minimum wage. President-elect Joe Biden is said to be in favor of increased minimum wages.

"This announcement is the next phase of our commitment to ensuring the well-being of partners with one of the most significant investments to hourly pay in the U.S. in the history of the company. We have a multi-year aspiration to make more meaningful investments in pay as it continues to rebuild and grow the business," Starbucks representative Reggie Borges said, according to Business Insider.

While many employees are elated by the raise announcement, petitions are circulating online to make starting pay $15 for all Starbucks employees.

Starbucks logo
A Starbucks logo is pictured. AFP / EVA HAMBACH