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Stakeholders of Starbucks (Starbucks stakeholder analysis)

Stakeholders of Starbucks (Stakeholder analysis of Starbucks)

This detailed piece of work identifies some of the internal and external stakeholders of Starbucks. Starbucks is a global coffee company that has been in business for over 50 years. It is recognized worldwide for its high-quality coffee and espresso drinks, as well as its commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability. It has grown exponentially with locations all over the world.


There are many more stakeholders that need to be recognized when companies consider their strategic and operational decisions. Important stakeholders include customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, local communities, investors, activist groups, and government.


Internal stakeholders of Starbucks



A company’s shareholders are the people and organisations who invest in it and share in the benefits or losses of ownership. Starbucks has many different stakeholders such as individuals, and institutions (hedge funds and mutual funds).


Institutional shareholders can influence its both strategic and non-strategic decisions significantly. For instance, they rejected an executive compensation plan for the CEO in a non-binding vote in 2021 (Sainato, 2021).



Customers are the most important stakeholders of Starbucks. They buy products and provide the revenue that drives the coffee giant. They also provide feedback about what they want from their Starbucks experience.


Starbucks has implemented different strategies to keep its customers coming back. It is worth noting that it serves millions of customers every week which attests to an excellent customer retention (Starbucks, 2023).



Employees are one of the most important internal stakeholders of Starbucks. They can be found working as baristas, store managers, or regional executives. They can affect how successful Starbucks is by doing their job and providing inputs into decisions that go into creating products and services that customers want.


Starbucks has long been recognized as a leader in employee relations. For example, it is one of the first companies to offer full healthcare to full-time and part-time employees.


However, Sainato (2021) reports that some employees are very unhappy with understaffing at some stores, heavy workloads, relatively low pay, and confrontational customers.



Starbucks works with many suppliers around the world. These suppliers include farmers, traders, and roasters. The company has a long-term commitment to sustainable coffee farming practices and is committed to paying a fair price for beans. However, it experienced supply shortages in the USA in the past, making many thirsty, and coffee-crazed customers unhappy.


External stakeholders of Starbucks



Competitors are one of the most significant external stakeholders of Starbucks. Starbucks competes with many other coffeehouses, including Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Caribou Coffee. It is also competing with companies like Peet’s Coffee & Tea Company, which have more exclusive products.


Starbucks has indeed the highest share of the coffee shop market in the USA in terms of number of stores; however, it is well behind the market leader Costa Coffee in the UK (Lock, 2022).


Local communities

When Starbucks opens a new store, it is important to consider the impact on the local communities. Opening a new store can have a negative impact on the community because the local coffee shops may have to close down or be forced to change what they offer to compete with Starbucks. The community may also be worried about how this would affect unemployment rates and other racial inequality issues in their neighbourhood.


Activist Groups

One important stakeholder of Starbucks is the activist groups. Starbucks has been the target of activists who are both for and against its actions. Activists have protested outside its stores for various reasons, including human rights, union issues, and animal cruelty. The company has even been involved in lawsuits because of these protests.



Starbucks is also affected by the government of a country in which it operates. It must abide by the rules and regulations, tax, and other relevant issues very carefully as any breach may be costly for it.


How does Starbucks communicate with its stakeholders?

Starbucks has a diverse set of stakeholders, and therefore, it is important for it to have an effective communication strategy with these groups. Communication from Starbucks happens through many channels including social media, press releases, websites, and customer surveys.


In order to communicate effectively with customers, Starbucks needs to be aware of their differences – what they care about and the ways in which they want to be communicated with. It needs to know that some customers may prefer a more direct approach while others may prefer a more personal approach.


It is also important for Starbucks to keep in touch with activist groups that include unions and environmentalists when considering sustainability matters. These groups can play a big role in shaping how it communicates with its stakeholders by pointing out anything it may have missed or wants to improve upon. This way, it can take advantage of any feedback from these groups and make changes as needed.


Summary of Stakeholders of Starbucks (Stakeholder analysis of Starbucks)

To conclude, Starbucks has several internal and external stakeholders who can impact on it its operations and strategies significantly. It consistently listens to them to provide them with a sense of connection to the company.


We hope the article ‘Stakeholders of Starbucks (Stakeholder analysis of Starbucks)’ has been helpful. Please share the article link on social media to help us continue with this free academic research.


You may also like reading SWOT analysis of Starbucks. Other relevant articles for you are:


PESTEL analysis of Starbucks

Competitors of Starbucks (Competitor analysis of Starbucks)

Marketing mix of Starbucks


Last update: 01 March 2023


Lock, S. (2022) Selected leading coffee shop chains in the UK, available at: (accessed 01 March 2023)

Sainato, M. (2021) ‘Coffee-making robots’: Starbucks staff face intense work and customer abuse, available at: (accessed 23 January 2022)

Starbucks (2023) About us, available at: (accessed 01 March 2023)

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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