Tattoos, coffee for life: Starbucks makes bold moves

Feeling generous on the cusp of the holiday season, Starbucks announced on Thursday some bold changes for its employees and its customers.

Tattoos at the workplace? Go for it, unless they are on your face or throat. Black denim, colored ties and neck scarves? Likewise. Coffee for life? Perhaps for a lucky a few.

Allowing U.S. employees to show their tattoos and to sport formally banned types of clothing are part of a larger move by Seattle’s coffee empire to be more relaxed about different forms of self-expression.

Starbucks’ coffee for life possibility is an unprecedented promotion intended to draw people into their loyalty program. Those who purchase their coffee with a Starbucks card or with the Starbucks mobile app will be automatically entered to win “Starbucks for Life.” Ten winners will be selected across the country, and will be able to enjoy one free item a day—coffee or otherwise, with some restrictions—for 30 years.

According to the Seattle Times, starting pay rates will also be increased in January, although that rate depends on the market. Likewise, baristas and shift supervisors will receive a raise, and employees with a long tenure may be rewarded with a “lump sum increase.” Starbucks will review and assess pay every year.

Starbucks also announced on Thursday plans to end irregular schedules, particularly emphasizing situations where employees close the store, then must return hours earlier to open.