Daily Insights

Double Shot of Democracy

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 13, 2020

This Election Day, Starbucks teamed up with Lyft to give its 200,000 U.S. employees a ride to the ballot box. 

As part of its ongoing Fuel Our Democracy campaign, Starbucks will work with Lyft to ensure employees make it to the polls this year. The initiative allows Starbucks to double down on its dedication to employee voting and help connect with its thousands of employees across the country. As part of the partnership with Lyft, every eligible Starbucks employee will receive a one-way ride pass redeemable for up to $75. The pass can be used for employees that are voting or working the polls as well as for a trip to the Post Office or drop-off location. Employees can ensure they are ready to vote on Election Day by using the Fuel Our Democracy website, where Starbucks included voter registration resources, links to receive mail-in ballots, and election reminders. The coffee company also coordinated with nonprofit Civic Alliance to encourage employees to become poll workers this year, as there is an expected shortage of volunteers. 

Many corporations, including Chipotle, Snapchat, and Puma, launched voting initiatives recently, but Starbucks is notable for focusing on its employees rather than its consumers. Regardless, the initiative could still resonate with many socially active consumers, which could strengthen loyalty and increase sales, according to a Gartner report. By working with Lyft, Starbucks can leverage its relationship with the rideshare service to support its employees and encourage them to be socially active. With lack of transportation being one of the largest voting barriers in the U.S., Starbucks can ensure its thousands of employees do not face that obstacle. As Lyft operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it could connect with Starbucks employees wherever they may be. Additionally, the courier service will offer 50% off rides to the polls for all passengers on Election Day in an effort to help more Americans vote. Bringing employees to the polls is the latest chapter in Starbucks and Lyft’s ongoing partnership, which began in 2015 and has also included giving employees rides to their Starbucks store and allowing Lyft drivers to receive tips via Starbucks gift cards. 

Increased consumer demand for social action has led to many brands getting involved in the election this year. While some brands, like Ben & Jerry’s, took public stances, others like Starbucks have embraced partnerships to get the message across. By working with Lyft, Starbucks could strengthen its rideshare alliance and support its staff as more than employees, but as voters, too.