Peet's
3.3 of 5 111 reviews
www.peets.com Emeryville, CA 5000+ Employees

Peet's Reviews

Updated Apr 9, 2014
Peet's – US – “really good coffee”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 111 reviews

                             

75% Approve of the CEO

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Dave Burwick

(4 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend
6 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Peet's Is Blowing Its Re-branding Effort

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Peet's part-time for more than 5 years

Pros-The majority of Peet's coffee and tea stock is actually good quality. (Sadly though, I do know after having both physically been to the roasting plant and having seen the prices we acquire raw beans and imported teas, customers are absolutely being overcharged. Some teas, for example are common, inexpensive blends in china have simply been repackaged and given exorbitant prices.)
-Peet's does hire a lot of "interesting people" (Dave Burwick's choice of words, not mine) and this does lead to a more interesting, if not somewhat challenging place to work.

ConsPeet's has been, like most corporations going through a post-buy out re-branding effort to push a sort of "positive thinking only" schema on its employees. I must preface what I say by affirming that I am all for choosing positivity and keeping an upbeat workforce but I am not about to let that blind me to opportunities for improvement or let it blunt uncomfortable truth. I will attempt everyday to keep it positive but I will never let that goal keep me from addressing what needs to be fixed because of some pathological fear of losing momentum.
Often times this positive-only schema leads store management to ignore real issues brought to their attention and in nearly every case this line of thinking completely invalidates the daily working experience of actual "Peetniks". You might have a legitimate concern about your well-being or safety in the store dismissed because it's deemed "too negative" to even discuss. Often times, you will dismissed entirely as a person because you are not socially or politically inline with corporate's professed "values" and are told that who you are as a person is "negative" and that you need to be something else to be the current incarnation of "positive". Working for this company has become not that different from being in a cult.
To add proverbial insult to injury pay is abysmally low across the board for retail associates, shift leads and assistant managers. (A typical retail associate may not even make $10/hr after five years. An 8 cent raise for "meeting expectations" is fairly common.) For a company that has the balls to charge $18.95 for a pound of coffee, that's pretty pathetic and is a true testament of how they value their employees.
Aside from the aforementioned low wages, hourly employees are expected to do far more work than is reasonable through a variety of daily soul crushing factors:
 -A daily shift will typically be intentionally understaffed (i.e. "skeleton crew"). This is exhausting for employees and negatively impacts customer experience and opinion. Direct evidence of this can be seen in countless Customer Satisfaction Surveys that actually use the descriptors "understaffed", "rushed", "waited and excessive amount of time for my drink", "employees look tired", "chaotic", "employees lack enthusiasm", "bad vibe", etc. Peet's home office decrees that the first priority when scheduling is to allocate the most labor to week day mornings. For most suburban stores this is a critical mistake. I currently work in a store that has all day saturday and all day sunday as its two most profitable periods. Yet, despite my store manager skimming hours off week day afternoons and evenings to make up some of the slack, we are never allocated enough hours from corporate with which to properly run our store. My store is also a top tier store that regularly bests the "aggressive" budgets set for us by corporate and yet when it comes time to beg for more labor, home office cries poor. I call bullpucky.
-Training is bare bones and micromanagement is rampant. Like most corporations, training materials from Peet's own Origins training program will dictate that certain tasks are completed by people in different "roles". 90% of the time the S.O.P. is not communicated to store level employees except as photocopied acronyms on corkboard in the back room, right above the trash can. Management prefers to play obvious favorites and daily expectations are not made clear to all employees. An inability to effectively communicate and immature cliquish behavior is common. Promotions have very little to do with skill or merit and often the wrong people for the job are chosen through outright nepotism.
-Breaks are frequently taken late because of a combination of understaffing and management's own poor time management. Also there is often pressure from management to not take your ten minute breaks at all, or in the last stretch of a closing shift to manually "punch out" and continue working for free (hello wage theft!) Closing employees are often given less than a half hour to complete a close after the doors are locked in the evening. Despite how much "pre-closing" may have been done, with only two employees on until close this is simply never enough time. Management may also, illegally adjust your "punches" in Kronos to avoid paying you for all the hours that you've worked, overtime, etc.
-Employees are pressured into signing meal break wavers under threats of cut hours should they refuse to give up their rights.
-A typical store is run nothing close to what home office fantasizes it would be. If Customer Satisfaction Surveys and direct social media commentary from customers is any indication, Peet's does not understand and nor does it care to properly understand and cater its business to its changing customer base. For far too long, this company has resisted change and let too many opportunities slip through its grasp. Peet's parent company is dictating changes now and a lot of good people have jumped ship during the interim at the corporate level (not ignoring the high retail turnover rate). The company has chosen to adopt a new mission statement of simply being "better", but as someone who has battled through nearly five years with this company, I know that unless Peet's does right by both its regular customers and its lowest level employees that mission statement means nothing.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay your people an actual living wage! Spend the money actually training your new hires; they need it! If these two problems alone are corrected the turnover rate would dramatically decrease.
Be present and communicate well. Hold your employees accountable but remember that their insight to you is valuable and do everything you can to develop them.
Home Office: Please do not dismiss customer opinion and feedback! When customers ask daily for something at store level or post an agitated Facebook post about something that didn't meet their needs that is a missed opportunity.
Stop ignoring reality and pushing a happiness cult on employees that struggling to get by on the crumbs you throw them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Constantly micro-managed by horrible management

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Greenbrae, CA

I worked at Peet's

Prosfree coffee and tea
flexible hours

Consmanagement system was awful
no training...just stick you on a register for 6 hours a day until finally someone decides to teach you how to make coffee months later

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Getting the position is the only opportunity you will get.

Store Manager (Former Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I worked at Peet's

ProsFree Product
Open Minimal Hours (Most stores close at 8pm)
Product quality is very good
Product Discount is good as well

ConsThe benefits for managers are not great. Also, the schedule for managers does not make sense based on the needs of the business. They mandate nights, holidays and weekends but when they hire you they tell you that you can have these off. The District Managers are incompetent. The culture is not performance based so no matter how hard you work, no one will truly notice. You are constantly lied to and undermined. Prepare to be disrespected.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou need to be willing to create an avenue of development for those who wish to. You also need to respect the authority and judgment of your store managers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Good product, poor organization

Shift Lead (Former Employee)
Vacaville, CA

I worked at Peet's

ProsPeet's has an excellent product! The coffee beans are all perfectly roasted to make a brew good enough to drink black, no sugar! For steamed milk based drinks, Peet's also aspires to make the best foam.

ConsPeet's has been called the world's oldest startup and is constantly having growing pains.
Our location suffered from having a new district manager who was a poor organizer and judge of character. Five managers/assistant managers hired by her came and went in two years. Our district manager stepped down to become a single store manager.

Advice to Senior ManagementMy advice to management is to make the person who does the ordering work the night before scheduled delivery. A runout that happens on one's own shift is a powerful incentive to get your pars right next time.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Lots of great talkers at Peet's; it's the actual doing that eludes them. Completely unsophisticated marketing team.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I worked at Peet's

ProsThe coffee buyers are smart and progressive and produce a great product. The CEO is smart.

ConsThe problems lie with many of his marketing lieutenants. I don’t know how those people haven’t chilled themselves into extinction.Hemingway said it best about them: "Never confuse movement with action."

Advice to Senior ManagementThough he is smart and savvy, many of O'Dea's key appointments show a man who is comfortable around unremarkable people.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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What was once a great company has become a company of incompetent management

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Peet's

ProsGreat coffee and teas. Can't think of anything else.

Consincompetent management with consistant changing rules.
Management protecting themselves over their staff.
HR ignores complaints and protects management.
Upper management is disconnected to the staff in the stores and in sales.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt is unfortunate that a great company at one time, has become just another company with bad management issues . At one time, I was proud to say I worked for Peets. Unfortunately, those days have past and I had to leave the company due to the fact that, management doesn't seem to care about the people who actually do the work. I have experience a few times, management protecting themselves to cover up a situation that involved them and blaming the staff. This might happen in many companies, but I expected more from Peets. I know that the customers see the problems as morale of the employees are being worn on their sleeves.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Peet's reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Peet's CEO Dave Burwick . All 6 reviews posted anonymously by Peet's employees.