Caribou Coffee

  www.cariboucoffee.com
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Caribou Coffee Reviews

Updated August 17, 2014
Updated August 17, 2014
240 Reviews

3.2
240 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Caribou Coffee President and CEO Mike Tattersfield
Mike Tattersfield
119 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Discount and free half pound coffee every week (in 14 reviews)

  • Free 1/2 pound of beans per week (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management lack of communication and really poor distribution of product (in 24 reviews)

  • Also, she favors shift supervisors over team members which makes us feel belittled and unimportant (in 18 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    It was ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager

    Pros

    Free coffee, able to make my own schedule, time to interact and get to know customers.

    Cons

    Absolutely no advertising or marketing. Wouldn't spend money to fix/update stores, managers had to come up with their own marketing strategies, many times POP would come in with misspelling. Always hired from outside to fill higher positions, no training offered for advancement. Shift supervisors were often high school/ college kids who were just getting through college so they didn't care about the store performance, could have been remedied by offering more money for those positions. Corporate would often roll out new promotions and wouldn't be able to supply enough of the product so we would often run out the day we received a shipment because they would cap how much product we could order, example: pumpkin syrup.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much to say since they ended up closing a lot of their stores. I would say invest in your company more and you'll see a return. Don't let stores operate with malfunctioning equipment and have a plan for marketing and supporting your stores to help build sales in areas where Starbucks rules and no one knows what caribou coffee is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great start - 5 years ago. Last 18 months was a nightmare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Plenty of opportunity to learn ins and outs of business if you are willing to take opportunities and stand up for yourself (you have to ask/push - certainly won't be handed to you). Learned HR, recruiting, interviewing, training, development planning, finance, operations management, B2B marketing, and customer service. You can personally build a great team and have great peers ... it just takes work.

    Cons

    Very poor compensation for level of responsibility and workload. Poor time off policies (cafes are open 365 days a year). Poor communication from upper level management to the field - which is where the actual money is made. Dealing with an entitled public in an urban was soul crushing. Long history of poor facilities management - constant pressure to keep sales flowing while dealing with broken frigs, doors, bathrooms. Culture and leadership were just lip service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck being the "boutique" coffee company in MN. Can only hope that for my peers still with the company, things will be better once all other states have converted to Peet's Coffee and Tea.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    It pays the bills (sort of)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Even though I'm about to rip the company a new one in the next section, I genuinely enjoy working here (for the most part). Or at least I enjoy the memories of what it used to be. Anyway...

    All employees working 20 hours a week are eligible for benefits, which is great. Also, employees with an average of 32 hours every pay period receive paid-time-off. Moving up within the company is relatively easy, as long as you show competence & have a little bit of leadership skills. The bonds you form with your co-workers & customers (for the most part) make all of the stress seem more tolerable.

    Cons

    Shift supervisors only receive a dollar raise upon their promotion. On the same topic, if two or more supervisors are working (or are working at the same time as the store manager) then one or both of them gets paid a dollar less as a team member; however, they are still expected to complete managerial tasks. Also, yearly raises are very low.

    Management turnover is very high. It's not uncommon for a store to lose multiple managers within a year.

    Corporate is very rarely prepared for promotions & it's not uncommon for stores to run out of a promotional product within weeks of its release, only for the stores to find out that it's unavailable forever. Communication is very poor: a few months ago there was a buy one/get one promotion but the coupon code didn't work because IT wasn't aware that the promotion was even occurring. That's the norm.

    Unfortunately, the focus has been changing from coffee to sales for a while now. There's a lot of pressure to sell products that customers don't want, but we're made to feel like we're lazy, not trying hard enough, or failures for not making the sale.

    Labor keeps getting cut but sales aren't really down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really listen to your employees. Take what they have to say to heart, especially those of us who have been around for years. We know what we're talking about. Stop putting so much pressure on sales & let us develop the relationships that are supposed to make us different than Starbucks. Also: stop cutting labor. You'll just end up paying fewer people to stay longer to get the job done than if you paid more people for less time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Environment and great teams but employees are not valued by corporate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Barista, Shift Supervisor  in  Roseville, MN
    Former Employee - Barista, Shift Supervisor in Roseville, MN

    Pros

    Flexible hours (great as a college job) and each team becomes a family (within each store). Yearly raise based on performance.

    Cons

    stores are put up to competing against one another multiple times a year. There is no paid time off and no sick days. If you are sick and cannot get your shift covered you have to go in or you risk losing your job. If you show up late even once you are written up. Even after the five years i worked here with becoming a supervisor my pay only went up a $1.50 (in five years with a promotion). Corporate could care less about the store employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your teams! They are the ones who are in the stores and know what works and what doesn't. Pay your team members and shift supervisors better; it will fix the high turn around that you have in many stores. make accommodations for someone who is truly too sick to come to work. You do not want to be known as a company who allows someone who is vomiting every five minutes to make people's coffee.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Great until they started the rebranding process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager  in  Towson, MD
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Towson, MD

    Pros

    Great upper manangement and HR..fun place to work. Great culture. The customers are probably the best part of this job.

    Cons

    Lied to their employees about further stores closing. Did not tell them until weeks before. That is just rude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open and honest about that. This is peoples lives...

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Caribou

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Culture seems like it is good overall.

    Cons

    Recent changes to pay structure (the scam that is pay cards), anyone who isn't corporate is overworked an underpaid. Labor gets slashed every year, which stretches everyone thin at the store level. Management meetings demand an unrealistic level of growth from every single store...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Money isn't everything in the world...you gotta make it to stay in business, but after working there I have been asked repeatedly if I would recommend working there and I say no every single time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Progression

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager

    Pros

    Internal promotion, unique culture, focus on customer service

    Cons

    Lack of testing for new promotional products

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recent promotions make me wonder whether or not ideas are truly tried and tested before launches. I'm sure they are to some degree, but corporate decisions make me wonder at times!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    I met great people, nice community. Fun place to work at for a part time job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous  in  Saint Louis Park, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Saint Louis Park, MN

    Pros

    Amazing atmosphere, meeting many nice people. Gateway into communities. Also relatively simple job responsibilities. Lots of free coffee and discounts at any caribou location

    Cons

    I worked at a caribou with a drive thru which can get very hectic at times. You have to be careful not to burn yourself on coffee (I have seen many 2nd degree burns)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some managers have no people skills whatsoever. No idea how they got into the company, they run great numbers but lose employees who will talk negatively about an another wise great company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Terrible, torture like.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Member  in  Shakopee, MN
    Former Employee - Team Member in Shakopee, MN

    Pros

    Free shift drink. free 1/2 pound of beans each week.

    Cons

    If you work in drive Thru you are forced to sit in your "box" for hours with the sunrise beaming on you and you cannot step out of your box even for a second if you are burning hot. You get yelled at if you don't talk to people in the drive thru even if they are talking on their phone or busy doing something else. You get in trouble if you forgot to tell someone about their ridiculously expensive bean that no one wants to buy because managers only care about how many points they get so THEY can get a bonus...no one else. There is no place to put your lunch if it needs to be refridgerated so there's a better chance you will buy caribous food because you hardly get a break to go somewhere else to eat. Sometimes if you start at 6 or 7 am you get your lunch break at early as 9 (who wants to eat lunch at 9???) and nothing else until your shift ends at 2 or 3. TERRIBLE PLACE TO WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about your employees, and not yourself sometimes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst training ever.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It's nice getting a half bag of coffee every week, but other than that I have found no good reasons to work here. I have friends at a Starbucks who were trained and treated consistently better than I have ever been at this job.

    Cons

    You are only given three days of training. Three. Then you are expected to be competent enough to work independently. First day of training on bar, my assistant manager (who was supposed to be training me) rolled her eyes and said, "Ugh, I hate training people."

    I've worked many, many fast-paced restaurant jobs, including working in a coffee shop job for years. I have never been so consistently stressed and upset in a work environment before. Every place I have worked has commented that I pick up on new things surprisingly fast. Here, however, co-workers just treat you like a burden, since you're not as fast or as confident as they are. To top it off, I was hired for full-time, yet am barely scraping 20 hours a week.

    I've worked a lot of unpleasant jobs before. This is the first time I have ever hated one. This environment is stressful, demeaning, and I am looking for a new job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The User Interface system for cash registers has the worst design I have ever seen. Hire some designers to make the computer system more interactive and user-friendly, so that there is a minimum number of buttons cashiers need to push in order to ring an order through, and re-design the way they show up on the computer for the baristas. Currently the specifications of each drink are rung in slightly differently, and there is no quick way to differentiate between the words. That shouldn't be a problem with a company this large. You've got some great company branding and logo design, now please apply that accessibility to the work area itself.

    Also, please consider the health and safety of your employees. In every other job I have worked it's been expected that workers will take a 15 to 20 minute break every 4 hours worked so that they can eat, use the bathroom, etc. I end most of my six hours shifts shaking because my blood sugars are too low, but I haven't had a single chance for a break. That's not healthy for anyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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