Caribou Coffee

  www.cariboucoffee.com
  www.cariboucoffee.com

Caribou Coffee Reviews

Updated December 21, 2014
Updated December 21, 2014
279 Reviews
3.1
279 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Plus you get a free half pound of coffee every week and a free shift drink every time you work (in 17 reviews)

  • Free 1/2 pound of beans every week (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management lack of communication and really poor distribution of product (in 25 reviews)

  • There were no shift supervisors and the storage room was a mess (in 20 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was ok

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

    I worked at Caribou Coffee full-time (more than 3 years)

    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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unprofessional and disorganized; I felt taken advantage of.

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

    I worked at Caribou Coffee part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The 30% discount and free shift drinks are great, and the company itself has some good values. They support Rain Forest Alliance and (to my knowledge) make sure their international farmers are treated right. They do produce a quality product. Starting out, I had very positive expectations. I was excited to be a part of a great company, and I love coffee and love to cook, so I couldn't wait to make drinks and be a part of the warm coffee shop atmosphere... Too bad I never got to.

    Cons

    In my case, there was an EXTREME lack of training. I was trained in a course of two short weeknights. The first night, I learned register. The second, I was given a brief run-through of how to make all the drinks. Then I guess they decided I didn't need to know ANYTHING else like scheduling, breaks, or important company policies...
    I missed my first day of work because I was never told how to access my schedule, I never took a single day off because I simply didn't know how. The first time I called in sick I was yelled at because apparently even if you wake up with the flu you're required to call in 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
    There was also no system for breaks. All I'd ever get was a tap on the shoulder on my 8 hour shifts telling me to go eat, never specifying for how long. I took maybe a half hour, and was yelled at for being gone too long. Sometimes it was so busy that no one would even tell me to go, so I'd go an entire day's shift without eating.

    Things were just as disorganized on the job. I was only scheduled busy weekend days (I was a student at the time). When I was thrown into my first Saturday after my "training", I was overwhelmed almost to tears. I was put on register all day, and expected to know so much I was never told, and my coworkers were right away very annoyed and resentful. We were always too busy for me to learn anything. I asked my manager if I could be scheduled more weekdays so I could learn, but was never given any. Six months went by and nothing changed. I was kept on register and never allowed to make drinks, even as newer members started and quickly advanced ahead of me. My coworkers and manager were rude and always treated me like the weakest link I was. There was even one girl who constantly harassed me, once even to tears. I told my manager how uncomfortable she made me feel several times, but nothing changed and she was eventually promoted to supervisor.
    Needless to say I'd had enough. I quit on good terms, and even made my coworkers cookies on my last day, but did not receive a single comment on them. I know many who did enjoy this job. Hell, I worked with them. However, in my experience, this store was horrible to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know what's going on in your stores. Make sure your management and staff are not just doing their jobs, but also performing decent professional conduct and treating everyone fairly. Make your policies more clear and easy accessible. Make sure employers are being given the training they need.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Progression

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

    I have been working at Caribou Coffee full-time

    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
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  5.  

    Low Morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Parkville, MO
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Parkville, MO

    I have been working at Caribou Coffee part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get a free drink for each shift you work, and also a free half pound of coffee each week. That's literally the only perk of this job

    Cons

    Caribou found a loophole that allows them to deny its employees breaks. I've worked shifts as long as 11 hours without even being able to eat or even just sit down for more than a minute. The shoes we're required to wear are murder on my feet and I cannot afford to buy those comfort insoles because our pay is so miniscule. Good luck trying to pay your bills when you're fighting for hours and you're paid less than $9/hour (hint: you can't. I've been living off savings for the last 4 months). How can you expect me to do my best at work when you're not paying me enough for me to be able to feed myself? When you're a Caribou employee, you are a wage slave. A robot programmed to shove overpriced coffee beans in every customer's face or else you won't get any hours. You're expected to eat the sh*t of every cranky customer who screams in your face for no good reason. I have had multiple panic attacks while at work for this reason. This sort of work is humiliating. I work so hard and what do I get in return? Depression and the lack of being able to pay my rent because the higher-ups are too selfish to pay us well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can't pay rent with these wages. Not all of us are 16 and living with our parents. There's a reason turnover is so high, it's because we aren't paid NEARLY enough for the sort of suffering humiliation we go through.
    And for the love of GOD stop making your SS and TMs push beans so hard. If a customer wants to buy beans, they will buy them of their own accord, not because a college kid is begging them to. I can't make them buy something they don't want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    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

    I worked at Caribou Coffee full-time (less than an year)

    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
  7. 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

    I have been working at Caribou Coffee (less than an year)

    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
  8.  

    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

    I worked at Caribou Coffee full-time (more than 3 years)

    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
  9.  

    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

    I have been working at Caribou Coffee full-time (more than 3 years)

    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
  10.  

    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

    I worked at Caribou Coffee full-time (more than 5 years)

    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
  11.  

    Caribou

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

    I have been working at Caribou Coffee

    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

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