Au Bon Pain

  www.aubonpain.com
  www.aubonpain.com
There are newer employer reviews for Au Bon Pain

 

Working as a Customer Service Representative at Au Bon Pain

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Short Hills, NJ
Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Short Hills, NJ

I worked at Au Bon Pain

Pros

I enjoyed the flexible hours and the friendly work environment. My managers were very accommodating, and the 50% discount on all food was wonderful. I also enjoyed learning about how to make different specialty drinks, and my co-workers were really nice.

Cons

As a Customer Service Representative, I had to sometimes clean off tables, wipe trays, and take out the trash. That's really the extent of the downsides though.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I enjoyed the level of respect that the managers showed their employees. Also, they were very understanding of times when I had to take days off.

Recommends

83 Other Employee Reviews for Au Bon Pain (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    What's cooking at Au Bon Pain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Au Bon Pain

    Pros

    If you work with competent managers (IF), bonus is 10% of your salary. This is paid quarterly (2.5%) assuming you meet or beat projected sales and profit, while passing a quarterly QSC audit as well. Not a very taxing job mentally or even physically. They overpay for managers and don't ask a great deal in return.
    If you don't mind being stuck in position for quite awhile and making low to mid 40s plus bonus, it's a tolerable job. Though working in downtown cafes are more preferable as most are closed on weekends. The hospitals are 24/7 and rely on Associate Managers to work most of the weekend shifts.

    Cons

    The bonuses for General Managers is disproportionate to the Associate Managers. GM bonus can range from 10% to 40% depending on the volume of your location. GM's are also eligible for a "super bonus" where if they meet their yearly sales and profit goals, they receive a portion of the profit dollars over plan up to $15k. It's a nice gig if you are a competent GM. However, there are very few in Chicago and the Associates do most of the work.
    They make it a habit to go on hiring sprees and hire several GM's from other companies hinting about them becoming GM's at Au Bon Pain, however, unless there is an immediate need or opening, they usually just make them Associates and you languish in position.
    When the need for a GM does come up, they rush to hire someone from the outside and put them in position right after training, bypassing many of the others they hired before.
    I've been here almost 5 years, and have seen this pattern happen at least once each year.
    The training is woefully inadequate and the ongoing training they do is simple rehashing of many things learned in your initial training. There is very little promotion from within as they do very little to develop subordinate managers.
    ABP believes in abundance in their bakery products, often leading to a great deal of product waste at the end of the day. This is something that takes getting used to and seems very wasteful.
    Technology is somewhat foreign to this company. Their computers and registers are quite slow.
    This company will not likely grow into the suburbs as their test stores in Boston don't do very well. Surprising as this concept, as well as Panera, were both owned by the same company several years back. Panera has expanded successfully to the burbs while ABP can't make it work.
    Their cafes are difficult to navigate as they do not put up any signage stating "order your sandwich or salad here" or "pay here". They believe that it's simply the managers job to help customers find their way around.
    They have halted all raises across the board for the latter part of 2008 and all of 2009. This trend will likely continue.
    If you work in a downtown store, you will likely work 9-7 shifts or later depending on location. Most downtown stores are closed on weekends. The hospital locations are 24/7 and the shifts tend to lead to a lack of quality time (i.e. working 12-10 consistently).
    Middle and upper management, and human resources do not listen to subordinate managers unless there is a serious complaint. It's usually the GMs word over everyone elses.
    This is from my own experience as well as taken in experiences of other managers from other cafes too.
    Most GMs will work the earliest shifts, rarely working into the late afternoon or evening, as well as taking a lot of time off on weekends (in hospital locations).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get into your stores more, even send people undercover. In Chicago, you guys really don't know what's going on in your stores. Downtown has been a real mess, several stores in declining sales for extended periods of time with nothing done to really fix it. You wait too long to replace ineffective or underperforming managers.
    Communicate with subordinate managers much more frequently. There is a lot of information that does not make it's way past the GMs.
    Get back to basics. Many stores do not follow established procedures. That's why Chicago has underperfomed financially for some time.
    Require your GMs to work a variety of shifts including nights/closes and weekends.
    Develop your subordinate managers, you overpay for most recruited managers because you don't train your next level of managers for the future.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2.  

    good

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

    I have been working at Au Bon Pain

    Pros

    great job cool times fun

    Cons

    unorganized scheduling issues bad work

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