Labatt Food Service

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Labatt Food Service Reviews in San Antonio, TX

Updated Jun 16, 2014

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2.9 15 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

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Blair Labatt

(2 ratings)

46% of employees recommend this company to a friend
15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    All the benefits of a firmly-established company, with the mindset of a start-up

    Computer Programmer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsThe company has embraced technology at all levels and makes a very concentrated effort to seek out the latest technologies and practices. There is a very real culture of professionalism and constant learning, and the company invests heavily in helping developers evolve and hone their craft (internal/external training, r&d projects, books, etc). Hard work is definitely noticed, recognized and rewarded. Great work-life balance, I've never had to worry about having to leave early or making an appointment, and management is really understanding when it comes to tending to family matters.

    ConsPaid holidays and vacation days are on the low side of the IT industry standard, but on-par with food distribution industry. The IT department is relatively small so there is no clear path to a traditional management position, which may or may not be an issue since, again, you are definitely compensated for the work you put in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI feel sometimes that developers don't get enough face time with senior management. Most communication with senior management happens via project leads or business leads, which I understand is for reasons of efficiency. However, I think there needs to be a better process for empowering up-and-coming developers to play a more active leadership role.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Labatt is a company that I have enjoyed working more at than any other company

    Senior Buyer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Pros1. Family atomosphere and aknowlegement for those who do a good job.
    2. Great pay and benefits.
    3. Something you do hear a lot and it is very true even in negative reviews, great Co-workers who are bright, intelligent and fun to work with.
    4. Very upstart work environment, when you have your position, you are the one who decides how best to accomplish your work. Very little micromanagement in the Labatt structure. That is great for a person who is very self motivated.
    5. Great Mentorship program that will team you will people who will be vested in your success.

    I have been at Labatt for over 20 years, It was my 4th job out of college and I was 29 when I started coming from a very similar industry. I have seen the company grow 10 fold since I have been here from 133 million to over 1 billion. I work with so many wonderful co-workers both men and women who started around the same time I did and very many talented young people who have been here anywhere from 1 to 5 years plus. Labatt is no more political than any other companies that I worked for in the past. I would say they are less in a fair comparison to other companies I have worked at to include HEB and Cargill. Certainly the amount of Women in our senior management is very strong proof of that. I challenge you to find a more diversified work force in our industry than Labatt.

    I personally have had a very positive experience working for Labatt. I have been part of a great company who has had stellar growth in a very competitive industry, where people care about one of the most important resources around, other people. .

    Cons1. Company is not filled with management structure. If you need a lot of guidance and supervision, may not be your kind of place to work. .
    2. Paid time off is very similar to Retail Grocery, so if you requre a lot of PTO, this may not be an industry of your liking.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExpand mentorship program to all departments in the company,

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Corporate Review - Political, no career growth

    Corporate Trainer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsSlow paced, ability to work as much or little as desired. Mostly younger, fresh out of college workforce.

    ConsPolitical environment, company more interested in personal relationships than quality of work.
    Very little direction, extremely slow pace.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on the quality of work, not the immature need to be liked. Take ownership and do not fear making final decisions. Provide direction and follow up with your teams. Show appreciation for true star players and cut the stagnant unproductive associates.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Just keep going...pass this up!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsNone.....nope, not one. O' there is one, if you are pregnant, you get 3 weeks paid time off. . . .makes me want to have babies and work there. I would be pregnant all the time!

    ConsLimit the friends that you make around the office, knowing others in the company is going to be a problem, and you may get called out on it. Although there are several great people who come from different backgrounds. I met some very awesome people there. Discussing problems with people in other departments was a no-no. Instead of trying to help out and fix problems management will just ignore advice and pretend it was not happening, Yes, this is a lifestyle change, especially when you have management telling you what you can and cannot do on your personal time off. That is going over-board! What I do with my time after an 8 hour shift is completely up to me.

    Advice to Senior Managementnone.. they don't care, and if you go to HR about a problem, I'm sure they will tell you the same thing they told me.....THAT PERSON HAS BEEN HERE LONGER THAN YOU, YOU WILL LEAVE WELL BEFORE THEY WILL!....... This is very comforting....hahhaha!!! Management needs to stay there.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Hopelessly uncaring and outdated culture

    Middle Management (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsYou can get a job right out of college, but it might negatively taint your view of the "real" working world for the rest of your career. They hire college grads because they assume they are young, green, gullible, eager to work for free, and do whatever they want them to do. While hiring mostly new graduates, they have to discriminate against people with experience.

    ConsThis company's management structure is hopelessly outdated and unconcerned with their employees welfare. You have to bow-down to your superiors in blind faith because they want to control every aspect of your life. If you don't adhere to the culture, you will be destroyed or tortured until you leave in disgrace. You will be a shining example to others who remain... conform or be destroyed. This megalomaniac mentality starts at the very top of the company and flows down through every office and position.

    From the day you begin interviewing with this company, it is painfully clear they do not know what they are doing. If you have any previous work experience prior to interviewing with them, they will probe you about the companies you've worked for, but not so much you. They want to know how other companies are managed and operated because Labatt does not know how to run their company. Their interview process can take up to two weeks and is chocked full of invasive, irrelevant, and rude interrogatories. You will also have to answer a long series of psychological profiling questions which appear to be a junior high student's attempt at "head" games.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeave while you can because you can't reason with the owner(s). They will never change!

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Memoirs of a Labatt Programmer

    Software Developer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsI believe everyone's entitled to their opinion, so here's mine. And please don't be alarmed or angered, but it's a positive review.

    I've been with Labatt for almost six years now as a software developer. I've seen many changes and growth in this department over the years that have left me very optimistic about the future of this company. In this time we've matured greatly not just in our software development process, but also in our structure. I think we have a great mentor/mentee process for new hires. And in fact, I just recently had the pleasure of working with a new hire on developing a completely new system from the ground up, and I feel it was a very rewarding experience for both of us. Management greatly encourages employees to be creative, to push the boundaries, to seek out and make use of the latest and greatest technology. And obviously will put their money where their mouth is and pay for books, training, hardware/software, etc. And I've never had any issue whatsoever, from day one, with going into my manager's office and talking openly about anything that was on my mind. And you know what, I've always felt that they sincerely care about me and want to help me.

    We're still learning, we're still growing, we're not the IT department we know we can be yet. But if you want to be in a place where you're not just producing cogs, where you can see a system through from start to finish that will have a direct impact on the bottom line, where people will listen to your ideas, where hard work and dedication are truly rewarded (and quite handsomely I might add), then give Labatt a try.

    This has been my experience, and I'm happy to share it. If Labatt didn't work out for some people, I would just say "to each his own". But there are a lot of smart people here who are working hard to put Labatt on the IT map.

    ConsI think a lot of the negative reviews are coming from people who have had a negative experience in the analyst role. And I will agree that there has to be some more effort put into creating a little more structure and development for that position. In fairness though, we do have some seasoned analysts who seem quite happy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGolly you guys are doing a swell job! <--- have at it comment section trolls! :)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Just over one year of employment with Labatt I am very satisfied and am looking forward to many more years.

    Analyst (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsI really like the diverse opportunities and challenges given to me right from the start as an analyst. Coming in you have an immediate opportunity to work on significant projects that impact the company's bottom line as well as interact with top management. I have worked at other places and the level of impact a new employee can make is very unique here.

    In addition, team members not only work together in small groups, but share a lot of after activities.

    ConsYou need to be a self starter from the very beginning. You will get guidance and help, but don't expect any hand holding. It is a diverse place and there is a lot to learn very early.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPerhaps, empathize more with the new hire employees straight out of college. For some this is their first place of employment. and this can be a difficult adjustment.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Labatt is the Complete Package

    Software Development (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Pros1. Career Opportunities: The opportunities for advancement are unlimited. In many departments there is no strict progressional ladder of advancement. Some may view this as a disadvantage, but it works very well for those who prefer to be rewarded fairly according to their talent and effort. While I tend to dislike the use of clichés, it is very true that birds of a feather flock together. That observation can be made about successful employees at Labatt. Those who are successful at Labatt tend to stick together, learn from each other, and continue to build upon their successes at the company.

    2. Leadership: Senior Management are deeply invested in every aspect of the business, and they genuinely care about their employees (I have heard many stories and have had personal experiences where they have jumped in to help employees in non-work-related situations). They invest a great deal in resources to develop their employees and provide the type of environment they feel is necessary to help their people grow professionally. They are intimately involved in all projects in software development, which provides new employees with a great opportunity to learn from these leaders who have great experience and success under their belts.

    A common misconception is that those who are in advanced/leadership positions have never worked at other companies, but this is untrue. In fact, most (if not all) of those in advanced positions came from other companies.

    Every manager is different, which is true no matter where you go. My personal experience with management has been phenomenal and has directly contributed to my own professional growth. Most managers are in their positions because they were successful at the jobs/positions they now manage. When one becomes a manager, they don't simply become a manager and relinquish all other duties. Their responsibilities increase. So, yes, managers are busy. And if you need something from one of them, you cannot sit around waiting for them to find you. You need to take initiative, but that is what I love about the environment because you learn to conquer your fears and become assertive.

    3. Culture: As most would probably agree, the culture at Labatt could be described in a single word as "conservative." However, this description is short-sighted and inaccurate as it does not consider the constant push by leaders of the company to improve every aspect of the business, whether it be order selection methods, the structure of a department, or the personal and professional growth of their people. Improvement requires change, not conservation, and Labatt is all about improvement.

    Some of the core business strategies, which have directly contributed to Labatt's differentiation among competitors and its success, are "conservative" in the sense that there is no point in changing those core strategies when they have continued to deliver time and time again.

    However, those who describe Labatt as "conservative" are rarely considering its business strategies. The "conservative" description is usually applied to convey the company rules, like the dress code and dating policies, which are not solely reflective of the culture. Yes, the recommended dress code is professional. That seems understandable especially if you want to BE professional. Yes, there are policies against fraternizing (i.e., inter-office dating). Again, I completely agree with that as I would personally be incapable of focusing on the job knowing that the person I am dating is just down the hall. Or if something were to go sour with the relationship, how would that work at the office?

    4. Pay/benefits: I don't volunteer salary information in social settings, but many of my friends do. Without offering too much, let me just say that Labatt takes very good care of their employees. To give a specific example, in my first year at Labatt (I had just graduated college and I came from a low-income family), I found out that I needed to have multiple, expensive surgeries. I was completely independent at this time (i.e., living alone and solely responsible for all bills) and was able to single-handedly pay in full for these surgeries thanks to my pay and health benefits.

    5. Coworkers: There is a good mix of veteran, well-experienced employees and new employees, often who have recently graduated college. The newcomers have a great opportunity to learn crucial lessons about best business practices and strategies from the veterans, and the veterans can learn innovative, fresh ideas from the newer employees. Your coworkers are the people you spend the most time with each day, so it is important that you enjoy each other's company, respect each other's work, and share common goals/interests (especially professional goals). Some of my coworkers are now my best friends.

    SUMMARY: Labatt is not for everyone. This much is obvious, but no company is for everyone. I, luckily, have found it to have everything I want and plan to have a long career with the company. I urge any applicants to come and see for yourself whether Labatt is for you rather than depend solely on reviews from people you have never met, who may be very different from you.

    Cons1. If I had to choose something I dislike about my job, it would be the location of the office. The warehouse/office is located in an industrial part of town, as should be expected so there is not much that can or should be done about it.
    2. Labatt recruits candidates who have recently graduated college. While I agree with this strategy, it can be difficult to overcome some of the cultural misconceptions and ideals that these recent graduates believe should be present in order to build/sustain a successful company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI will not pretend that I have anything of value to offer a management team who has grown the company's sales by over a factor of 10 in the last 30 years. You obviously know how to run a successful company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    9 people found this helpful  

    Acceptable first job

    Business Analyst (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Pros1. Great coworkers. Labatt HR is very good at identifying high achievers and good people that you'll enjoy working with.
    2. Good pay. As a general rule, BAs at Labatt get above average for their major/college (most new hires are recent graduates), but less than other BAs with equivalent experience. On the whole, this is a win for the employee.
    3. Stability. As long as you don't rub the wrong person the wrong way, your job is very safe.
    4. Great experience. With just the slightest bit of effort, you'll get great experience and learn a lot of different skills. Labatt is a great resume builder due to the variety and complexity of the projects you'll be working on.

    ConsThe first three points are interrelated.
    1. The culture lacks perspective. Labatt is largely populated by people who have never worked anywhere else, and that includes most managers. While some innovative spirit has been retained, there is a lack of vision and awareness due to the narrow range of career experiences.
    2. Nepotism and politics. Having the correct last name or making the right friends are the primary determinants of career success. There is little recognition of merit, whether in the form of promotions, monetary incentives, or praise. Firing is based on some criterion other than a pattern of failing to perform in a satisfactory manner.
    3. Poor managers. Managers are at best detached and lacking in managerial skills. At worst, they browbeat employees in public without justification, hamper projects with their sporadic, distracting involvement, and fire people without cause.

    4. Lack of career advancement. While the IT department was once a place where you could expect advancement, that is no longer the case. There is a chronic paucity of project leadership because there is no effort to groom and promote people into leadership roles. This creates a vicious circle. People don't feel like they are going anywhere at Labatt so the ambitious ones tend to leave after 1-2 years, which means there aren't many people with more than 2 years of experience to promote.
    5. Employees feel lost due to the lack of interaction with managers. They know that no one will notice if they essentially stop doing anything, and it is very hard to stay focused in that environment.
    6. Benefits are substandard. This is particularly true in the IT department (where all the BAs and programmers are), because they are competing for talent against software companies rather than low-margin distributors.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNo one of the following points is enough, but all four together would be a great start toward an organization that more people will want to be part of for the long term.
    1. Supplement your staff with managers with strong experience at other companies. Learn from them how to interact with employees, promote a healthy culture, and develop a pipeline of future leaders.
    2. Institute a program to help employees identify and achieve career goals. Much of the turnover at Labatt is not due to pay and benefits, but the lack of career development.
    3. Greater managerial involvement. Instead of speaking to employees once a year, do it monthly or even weekly. If there isn't enough time to talk to employees once a month, then managers are being asked to do too much.
    4. Recognize merit. Standard raises, no bonuses, no recognition, and rewarding people for making friends rather than making money mean that there is little incentive to do more than the bare minimum. When someone shows initiative, help them succeed.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    9 people found this helpful  

    Decent resume builder, but start planning your exit on day one.

    Analyst (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Pros- Pay is in line with the market.
    - Company will hire straight out of college, so it’s a good job to get some experience on the resume.
    - Pleasant co-workers.

    ConsMost of these have already been covered, so I won’t rehash them here. The benefits are terrible, the culture is ridiculously outdated, and you will almost without question be managed by someone who was never, ever meant (or trained) to be a manager.

    Advancement is a very uncertain thing at Labatt. The most common method is to either a.) Be born with the correct last name, or b.) Unrelentingly suck up to someone who was. This speaks to the true core of the culture, the thing that Labatt values the most: blind, unquestioning loyalty. They will tell you what the preferred shirt color is (white). They will tell you if they think your hair is too long (it probably is). They will tell you who your friends should be. I recall sitting through a lengthy meeting in which a junior executive (a member of category A above) tried, in his halting, stuttering manner, to explain to our department that our relationships with our co-workers are shallow and meaningless, while our relationship to The Company is sustaining, deep, and meaningful.

    Because you see, Labatt isn’t just a regional food distributor to the true believers in the company. It’s a way of life. There’s a weird cult of personality built around the CEO and the GM, as if their “business acumen” is irreplaceable and unique. As far as the true believers are concerned, working for Warren Buffett would be a decided step down.

    That being said, I can’t feel too upset about my time at Labatt. I made some lasting friendships, learned some useful skills, and gained valuable experience. So if you’re right out of college and looking for a job with decent pay that will allow you do these things, by all means, go for it. Just keep your head down, don’t question the frequently irrational statements you will hear managers make, and keep your resume up to date at all times. Do not speak up about problems you have to ANYONE, ever. You don’t know who will go to a manager and try to prove their loyalty by turning you in. Sounds paranoid, right? Unfortunately, that is truly the lay of the land.

    As mentioned in the “Pros” section above, you will have some great co-workers. Unfortunately most of them will be long gone by the time you hit the 2 year mark, because at the end of the day, there are hundreds of better companies to work for, and Labatt does not care about retaining anyone. If you are the type of person who just wants a place to punch the clock, do the bare minimum, and collect your paycheck, then Labatt is a great place where you can stay under the radar for years. Other employees stay because this is the only corporate job they’ve ever had, and they don’t understand how much better they could have it elsewhere. Getting these naive college grads is a core part of Labatt’s recruiting strategy, as is firing anyone who begins to question the rapid turnover or poor decision-making.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is literally no point in putting anything here. One of the previous reviews on this site mentioned, in part, “Most managers would read these types of reviews and spend more time thinking who is writing them versus taking a step back and accepting the criticism”. Not long afterward, they did in fact fire an employee for writing the review. They got the wrong guy, of course, but I imagine it made them feel much better. I’ve heard ex-employees relate how they were told, after their exit interview, that they “weren’t mature enough to understand why they were leaving”. They may think they’re leaving for better benefits, pay, and work environment elsewhere, but Labatt knows better. It is, after all, the best company in the whole wide world. Isn’t it?

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

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