Peet's Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
149 Reviews

3.7
149 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dave Burwick
16 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent product quality, sourcing of beans (in 10 reviews)

  • great product best coffee and tea (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • There is definitely no work life balance, you are a coffee slave (in 5 reviews)

  • One raise a year on a fixed percentage scale, so it's difficult to earn financial rewards for hard work (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Peet's Is Blowing Its Re-branding Effort

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

    Cons

    Peet'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 ManagementAdvice

    Pay 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Constantly micro-managed by horrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Greenbrae, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenbrae, CA

    I worked at Peet's

    Pros

    free coffee and tea
    flexible hours

    Cons

    management 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Peet's

    Pros

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

    Cons

    incompetent 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 ManagementAdvice

    It 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Getting the position is the only opportunity you will get.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Peet's

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    You 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good product, poor organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Shift Lead  in  Vacaville, CA
    Former Employee - Shift Lead in Vacaville, CA

    I worked at Peet's

    Pros

    Peet'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.

    Cons

    Peet'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 ManagementAdvice

    My 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Peet's

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Stressfull demanding misleading when they say independent distributor micro management by DM

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Independent Distributor  in  Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Independent Distributor in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Peet's full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Not punching a clock & meeting new people plus being out & about by yourself or outdoors

    Cons

    Mcromanagment by DM,misleading when told independent & you sign a contract as a independent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Impossible

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    if you like getting treated poorly....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Shift Lead  in  Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Shift Lead in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Peet's full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    the pay is pretty good. free drinks when you work and free coffee or tea to take home every week.

    Cons

    i worked in one of the markets that went from caribou to peets last year and at first i was in love with the company (for a week or two) then the honey moon stage went away... we had one week on the floor learning how to make drinks, etc... then spent almost two weeks on a laptop learning how to work all the back office computer stuff and peets protocol. long story short the training was lacking if best. fast word 8 months and me and my coworkers are finding out that we've been doing stuff wrong or didnt know we where supposed to do certain things until we get yelled at by our DM. It wont be a bad place to work if i was in one of the west coast stores that been around for awhile, cause then im sure i would have had better training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get ride of the computer training for some of the back office stuff. its more hands on stuff we need to learn then looking at a program telling us how to do it. also i think it might be a good idea to learn about your new markets a little better then just jumping in head first, that works sometimes in life but not in business.

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ok for part time

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

    I have been working at Peet's full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of coffee and tea geeks, free drinks on shift, once established in a store there are a bunch of fabulous regulars to interact with as well as co-workers. If you are a fast learner and a good cleaner, being a retail associate/barista is a better route to take. They get invovled with the communities they are in and make sure they pay fair trade prices for the coffee they get.
    High quality drinks and attention to high standards to makes sure the coffee and coffee based drinks are quality-coffee forward.

    Cons

    Little pay for a LOT of work. Managers have almost no work life balance despite what they tell you. They tend to work way too hard to meet some resonable and many not-reasonable expectations. There are many balls in the air and if you happen to fumble even one, you are made to feel like you aren't doing enough (even if many other things are going well). There is almost a begrudging complement occationally in all the negative.
    On physical demands, they work you to the bone and seem a little uncaring if you need to use workers compensation. In 4 years of working there, I had to use that program twice because I literally could not raise my arms without searing pain from having to make drink. The demand is that we make quality drinks, quickly, without the staffing necessary to be able to use the 'proper body mechanics' that they tell you are mandatory. If we actually used proper body mechanics, we would not be able to maintain speed which seems to make it more fast food than high quality food/drink. The constant daily pain of mantaining such a pace is not worth the pay (I have to spend a healthy chunk of my paycheck on chiropractic, massage, etc just to be able to be functional day to day).
    On training, they don't put as much into training retail associates properly as even they used to even a few years back. Used to be that there were training shifts, shadow shifts, solo shifts but no longer. More often now it is briefly explaining how a shift (mostly opening and closing shifts) is supposed to go in the brief times between rushes and then a person is thrown into it with maybe one day's explaination.
    The new branding is making it more like a high quality Starbucks rather than what Peet's used to be: An introduction to high quality coffee with an emphasis on educating the public on where there moring cup of java comes from. It feels like they are moving to faster paced cafe with only education of customers and even the staff members on rare occasion. While there is a take home program where employees can take home a 1/2lb of coffee or tin of tea each week to better educate themselves on the coffees we offer, we now offer so many coffees that it is almost unwieldy for a part time employee (who is usually a student) to memorize them all.
    The only reason the outlook for Peet's is looking up is because they are expanding their retail locations and sacrificing many of their orginal values to make a profit.

    Like I said before, if you are looking for a part time job, it is not horrible but, I would recommend not getting into management unless you like constant changes and challenges that are almost near impossible to meet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take what retail members request seriously. They are the ones making your dreams a reality and though there are few left, there are those that remember when the pay and benefits were much better and we were focused more on quality and proper training. Make sure the money that we are making is going back to the employees, the ones in the trenches sacrificing their bodie and their home lifes to make this business work. We are the backbone of this company and if we were treated as people and not as machines, there would be such a low turnover rate and ultimately a better bottom line for each store and for the company at large.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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