Sur La Table

  www.surlatable.com
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Sur La Table Reviews in Los Angeles, CA

Updated Apr 27, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 14 reviews

30% Approve of the CEO

Sur La Table CEO Jack Schwefel

Jack Schwefel

(10 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount on product once you are a full employee(in 37 reviews)

  • It's a friendly place with great products, nice stores and you do get an employee discount(in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • This allows for the middle management team to look favorably in the eyes of the upper management(in 17 reviews)

  • Little to no training and big expectations for sales(in 6 reviews)

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Overall good company to work for.

    Sales Associate (Former Employee) Costa Mesa, CA

    ProsGreat discount on product once you are a full employee. 40% off of everything.

    ConsFolding towels and napkins. You get them all done and have to do them all over again the next day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a new computer system. With people being technologically advanced in today's market, the POS system is outdated and difficult to work with (takes too much time).

    Additionally, while I understood capturing customer data, it was pushed so hard that I became a robot so that I didn't forget to ask for something. Maybe find an easier way or loosen up on those standards. Concentrate on being "THE" source for kitchenware knowledge and expertise.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Needs to get their act together before becoming irrelevant

    Sales Associate (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGreat customers, great employees, nice products

    ConsHours cut across board every week. No directive for new products placement, no time allocated for given tasks, to keep store clean, with the inclusion of sell sell sell!! Unrealistic daily expectations. Infrastructure is 10yrs old. Company can't even market themselves properly constantly mixed up with WS. Name recognition very low.

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange before you guys are the same as the local supermarkets' kitchen aisle. Well trained employees help make the sales not the products. The customers always ask to be educated on even the most basic items. Visual team should be realistic (no PS) and organized. new products should be given placement. De-clutter your shelves & stack-outs (too much distraction), customers always walk past the products they came in for.

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Run Away. Be afraid; be very afraid.

    Kitchen Assistant (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsI had some wonderful coworkers. 40% discount on non-sale items. Did I mention the discount? Highly qualified part time chefs.

    ConsBecause employees are part time, the supervisors think the underlings should be virtually on-call. Although no one on earth can afford to live off of what SLT pays, management doesn't seem to factor in that employees need their schedules to coordinate with other obligations (Job #2 and #3/School/Family). Sketchy attitude about breaks. Kitchen Assistants are paid the worst hourly wage possible under State law, whether or not they have extensive experience. Four Resident Chefs in two years. Unprofessional, disrespectful supervisors who have no experience with people; some have no experience with cooking or teaching cooking.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhile Jack Schwefel is the CEO, don't be fooled into thinking this is a Mom and Pop organization. SLT is owned by Investcorp, a multinational investment fund. Given the fact that the bad management stayed that way for the entire two years I worked there, I can only assume that Management likes the way the Sur La Table train wreck functions, so I won't waste any breath on advice to management.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    Great work place!

    Sales Associate (Current Employee) Newport Beach, CA

    ProsAwesome coworkers annd managers. Incredible discount!!!

    ConsNot many hours after the holidays and peak season.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great crew to work with

    Sales Associate (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsPeople and customers wonderful
    Great Discount

    ConsSometimes tough to get hours
    Raises are small

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

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    likeable staff

    Stock Associate (Current Employee) Santa Monica, CA

    ProsNice people, low key atmosphere

    ConsI'm doing part-time restocking and the palce is a bit of a mess except for in the store itself.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Do it for the discount if you must, but only until you can find somewhere else better.

    Sales Associate (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGenerous discount. 40% off full retail price, 1 electric per month.

    Relaxed dress code.

    Great clientele.

    Free coffee from the Jura and Nespresso machines.

    Now and then there are snacks to sample in the back if not on the floor.

    Cons• Benefits begin and end with the discount.

    • I have worked for Sur La Table since May 2011, as both a culinary assistant and a sales coworker, and have never received any kind of training, orientation, or even employee handbook.

    • When I transferred to the sales floor two months ago, the store manager informed me that pay starts at $10 hourly. I've been making $9.50 ever since.

    • Very little opportunity for advancement.

    • With a few exceptions, unhelpful if not combative management team.

    • Management largely incapable of thinking for themselves. Unless it's on a spreadsheet, it doesn't exist.

    • Require full-time availability, but most weeks only give 4-8 hours per coworker. I thought this was a store policy (a previous store manager was fired because the staff incurred too many meal break penalties) until reading the other reviews on this site.

    • Weekly schedules are made on Monday, based on sales and forecasts, and must be approved by district manager and not issued until Wednesday. Schedules are seemingly revised at will—last week I was told an hour before my shift that I had been called off because numbers had not been met.

    • Was told that I could not have my schedule e-mailed to me, as it constitutes working from home—even though other jobs in the past have done this. Have yet to find a state or federal law that supports this.

    • Most shifts last only 4 hours. My store is located in a premium shopping center in a busy part of town where street parking is difficult to find. Arriving to work requires on average an hour in drive and parking time, or spending $9 at the mall parking garage to work 4 hours at $9.50 per hour.

    • Never seen a major chain retailer so poorly organized. My store employs a full-time stockroom manager as well as a full-time merchandising manager, yet the stockroom always looks like a bomb went off. Inventory is stashed wherever there is room on the floor with no rhyme or reason. I can't begin to count the number of items that are not priced.

    As a result, countless man hours in productivity and sales are lost every day because we can't find the product within our four walls, or spend peak time horsing around between the company site and the archaic POS system looking for prices on items.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's really quite sad that Corporate chooses to operate based on their balance sheet and executive bonuses, because this could be such a great place to work and for the customer an even better place to shop.

    People are the most valuable resource of any organization, yet it seems that staff are not worth as much as the $3,000 coffee machines they push us to sell.

    It costs money to make money—invest in your staff and your stores, give them the resources needed for success. Quit trying to squeeze nickels out of pennies.

    Allocate an advertising budget to the culinary program. Realize the difference between stores and local markets—you can't compare Farmer's Market to Newport Beach because the demographics are night and day.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Fantastic Company and a great place to work!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGreat Discount, Love Cooking, great People

    ConsSur La Table has a a very fast paced work environment. It's intense.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Unfair Management Practices

    Floor Lead (Current Employee) Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA

    ProsKnowledgeable sales staff. Great customers and wonderful porducts and good values.

    ConsAs an employee of Sur la Table, though I am one of the "chosen few", I myself have been berated and embarrassed by my manager more than once on the floor, in front of other employees, and customers. Although it was a shocking experience, I came to realize that this is the typical treatment of employees by the management. I witnessed this happeingin to other employees, and in fact, to my own assistant manager by the store manager and to the store manager by the district manager. I began to realize it's akin to a dysfunctional family and realizing the corporate culture of Sur la Table involved such distasteful behavior, I decided that my talents would serve better to another company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSur la Table is fortunate to hire employees (comprised mostly of customers) who have a creative passion for food, cooking, cookware and the myriad of accoutrement that entails; mostly because they don't really train their staff. It will be an unfortunate end however; when those employees (customers) become so disenchanted with the treatment they receive from management that they leave their employment and vow to shop exclusively at cooking.com and Williams Sonoma and the many other cooking supply stores that offer the same merchandise without the drama.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great discount, but don't expect to get very many hours consistently

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsThe customers can be great to talk to and help. Some wonderful people work there. You can learn a lot about cooking.

    ConsThe management is very inconsistent. Some rules apply to only some employees and not others. New rules are not always posted. You are asked to be available to their needs and you never know how many hours you will be given week to week.

    Advice to Senior ManagementVisit your stores more often and talk to the employees on the sales floor and ask them what's going on in the store. Show up unannounced when you visit and have a look at what the store is like before we have a chance to make it nice for a corp visit,

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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