The Fresh Market

  www.thefreshmarket.com
  www.thefreshmarket.com

The Fresh Market Reviews

Updated October 29, 2014
Updated October 29, 2014
417 Reviews
2.5
417 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
The Fresh Market President and CEO Craig Carlock
Craig Carlock
236 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The best thing about working for them is 20% discount on food (in 53 reviews)

  • Employee discount program is excellent - 20% to start and it goes up with more tenure (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • Store managers last an average of about a year in my experience (in 29 reviews)

  • Upper Management/Home office have no clue what goes on in stores (in 24 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Personally and professionally fulfilling and yet at the same time extremely frustrating

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Camaraderie among employees makes the days enjoyable. Most customers are easy to deal with and genuinely love the store and the employees. Promotional opportunities are available and internal employees usually get first look - however promotions for management opportunities are tied to your willingness to relocate across the country. Store hours are shorter than most retail grocery chains (8am-9pm in most stores). Stores are closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Employee discount program is excellent - 20% to start and it goes up with more tenure.

    Cons

    Compensation is low for everything that is expected - Pay for hourly/clerk level positions vary by store/market. Management Salaries are pretty much the same across the board. Management is expected to "Own" their stores but the compensation offerered is not in-line with the expectations. There is a pay range for Store Managers that goes up to a respectable salary but good luck ever getting there. The low Assistant Manager maximum pay coupled with the "standard, maximum" increase for becoming a Store Manager make it nearly impossible to ever reach the max salary for the position unless you are willing to work over 15 years in the position. Raises have been minimal the past 3 years across the board and have nothing to do with performance - raises are consistent across the company leaving high performing Department Heads, Assistant Managers, and Store Managers to receive the same increases as those that fail to meet sales/gross margin goals providing no real incentive to work any harder. There is a yearly bonus program for Department Heads, Assistant Managers and Store Managers but how you actually earn the bonus is unclear and you have no way of tracking your progress throughout the year to see if you will earn it or not.

    Labor allocation across the store is such that empoyees have little/no time to actually take care of the customers - they are too busy completing the seemingly infinite list of daily tasks expected of them.

    The company is experiencing severe growing pains - they continue to add numerous stores every year but do not have the necessary pool of management talent to support these new stores/markets. Assistant Managers that are not ready to manage stores are promoted out of desperation and are not prepared for the daily challenges they face - as a result, they are ultimately held accountable for their stores/teams not meeting company expectations - it is a vicious cycle that must be broken.

    Work-Life balance continues to deteriorate to the point where it does not exist for Assistant Managers and above.

    Training across the board is non-existent. No training hours are allocated to the store so new employees are "thrown to the wolves" and are expected to meet unrealistic deadlines/expectations for their jobs with little/no guidance.

    Management doesnt have time to actually manage the store or the employees - they are too busy with their forms, walks, checklists, emails, cycle counts, conference calls, SNAP Presentations, etc, etc, etc....

    There is a huge disconnect between the Home Office and Field Operations - communication is terrible. Good luck ever getting a response to something - especially after 5:00pm, anytime on the weekends, or during Holidays. The office is closed ALL HOLIDAYS while the stores are open with little/no support should something go wrong.

    Nothing is ever the Home Office's fault - they cannot/will not admit they made a mistake. But if you make a mistake, they send an email to everyone in the company and then you have to answer to all of your bosses (District Manager, Regional Director, Zone VP, COO, etc).

    Promotions/Programs are the same for every store in the chain - there is no room for interpretation at store level - you are expected to implement/execute to the letter or be held accountable. The worst part is, if the program is not successful in your store, the finger is pointed squarely in the stores' direction regardless of whether or not they executed it properly - it is never the programs fault (or the person who created it).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate salary "maximums" - by putting a limit on the salary a person can earn you are putting a limit on the level of talent you can attract - and more importantly retain.

    Base raises on actual performance - don't give every Manager the same increase if they don't earn it. Instead of giving all Store Managers an XX% raise - take the total of all SM Salaries and multiply it by XX%. Take that pool of money and allocate it based on store P/L results. If your store is not profitable, you do not get a raise. If this doesn't motivate people to work hard to run a profitable store I don't know what will.

    Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth about customer service - if the customer is the priority, allocate enough labor to the stores to actually take care of the customers.

    If you are going to say we are One Team, dont have different expectations for the people working in the office and the people wokring in the stores (facial hair, nights/weekends/holidays off, consentual relations policy, etc). This looks very bad and leaves a bad taste in your employee's mouths.

    Create an actual training program for the hourly employees in the store - they are the ones doing virtually all of the work and receive by far the least amount of training. Allocate training hours to the stores and allow new employees the opportuntiy to learn what they are supposed to do before holding them accountable for not doing it.

    Have the people deciding how much labor is needed to run the stores actually work in a store for a period of time to see what the realities of the day-to-day operation are. This would be a huge eye-opener.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 16, 2014HR

    Thank you for your detailed review about The Fresh Market. As we continue to grow as a company, it is important for us to constantly see what areas we can improve on. We try our best to make sure ... More

  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company with room for growth and opportunity

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I feel people are treated well here, with dignity and respect. I feel my contributions are valued and that I can actually make a difference in the success of the business. I work with a great team committed to excellence and willing to go the extra mile to help each other and better the company as a whole. I feel my personal life is respected and I am able to balance work with home life. I am empowered to try new things and when mistakes happen to learn from them for the sake of getting better. I like the atmosphere in the home office - it is not stuffy or pretentious. I can be myself and enjoy my days at work. Considering how many hours of my adult life are spent working, it is really great to actually ENJOY where I go each day and the people I work with on a regular basis.

    Cons

    I would like to see us consider our pay scales to better ensure we are competitive (or adjust our scales to be so). I believe we could do better communicating infiormation. I don't feel it is intentionally not communicated, but I think as a fast-growing company we could be more intentional to slow down enough to communicate effectively to all people who need whatever information is being shared. I see us being more and more open to new ideas and technologies so that is moving in a very positive direction. I really have very few complaints here and hope to have a long and successful career here

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Slow down a bit and communicate more with one another so that the communcation can trickle down to all levels with consistency and clarity. Be intentional to check our competitiveness around pay and other elements of compensation and then SHARE what you learn with everyone so they do not continue to make assumptions. Always place people over process and remember that your INTERNAL customers need to be your primary focus so that they will serve your EXTERNAL customers for you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment about your current experience working at The Fresh Market! We are glad to hear that you feel there is room for growth, and for the feedback in regards ... More

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Growing company dedicated to improvement

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I find upper management to be remarkably open to feedback and change -not what I expected when I started. Management has committed to making significant changes to improve the experience of employees. Many new initiatives have already been implemented and we are told more are to come.

    People at all levels of the company are passionate and skilled at the work they do. Most people are easy to work with. There is camaraderie among the teams.

    The stores are beautiful to work in.

    There is a lot of opportunity to advance in the company- managers are promoted from within and there is less "politics" here than I have experienced anywhere.

    Benefits have improved since I got here and new work life balance policies are being enacted.

    Cons

    Many operational procedures evolved in an ad hoc way from when the company was smaller... they really need to be thought-through and formalized by people who know what they are doing. Until they are, the end result is that there is inconsistency, double work, and a degree of uncertainty around the "right" way to do things. Ad hoc doesn't work in a company that is growing this fast. It will take time to establish a good process and implement it.

    Depending on who your direct supervisor is, you may have a better or worse experience. Plenty are good, but some are resistant to change and operate in a frenetic way.

    The company still needs to improve its communication internally.. Have clear channels for communicating between the office and the stores. need to invest more in technology and better systems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The new changes are really encouraging- stay with them!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    We are glad to hear that are enjoying your time here at The Fresh Market! Thank you taking the time to leave a response; we will take your comments in regards to communication and ad hoc operational ... More

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Corporate Calamity!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Front End Assistant Manager in Augusta, GA
    Former Employee - Front End Assistant Manager in Augusta, GA

    I worked at The Fresh Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people at the store level are great to work with and fair.

    Cons

    The corporate (regional managers and above) can not communicate and it effects every person in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get it together!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    Thank you for your comment in regards to the communication issues that you have experienced during your time working with The Fresh Market. As we continue to improve and grow as a company, these are ... More

  6.  

    It's ok

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market

    Pros

    Great food, healthy eating, opens you to knew flavor a and brands.

    Cons

    No communication from management to employees, last minute review on sales and deals (finding things out after the fact)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate!! Review upcoming sales with all employees

    No opinion of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    Thank you for your comment in regards to communication concerns at your store. We understand communication is crucial and essential to any company, and we are constantly trying to improve. ~TFM

  7.  

    Good company,

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Management is good with listening and being open to new ideas, they still value their employees, and the discounts they give to us are decent .

    Cons

    Underpaid. Pay does not meet with the workload and responsibilities given. As a department manager I'm not making much more the baggers and cashiers do.

    Recommends

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    We are glad to hear you are enjoying your time with The Fresh Market! Thank you for your insight into the pay concerns that you have. We will look into the issues. ~TFM

  8.  

    Value your employees that work hard

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -20% discount is awesome
    -I have made a lot of friends
    -you can move around the different departments
    -christmas bonus
    -great food

    Cons

    This job is not for the weak, unless you are a cashier. Cashiering here is the easiest job ever, at least at my store, the only thing you did was ring people up, count your money, and clean your lane when you are done. However, recently, hours have been cut. Corporate seems to be increasingly only worried about lining their own pockets, I am at a very high volume Fresh Market, that is also one of the smallest Fresh Markets, and we are constantly understaffed. Then, the people that know how to do multiple jobs are forced to help in other departments while also having to complete their own tasks. Those who are lazy are not cut, and the expectations for them are just lowered, while those that work very hard and do all that they can do, constantly have the expectations for them raised. And the lazy people make very close to the same wages. I have worked their for a year, I can work in almost every department, I am willing to stay late and often do to make sure that things are done right, I come in when they need help, I only call off when absolutely necessary, I never have problems with other employees, I am constantly told that I am the best at customer service by my store manager, I travel when asked too, I make sure that everything is done to the best of my ability, I am part time and when they need me to work full time hours, I do, even though I do not get any benefits and I am also a full time student, and after all of that for an entire year, I got a 15 cent raise. It really hurts to put all that you can into a store to get only a 15 cent raise.
    They also like to play employees, I was told that I couldn't get full time after working there for a year because they felt that I did not take enough initiative, even though a guy that had started 2 weeks ago got full time. the next week my manager told me that he looks to me to lead the department, even though I am not a manager, or even full time. He has been trying to push me by dangling full time over my head for months.
    On top of that, it takes forever for employees that are extremely rude, or incompetent to get fired, and you are expected to pick up their slack.
    Oh and I am called on at least one of my days off every week, and they often expect you to drop everything and come in.
    The atmosphere has only gone downhill since I have started.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being afraid to get down and dirty. Corporate needs to truly understand the demands of its store, one size does not fit all! The good employees should be rewarded and the bad should be pushed out the door, it's as simple as that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    we are sorry to hear that you feel there is a disconnect between the corporate office and stores. We understand that sometimes changes made at the corporate office can have different effects at the ... More

  9.  

    excellent customer service is always the right philosophy.

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The Fresh Market's "Mantra" is 'Excellent Customer Service.' This is a winning formula.
    And TFM offers the 'local market feel' with many many varieties of products. Customers love it and keep coming back. The food selection is premier and second to none! and I love working here!

    Cons

    any negatives can be overcome with the right attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Schedule more employees to work at key times of the day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    We are glad to hear you are enjoying your time working with The Fresh Market! We do strive to be a leader in customer service, and we are glad to hear you think so as well! Thanks! ~TFM

  10.  

    Dynamic and diverse work environment with emphasis on teamwork and frequent feedback. Has good checks and balances.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier in Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I have been working at The Fresh Market part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Helpful team giving advice during training.

    Cons

    Opportunities for advancement and benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication of training expectations to help improve workflow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on your current experience working at The Fresh Market. We are glad to hear that you feel that The Fresh Market provides a dynamic and diverse work ... More

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working at The Fresh Market

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

    I have been working at The Fresh Market full-time

    Pros

    As with any company The Fresh Market has its ups and downs. But from what I have seen during my time with the company they try to fix the things that are wrong and do the right things for their employees. Overall, they are concerned about what the employees think and have a good plan to ensure the employees are taken care of.

    Cons

    Compensation overall is lacking and staffing for several store departments and the field management is stretched thin

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice would be to focus more on time studies and what it actually takes to get the job done right. Products are added to departments and there are not additional hours to support the addtional production. Same for the field support, more stores are added each year but it seems we are slow to adjust to the mounding demands. This causes those in support roles in the field to work over 5 days and well over 60 hours a week to just keep their heads above water.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Fresh Market Response

    Oct 30, 2014HR

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment about your current experience working at The Fresh Market. Your insight into changes and new roll outs, and how they affect employees at the store ... More

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