Working at Whole Foods Market | Glassdoor

Whole Foods Market Overview

Austin, TX
10000+ employees
Company - Public (WFM)
Grocery Stores & Supermarkets
$10+ billion (USD) per year

Working at Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods was founded in 1980 on the belief that where food comes from, and how it’s grown, matters. It meant creating quality standards, working with suppliers who achieve them, and sharing that information with our customers. And it radically changed the way people ... Read more

Mission: We obtain our products locally and from all over the world, often from small, uniquely dedicated food artisans. We strive to offer the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and naturally preserved foods — because food in its purest state is the best tasting ... Read more

Glassdoor Awards

Best Places to Work: 2010 (#48), 2009 (#6)

Whole Foods Market – Why Work For Us?

​​Our Motto

Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet — emphasizes that our vision reaches beyond food retailing. In fact, our deepest purpose as an organization is helping support the health, well-being, and healing of both people — customers, team members, and business organizations in general — and the planet.

Our Mission


We obtain our products locally and from all over the world, often from small, uniquely dedicated food artisans. We strive to offer the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and naturally preserved foods — because food in its purest state is the best tasting and most nutritious food available.


We recruit the best people we can to become part of our team. We empower them to make their own decisions, creating a respectful workplace where people are treated fairly and are highly motivated to succeed. We look for people who are passionate about food. We also look for well-rounded human beings who will help build our locations into profitable and beneficial members of their communities.


We recognize the connection between our lives, our communities and the environment. We continuously seek to balance our needs as people with the needs of our planet. We strive to support our local communities, practice sound environmental stewardship and fulfill our responsibilities as global citizens.

Our Core Values

  • Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available
  • Satisfying and delighting our customers
  • Supporting Team Member happiness and excellence
  • Creating wealth through profits and growth
  • Caring about our communities and our environment
  • Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
  • Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education

Our Quality Standards

  • We carefully evaluate each and every product we sell.
  • We feature foods that are free from artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.
  • We are passionate about great-tasting food and the pleasure of sharing it with each other.
  • We are committed to foods that are fresh, wholesome and safe to eat.
  • We seek out and promote organically grown foods.
  • We provide food and nutritional products that support health and well-being.



​​We believe that companies, like individuals, must assume their share of responsibility as tenants of Planet Earth.​​

We actively support organic farming, the best method for promoting sustainable agriculture and protecting farm workers and the environment. We also aim to protect the environment by supporting alternative sources of energy and by recycling or composting our waste. We are actively involved in our communities by supporting food banks, sponsoring neighborhood events, and contributing at least 5% of total net profits to not-for-profit organizations.

Our vision of a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice.

Our whole business is about making a difference – in the lives of our Team Members and the customers we serve, and in the communities and environments in which we operate.

Our Culture

We offer great benefits and a friendly work atmosphere with open books, open doors, and open people. We also encourage you to have a life! That's why our team members have chosen us as one of FORTUNE® magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" every year since the list began in 1998.

Whole Foods Market is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket retailer. Our philosophy is to satisfy and delight our customers – and to support Team Member happiness and excellence. Why? We believe that each and every team member is a valued contributor.​​​​


Working at Whole Foods Market includes:

  • Working side by side with a fun, friendly and diverse bunch of team members and leadership, in an exciting and fast-paced setting
  • Learning about natural and organic products from the experts
  • Feeling empowered to serve our great customers the way you'd expect to be served
  • Letting your individual style show with our generous dress code
  • Taking advantage of our many opportunities to grow both personally and professionally
  • Experiencing on a daily basis the pride and satisfaction of contributing to the well-being of people and the planet

Working in our team environment means:

  • Communicating frequently, openly and compassionately
  • Meeting regularly to discuss team operations and make consensus decisions
  • Appreciating each other's contributions
  • Working together to maximize rewards from team member incentive programs
  • Celebrating our successes together
  • Having fun!

The Whole Picture

  • More than 80% of our team members are full-time.
  • As part of a strong full-time workforce, team members are better educated about our products.
  • Our team members in turn help educate our customers about natural and organic foods, health, nutrition and the environment.
  • Our team members represent many nations, backgrounds and perspectives, and speak many different languages – yet all work together to meet the needs of our customers.
  • Our team members are committed to making their jobs more fun – by combining work and play, and through friendly competition to improve our stores.

​From our Declaration of Interdependence:​

"Achieving unity of vision about the future of our company, and building trust between Team Members is a goal of Whole Foods Market. At the same time diversity and individual differences are recognized and honored. We aim to cultivate a strong sense of community and dedication to the company."​​​

​There are lots of benefits to working at Whole Foods Market – including an open and empowering work environment, work-life balance, paid training, and our great company culture.

Whole Foods Market is unique in that our team members have the opportunity to tell us what benefits are important to them. Team members vote every three years to help determine the benefits package we offer.

Benefits include health insurance, paid time off, retirement savings and our generous store discount.​​​

​​These are just a few of the ways we walk our talk:

  • Every three years, we hold a company-wide vote for team members to choose the health and benefits package they want the company to offer.
  • Over 90% of stock options awarded go to non-executive team members.
  • A salary cap limits cash compensation (wages plus bonuses) to 19 times the average of all full-time team members employed during the year. Co-founder and CEO John Mackey recently reduced his annual salary to $1, with future compensation from his personal stock options going to our two not-for-profit foundations.
  • Our financial books are open to team members, including our annual individual compensation report listing gross pay for all team members – including executives.
  • We have established a Global Team Member Emergency Fund for the benefit of team members throughout the company who become affected by major disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti.
  • We regularly donate food and other products to support organizations such as homeless shelters, food banks, schools and others.
  • We support local growers and vendors by providing a marketplace for their goods and by doing what we can to contribute to the success of these growers and the local economy. Our Locally Grown initiative creates local jobs and ensures the continuation of independent farming and the diversity of land use.
  • Our Green Mission Task Force promotes environmentally sound practices for every aspect of store and facility operations.
  • We are in the process of converting our distribution fleets to bio-diesel. Our goal is to move toward non-GMO bio-diesel as it becomes available.
  • We purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset 100% of the electricity used in all of our locations (retail and non-retail) in North America. In 2007 we won our second Green Power Partnership award from the EPA for supporting the development of renewable energy.
  • Our Whole Planet Foundation is a not-for-profit group charged with combating poverty and promoting self-sufficiency in third-world countries that supply us with some of the products we sell.
  • Our Whole Trade program brings our commitment to transparent, ethical, and responsible sourcing and production to life. Products must meet our high quality standards, provide more money to producers, ensure better wages and working conditions for workers, and promote a sustainable environment. One percent of the retail sale of each Whole Trade product sold goes to Whole Planet Foundation.


​Let Your Passion Ripen Here

Consumer interest in natural foods is expanding rapidly, and we plan to be there to meet the demand. Achieving our growth goals will take creativity, dedication, and commitment to growth and change on the part of every team member.

This is why we provide numerous training opportunities for our team members, and why we have stepped up our recruiting, succession planning and career development training for our future leaders. Many leaders in the highest-level positions at Whole Foods Market today started out stocking groceries! Everyone has an opportunity to succeed at Whole Foods Market – regardless of age, race, education, gender, etc.

Learning & Training

Each region in our company has a regional trainer who is responsible for overseeing the orientation and training of all new and existing Whole Foods Market team members. In addition, many of our stores have "in-store educators" or "store trainers" and many individual teams have a team trainer.

Throughout the company various learning techniques are utilized for training, including personal one-on-one, group, video, computer-based and printed study materials. If you join us, here are some of the ways you will learn about our business:

  • New team member orientation: culture, benefits, team structure, who's who, core values
  • Store tour: walk the store, meet co-workers
  • Department-specific training: core job responsibilities and "how to"
  • Product knowledge training: our product categories, product use/preparation, taste-testing
  • Customer service training: how to "wow" our most important stakeholder
  • "Good Organics" training: product segregation and handling requirements per the USDA Organic Rule
  • "Green Mission" training: recycling and composting at Whole Foods Market
  • Safety training: how to work safely and avoid on-the-job safety hazards
  • Benefits training: preparation for enrollment, being a wise health care consumer
  • Employment-related training: preventing workplace harassment, diversity in the workplace, etc.
  • Computer training: on- and off-site training for company-specific applications
  • Buyer/Specialist training: margin math, paper flow, managing inventory
  • Career development and leadership training: see below


Our online "Whole Foods Market University" (WFM-U) was created to provide team members with information and education on a vast array of topics. WFM-U taps into the great wealth of information and creativity found among our team member base and in our company's leadership, making learning personal and fun.

The education and development tools available through WFM-U – which include self-paced courses and video vignettes – are intended to connect team members and team leaders to our core values, and to improve and deepen their knowledge of our company and our industry.

The WFM-U website is accessible internally to all team members, and is frequently updated and enhanced. Examples of self-paced courses available to all team members:

  • Introduction to Organics
  • Dietary Supplements and the Law
  • Introduction to Quality Standards
  • Gainsharing for Team Members


All stores have budgets to be used for enhancing team member job skills or performance. This might cover classes or trade shows, ESL resources, books or magazine subscriptions related to the business, etc.

Moving Around

Our 330+ locations in the US, UK and Canada include retail stores, distribution centers, bakehouses, commissary kitchens, seafood processing facilities, a coffee roasting operation, and global and regional support offices. With so many, there's bound to be a fit for you!


At Whole Foods Market we encourage all team members to explore other job opportunities around the company so they can find the location and position that's right for them. Transferring from one team, store, state or region to another is quite common. In addition to keeping our team members happy and engaged, it spreads our unique culture to new locations.


Co-President Walter Robb encourages team members to include a store-opening experience as part of their Whole Foods Market career plan. This isn't too difficult as we continually have new stores in development. Our growth means great opportunities: all of those new stores will require skilled team members and leadership, plus additional support at the regional, national and global levels.

Moving Up

We believe that leaders who work their way up through our company have a natural advantage, and we promote from within as much as possible. We also appreciate the new talent that we bring in from outside our company.

Whole Foods Market seeks to create an empowered learning environment that promotes self-motivation, and we encourage team members to take responsibility for their own success. For new and existing team members who want to reach their potential, we offer various forms of assistance.


If you're interested in promotion, join us – and then keep your eye on our internal job bulletin! Openings for all positions at team leader level and higher are listed there along with many other openings from all over the company.


The main targets of our various career development programs are team members, associate team leaders, team leaders and associate store team leaders. The positions these people will move into are the most common leadership positions in our company – as well as the most crucial for providing support to the team members who serve our customers.

If you have demonstrated leadership talent and/or experience in a retail, food or service industry, you may be a good candidate for one of our career development programs. Because our culture thrives in a team environment, we look for "team leaders" rather than traditional "managers." Watch our career opportunities for postings such as Career Development Associate Store Team Leader, Associate Team Leader in Training or Future Associate Store Team Leader and apply. We will provide you with the training and tools you need to succeed.

Career development team members should be prepared to work at several different locations during their training period. Training programs are hands-on and involve working shoulder to shoulder with existing team leaders and team members in various locations, as well as attending leadership development classes. In this way you will experience our unique culture, products and processes – as well as our commitment to teamwork and customer service. After training you will be able to apply for available positions you are qualified for. Refer to individual postings for details on the programs in your area.


Upon hiring or promotion, we provide leaders with the tools they need to become even better. Some may be assigned a "buddy" – like a more experienced team leader from another department, or an associate store team leader. The store team leader also works closely with a new team leader.

Through a mix of verbal instruction, written materials, video and other formats, our leadership classes offer practical knowledge in many fundamental skills as well as insight into personal challenges and how to improve your leadership style. Topics may include:

Whenever possible, all of our learning opportunities for leadership are made available to team members interested in promotion. Rare among other companies, we believe in providing all team members the opportunity to develop their skill set alongside existing leadership.​​​

Whole Foods Market Reviews

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Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey
John Mackey
963 Ratings
  • "Great Job"

    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Member in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Team Member in New Orleans, LA
    Neutral Outlook
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    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than a year)


    Great Pay, Good People, nice environment


    If you want to work more than 40 hours a week may not be the job fareal

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Whole Foods Market Photos

Whole Foods Market photo of: Headquarters of Whole Foods located in Austin, TX (Photo attributed to Aspersions - )
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Whole Foods Market Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (38)  

    Specialty Team Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through other source. I interviewed at Whole Foods Market (Charleston, SC) in July 2017.


    It was in the conference room among a panel of 3 members of the team discussing the position and wondering if I can handle the joking nature of that specific team.

    Interview Questions

    • Where I will see myself in a few years?   5 Answers
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Whole Foods Market Awards & Accolades

  • 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune, 2013
  • World’s Most Admired Companies, Fortune, 2013
  • Top 150 - National Top Workplaces,, 2013
  • 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune, 2012
  • National Top 50 Green Companies(#5), Green Power Partnership, 2012
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