Blue Bottle Coffee Reviews | Glassdoor

Blue Bottle Coffee Reviews

Updated January 16, 2019
64 reviews

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3.1
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Bryan Meehan
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Free coffee for you and friends and benefits" (in 12 reviews)

  • "The best reason to work for blue bottle is if you desperately need health insurance and want to work in coffee" (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "The company is growing faster than they can handle leaving many of the current cafes neglected and employees dealing with more than they should have to" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Surveyed most shops in LA and all had 75% new baristas (less than a year at Blue Bottle)" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (12)

    "Amazing Company with Amazing Values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive Pay, Great Benefits, Awesome Employee Perks including free coffee and discounted food, ability to grow (when you WORK for it) due to continued company growth, a company with strong values around team experience and delicious coffee. People really have the ability to influence change here.

    Cons

    For those who do not like working in unstructured environments, this isn't the place for you. Because the company is still growing, there are growing pains (just like everything else in life). That said, you're encouraged to fail gloriously and learn from your experiences.

    Advice to Management

    Continue listening to and valuing your employee's opinions--we all want to see the continued growth and success of BBC! Consider adding match to 401k program and possibly tuition support.


  2. "Great and so awesome wow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Barista in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free coffee for you and friends and benefits

    Cons

    You will go home smelling like coffee

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Not worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Barista in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They don't pay minimum wage to start (0.50 above) and if you work at one of the busier cafes, your weekly untaxed cash tips are a nice addition.

    You get free coffee to keep you over caffeinated your whole shift

    If you're lucky, you'll work with some cool people, although most people with any sense have left the company already.

    Cons

    Feels just like a glamorous Starbucks. You have to work at such a fast pace sometimes that you can't even focus on delivering a quality drink or experience.
    Seniority means nothing here, I've been working here over a year now, and during my yearly review that happened 2 months after it was suppose to, I was told I wouldn't be given an addition raise because it happened to be falling around the time where NYC minimum wage was going up, and so instead I will just be making the same as everyone else for another year. There is SUCH a high turnover rate here because most people hate working here and if you stay, odds are you will have a completely new group of coworkers after a few months. Favoritism is SO apparent here. The focus of Blue Bottle has completely changed and it's truly only about how much money they can make now, which great for them, smart business moves, but it truly feels like the soul has been sucked out of Blue Bottle. It used to have a different feel to it, and now it's just another money machine. Get this job if you just need some quick money after moving to NYC or need a job for a few months. Don't get this job because you love coffee and want to spend every day around it, you will be disappointed.

    Advice to Management

    Find a new career path.


  4. "Great for meantime"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits & Great tips.

    Cons

    Company doesn’t know which direction it wants to take.


  5. "Favortism and Egos Abound"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Barista in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Barista in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best reason to work for blue bottle is if you desperately need health insurance and want to work in coffee.

    Cons

    Hard to stress enough how unprofessional “leadership” is. Lots of backstabbing and backroom conversations. Constantly changing protocols are the norm. External hires that have no clue what they are doing. They will hold grudges if you mention any constructive feedback. First they will divert blame of course, usually throwing a lower level employee under the bus. Oh and hours in the LA market have been getting slashed to increase profits.

    Advice to Management

    Show a little empathy and hold yourselves accountable.


  6. "A company with an identity crisis"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Barista in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Barista in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free drinks

    Tips paid in cash weekly

    Direct deposit

    Health insurance

    Cons

    Heavy favortism from management.

    Training department has morfed into a glorified function of HR since the department doesn’t have the technical knowledge required to teach coffee skills - pushes this task to the stores to train. Could teach how to schedule meetings and follow up meetings to “align” on topics mentioned in said meetings. Lots of meetings you will quickly realize.

    Promotions are few and far between. They say to think of it as a jungle gym, not a ladder but in reality it’s a one rung ladder. Company would rather hire from Sweet Green/Starbucks/Shakeshack manager pool than develop within.

    Yearly raises are $0.50-0.75.

    Since most managers don’t know enough about coffee to manage effectively, they put a lot of pressure on hourly baristas to enforce standards. Regional Managers are even less knowledgeable, will tell you proudly how little they know about coffee and refuse to take the time to learn the company culture. They have been known to tell baristas his “energy seems off” on their way out the door. Also unfamiliar with requirements for internal promotions.

    Managers have baristas go to whole foods before work to purchase milk for the cafe. This is unpaid since it happens before they can clock in. No mileage is reimbursed either.

    Very high turn over. Surveyed most shops in LA and all had 75% new baristas (less than a year at Blue Bottle).

    Scheduling is all over the place as well. Consecutive days off for weekend are not common. Clopens happen more often than they should. It’s not uncommon for the schedule to come out a few days before the week starts and will constantly change.

    Second 10 minute breaks are not given.

    Advice to Management

    Own your values and start operating within the guidelines beautifully written by some fancy consulting firm in the bay area.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Absolute lowest living wage in NYC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Coworkers and product yup yup

    Cons

    Compensation in one of the most expensive cities in the country to inhabit

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Plenty of opportunity, mired in "chicken-little" scenarios"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Blue Bottle has incredible opportunity, and working there has a ton of upsides.
    - The people, for the most part, are wonderful to interact with.
    - The work is almost always interesting, and the pace is quite chill for those working on the business side.
    - The mission and values of the company are genuine and seriously considered.
    - The product is great.
    - The people on the service side are amongst the best people I've ever met.
    - Almost everyone is trying to do their job well, and very few are just coasting.
    - There are a lot of really interesting projects in the pipeline.
    - Huge opportunity for impact.
    - Downtown Oakland office is a sweet location.

    Cons

    - Every week/month/quarter is something new that is causing stress and panic.
    - Virtually every all-hands involves some new big change in direction or focus, which is simply the same things they've already told you, but in different words.
    - The company moves at a snail's pace, and everyone points their fingers at other teams for being the reason things are slow.
    - The company is a retail company, so they pay more in line with that business, which means they can't retain talent in almost any part of the company.
    - Nepotism is rampant, as is elitism about arbitrary credentials(like where people went to business school).
    - They're really looking for pathelogically optimistic people.

    Advice to Management

    They don't really want advice. Most of management thinks they're at the center of their own Hero's Myth.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Miscommunication and control issues abound"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Barista in San Francisco, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -free coffee
    -fun people to work with
    -great benefits

    Cons

    -management has severe control issues concerning the littlest things including but not limited to language usage ("we don't use that language here. Clock out and go home")

    -discussions with management are utterly worthless. They make huge empty promises to keep you in cafes rather than moving up

    -many people at the headquarters have very little empathy for cafe workers and make you feel small

    -Blue Bottle's shared language is utilized to keep others down if they don't know or use it. Your usage of their shared language gives you access to their inner circle, very much like a cult!

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about development opportunities and quit being too controlling of our lives in the cafe. I go home in tears everyday because I can't get another job with benefits like theirs.


  10. "Solid Culture, inconsistent middle management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Bottle Coffee full-time

    Pros

    - Able to be relatively flexible
    - Great teams
    - Some managers were incredible, went above and beyond

    Cons

    - Some Middle Management was difficult and sometimes out of touch.

    Advice to Management

    Provide realistic goals of career progression to employees.