Caribou Coffee Reviews | Glassdoor

Caribou Coffee Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
596 reviews

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3.4
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Caribou Coffee President and CEO Mike Tattersfield
Mike Tattersfield
265 Ratings

596 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The discounts are good- 1/2 lb coffee each week, a free shift drink and 30% off (in 59 reviews)

  • The coffee is good and you get a free half pound of beans a week, as well as a free shift drink for every shift you work (in 26 reviews)

Cons
  • Managers can be very pressured by upper management and a bad manager may pass that down to employees (in 36 reviews)

  • Not always great communication between management and team members or shift supervisors (in 35 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Only work here if you enjoy running in circles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Illinois City, IL
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Illinois City, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The employees you work with and regular customers make it worth coming to work everyday.
    The lack of dm supervision gave us free reign to do whatever we wanted.

    Cons

    Upper-management does not know what direction to go with the company. Be ready to do what you're told and get yelled at for doing it.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to the old Caribou and stop trying to take the place of Starbucks. It is not going to work.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "A company that deserves to go under"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Eagan, MN
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Eagan, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Coffee..simply put the coffe was OK and it was free. The starting wages were decent.

    Cons

    Although starting wages were decent they never changed and the bonus system was a joke. No room for growth and if you did do a good job you became a threat to an under-educated DM

    Advice to Management

    Do not hire DM's off the street from gasstations...promote your own employees who are already doing a good job

  3. "Boo Caribou"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in Eagan, MN
    Current Employee - Barista in Eagan, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free half pound of coffee each week.

    Cons

    no loyalty to employees. I never heard a compliment on my work performance or any of my coworkers, even though we had no store manager for many months. Now a new manager and all of a sudden can't guarantee 20 hours (needed for my health insurance). Two years of getting up at 4:00 am, never late, which I can't say for the manager we used to have or shift supervisors.

    Advice to Management

    concentrate on the coffee business


  4. Helpful (2)

    "It's not all fun and games at the coffee shop"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Customers (the good, the bad, and the ugly), medical benefits, free half pound & shift drink

    Cons

    After years of working for Caribou I can honestly say I have never had a break, we snack as we work, sometimes not even able to get to the bathroom during a seven hour shift, there are alot of detail oriented tasks that are very time consuming, especially with the new chocolate, teas, oatmeal, and breakfast sandwiches. Management changes so much it's hard to find anything good to say about them at all. I am 'part time' and depending on the manager have sometimes been scheduled twelve days in a row, at $11/ hour am capped out so I recieve no more raises and have had opportunities for advancement that would only change my title not give me more pay. Every store is overly scrutinized by upper management (who have never worked in a store) about absolutely everything, (we have a planagram for our cabinets to store sugar,napkins,etc) have never recieved any good compliments or rewards from upper management, there is no reward in being a team member or shift supervisor unless you plan on being a manager of a store, and then you won't have a life because Caribou will be your life and you'll be expected to control costs you have no control over, and you will feel even less appreciated unless your DM gets his bonus.They take forever to promote good people that already work here and hire alot of bad people from the outside.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring Starbucks leftovers, BE ORIGINAL!!!!!!!, and have some PASSION for what you are doing, realize that we ALL like to be rewarded for hard work. Don't dress up in costumes for photo shoots(i.e. christmas edition) and put them in the company newsletter, don't display pet and owner glamour shot photos in the hallways at Caribou Corporate, and don't tell stores that you are going to visit and then not show up. Try working in a store for a year before you try to manage 500 or more stores, Don't just have the attitude that you'll just take the money and when things don't work, run out with 1.2 milliion, vest yourself in the company, there are alot of wonderful people that work here, don't make store employees work on holidays (who cares if other merchants are open no one should work on Christmas day, BE A TRAILBLAZER!). Give Caribou some character, and actually demonstrate the new mission statement, Value (what you think) are your lowliest employees, promote your good people, and be genuine about it, it shouldn't always be about sucking up, it should be about proven performance, and reasonable goals.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Barista in Indianapolis, IN
    Current Employee - Barista in Indianapolis, IN
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    free coffee and thats about it

    Cons

    Every other single aspect of that job is an utter terror to get up and go to in the morning

    Advice to Management

    give me a rasie or i'm gone


  6. Helpful (1)

    "No matter how much you try to care, it is very difficult to take the place seriously."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Member in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Team Member in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Kind store managers and staff.

    Cons

    Upper management cares more about promotions and customer surveys than genuine service. Area managers tend not to be the brightest.

    Advice to Management

    It would be so easy to make Caribou a nice coffee shop rather than another fast food establishment. Try.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Overall, the worst job I have ever had."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager In Training in Minnetonka, MN
    Former Employee - Manager In Training in Minnetonka, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free coffee during your shift
    Free 1/2 lb. of coffee or 12 bags of tea per week
    Some nice customers
    Medical/Vision/Dentist benefits after only 30 days

    Cons

    Horrible, horrible treatment when mistakes are made
    ridicule in place of coaching
    some policies apply to one person, and not another simply because they are liked more by the supervisor or manager.
    A training system lacking in so many ways because trainers 'don't like the new system'. The "new" training system has been around for more than 1 year.
    Leaders complain 'down' the chain of command
    Compensation package is one of the worst on the market:
    Overpriced healthcare relative to the size of the company.
    NO 401(k) match; It will possibly maybe be reinstated in the near or not-so-near future.
    No paid time off for 9 months after starting with the company? seriously? 9 months? what about the work-life balance that is sold as being a priority?

    Advice to Management

    300% (estimated) annualized turnover should tell you something about who you have working for you in a leadership role. 1

  8. Helpful (2)

    "This is a great job if you are extremely desperate for money but if you aren't STAY AWAY!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Bloomington, MN
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Tips add up
    Decent training
    some shifts are short.
    Used to be a company that took care of employees/customers

    Cons

    Management has little regard for employees/customer.
    Dirty conditions.
    Store Managers can be lazy.
    not in clique? fired!
    horrible pay/benefits.
    Muchmore

    Advice to Management

    Watch the District Managers and Store Managers.. what they say is going on is not the case most of the time


  9. "not intended for long term employment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Hudson, WI
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Hudson, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    free half pound of coffee per week/ meet people /

    Cons

    you can be a very loyal employee but when you reach cap wage and about to get 3 weeks vacation they find a reason to take it away. mine was the store was not making any money, yet they hired 4 more people. they decrease your wage and cut your hours down to 20 hours a week. staff turn over great along with manager turn over. if your looking for short term work caribou is ok but long term i would say no.

    Advice to Management

    why get rid of those staff who really care and have giving you their best. remember what goes around comes around .


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A good full-time job, a terrible part-time one."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Capital-Driven in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Capital-Driven in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Caribou has the added perk of any sort of job in its field such as free drinks, discounted coffee and products as well as learning more about a particular product such as coffee. Caribou stresses education about its product which does allow for one to be enthusiastic about it, but it ends there. Once the charade has worn off, one realizes how they are simply a tool to rake in capital. If you are willing to work full-time, Caribou has health insurance and wonderful dental insurance, which is expensive- but at least is available.

    If you are a coffee enthusiast, you get a half pound of beans every week for free (or tea). You get a free drink per shift and 30% otherwise. Depending on your manager, it can be a great work atmosphere.

    Cons

    I worked at Caribou for two years, had a stellar work record and moved up in the company- only to see how truly disorganized and money-driven the entire corporate strategy is. And yes, the purpose of a company is to make money, but not at the cost of their employees. After listening to the rhetoric my manager was telling me about how our District Manager goes about hiring, it seemed that people were simply expendable and replaceable. The lack of concern about employees, the fact that they had lives outside of their workplace and their sole concern being how much of a promotional product was being sold- was my point of concern for them.

    Each period there is a brand new bean that "has" to be sold. Supervisors are threatened with "notices of discipline," if they do not succeed at selling these promotional beans. I have been told to lie to customers in order to sell beans, persuading people who already have beans in their hand; to opt for the promotional bean instead. If the purpose is to only make money off of promotional beans, then why have a coffee shop? The purpose is to provide an eclectic variety of coffee beans and drinks for people to enjoy and to enjoy with the peace of mind that they were obtained ethically.

    The company boasts sustainable and fair-trade practices for their beans, yet they treat their employees with no respect and do not foster a sustainably healthy environment for their workers - who are the ones actually bringing in the capital. This past week I put in my two week's notice after I called a manager to get back-up since our store was being slammed, but was stunned when their only concern was whether or not I had sold any pounds of that period's promotional beans. Promotions are often on a whim, and the staff isn't informed with enough time to prepare for the onslaught of 200+ customers with a coupon in tow. One day I came into work unaware that it was a promotion and was severely understaffed which had its own set of ramifications (long drink waits, upset employees, running out of materials, trash piling up).

    Whether a caribou environment is successful or not is incumbent upon whatever manager might be stationed there at the time. Caribou's strategy involves shuffling managers all across a district and so team-building and healthy work environments often suffer as a result of this shuffling. In my time as a supervisor I've seen wonderful managers go, while managers who are unfit for their position- climb ahead since their align themselves with Caribou's rhetoric; doing whatever it takes.

    I used to love Caribou, but their blatant disregard for their employees makes me feel bad for them. It has become a company I am not longer proud to work for. I would never recommend anyone that I cared about to work here.

    Advice to Management

    - Treat your employees with sincere respect, staff stores better for the well-being of your employyes
    - Narrow down the promotional beans and focus on the 12+ varieties of beans that are already being sold; do not drive promotional bean sales with NOD threats
    - Screen your managers better, get more anonymous feedback from the employees to get a better gauge of that manager's abilities
    - Communicate better with the staff about promotions/it will ensure the success of that promotion


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