Sur La Table Reviews in Los Angeles, CA | Glassdoor

Sur La Table Los Angeles Reviews

Updated July 17, 2017
8 reviews

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Los Angeles, CA Area

2.0
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Billy May
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8 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You get a great employee discount (in 86 reviews)

  • I've learned a lot about the products, great discount (in 70 reviews)

Cons
  • upper management is very resistant to change (in 39 reviews)

  • Little to no support from any higher ups within the company or management (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Not a pleasant experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Floor Sales in Costa Mesa, CA
    Former Employee - Floor Sales in Costa Mesa, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great products and huge variety

    Cons

    High pressure sales from management


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Seasonal Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The discount was great. 40% was pretty awesome. It was a very interesting experience while working at Sur La Table.

    Cons

    I wanted a pt seasonal job. This fit the bill, BUT I wasn't prepared for the lack of training or interaction with the staff. The SM stayed in the office most of the time. The regular associates didn't speak to you unless they had to. So much to learn but no one to teach you. More like here's your apron & there you go. Luckily I had a passion for cooking and could speak to what worked for me. I was really excited to see the cooking classes but since I was seasonal I was pretty much banned from the kitchen unless I was washing dishes.My sales were great because customers were the only ones who would talk to me except the other seasonal employees. There were a few random texts from other employees (mgmt thought it was fine to post all of our numbers on the back wall) to cover shifts. Funny enough, I was a retail store manager for years before doing this. Still shop there but would never ever work there. People were just not happy there.

    Advice to Management

    Interact with your staff! Talk to every employee. They all matter.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Kitchen Assistant - Be Prepared to be Overworked and Undervalued"

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

    Pros

    The discount. I would like to say that it is also a position that you can learn new cooking techniques and gather great recipe ideas... I would like to say that, but I can't - you are a glorified busboy. However, you don't get tipped out or any added bonuses. Oh, sometimes you do get to try the food though. If you actually get to work with a good Chef that has a personality - you MAY get to engage in the class and prep.

    Cons

    Underpaid and overworked. One 15 minute break for a 4 1/2 hour shift at $9 an hour. On your feet the entire time, chefs are usually annoyed for the same reason. This SHOULD be a hospitality industry situation - however, Chefs are annoyed when the classes are booked, the Company does not allow you to actually UTILIZE the CULINARY products that they are trying to sell. Very Cheap company. Corporate thinks that you are "lucky" to work there - however, they don't show it at all. Everyone can't wait to get out of there and the rules are stringent for employees - however the aprons & towels are filthy because Corporate won't pay for an actual good cleaning service.

    You literally are a glorified bus boy. Be ready to ruin your manicure - not that you can afford one anyway on the pay rate. They expect you to know what to do on the first day without any training or leadership. Everyone else feels the same - so while cooking and learning to cook should be a wonderful and fun loving experience for both the person teaching the class and those paying money to attend.... it often comes across as though the Chefs are "bothered" by having to actually teach the class. Quite possibly because they are not permitted to have ANY FUN!
    Recipes are based on selling equipment from the store - yet you are not allowed to use anything from the floor - there is no cleaning service - as the KA - you are also the janitor. So things get lost by the wayside. When I started there were cobwebs throughout the Kitchen, tools that are outdated and a sense of resentment throughout the entire store.

    The discount on the sale items doesn't apply to employees - which is ridiculous.
    Chairs for the class attendees are broken. There are ZERO amenities for employees in the back. Not even a place to sit down for a moment. Store is overcrowded.
    Everyone seems annoyed. Unless you are an overly positive person that desires to gain back aches and pains for $9 an hour - you can gain much more knowledge by working in an actual kitchen. Also, "Chefs" resent the fact that they have to teach classes that are not in the repertoire and it MORE than comes across in the way they run the classes. In addition - consumers are paying $$$ to learn from an "expert"... these Chefs try to learn the recipes an hour before the class and often times sound like they don't know what they are talking about... because they don't.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better. Small amenities would provide smiles. As simple as actually having a place to sit on a break that is comfortable. The pay is absurd. It is very obvious that the bottom line is all you care about and your employees come in far last. Get a cleaning company that works for the culinary area. It is disgusting to pretend to class attendees that they are learning from "the Best" when the environment is far from that.
    Sur la Table is a CULINARY store - why wouldn't you utilize a captured audience in a cooking class to SHOWCASE the items?? We are not allowed to use anything from the floor without a fight. Good luck on having the Chefs or KA's have any incentive to talk about the products. There is also zero education on the operation of the products aside from a few people that have been there for a bit (most of which have already said they can't wait to quit). Give sales incentives to your Culinary staff - THE ENTIRE STAFF! Often times the KA's get asked a number of question about the products and the Chefs ALWAYS get asked about products and what they would recommend to buy. You have a BUILT IN SALES STAFF - but they don't get paid for that. Commission is not a bad idea....$9 an hour = employees with a grudge. Not even standard wage


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Great co-workers!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Thousand Oaks, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Thousand Oaks, CA

    Pros

    Great employee discount but can't buy it if you work here for a living.
    Out of several places I have worked at, this place had the most intelligent/efficient co-workers. So it was easy to communicate, ask for help, etc.

    Cons

    This is specifically about the location I was in, so I do not think this applies to all stores.
    Management-level employees were all about gossip. Talked bad about co-workers, and manipulated a lot of the new staff. It was painful to watch.
    I wish I could have contacted upper-management about this.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Needs to get their act together before becoming irrelevant"

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

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great customers, great employees, nice products

    Cons

    Hours 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 Management

    Change 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.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Unfair Management Practices"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Floor Lead in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Floor Lead in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

    As 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 Management

    Sur 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.


  7. Helpful (1)

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 Management

    Visit 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,

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Destructive Management Style"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting customers
    Learn a great deal from customers
    40% discount on regular priced items
    Many of the co-workers are really nice

    Cons

    Management, which includes the District Manager, do not care about the employees, its all about reports. Long term employees are not respected. There is no recognition of employees strengths or accomplishments unless you are among the chosen few. Holiday hiring a disaster-hours are kept mainly for the temp workers who are also paid a higher hourly salary. Those employees with product knowledge are pressured to sell, sell, sell while the temps are on the registers. So different expectations, different salaries.

    Advice to Management

    Read the review dated 5/20/10 "Some reasons to work for Williams and Sonoma instead of Sur La Table". Clueless management don't know how to keep good employees.


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