Sur La Table Reviews in Los Angeles, CA | Glassdoor

Sur La Table Los Angeles Reviews

Updated July 17, 2017
30 reviews

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Los Angeles, CA Area

2.1
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Billy May
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30 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)

    "It looks like such a great place to work! But, the phrase you hear repeatedly: "We're Always Hiring" says it all..."

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

    Pros

    The discounts: 40% off products not already on sale, otherwise you get the sales price. 10% off electronics not already on sale. 50% matching of 2% of your salary on 401(k) contributions. The occasional celebrity siting at the Santa Monica store.

    Cons

    A very dehumanizing and unorganized environment where employees feel that they are not valued and are constantly being chastised for not following ever-changing policies. Unaccountable and lazy store management. You are repeatedly scheduled for the shifts you requested off. Manager walks away from you when you need help with a customer (or anything) instead of following through and taking responsibility. It's embarrassing when you're with a customer! The only two remaining long-term assistant & floor managers are very good, but treated with little respect. District management is very abusive. Reviews were written at the district level this year and were consistently negative and seemed to be written by someone who didn't even know who were were. They gave us these reviews right before the holiday season (our busiest time) so we were all completely demoralized. That just seems dumb. All in all, a very frustrating, degrading and bizarre place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Do exit interviews! With as much turn-over as you have you should be able to obtain a wealth of information. Get organized! It will increase your sales. Give employees more regular hours, and more consistent pay increases, even if it's a small amount. It will help moral.


  2. "A place to enjoy Corporate working"

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

    Pros

    Great customers to meet. Solid discount. Enjoyable training events.

    Cons

    Management, management, management. With the turnaround of employees and staff happening faster than a meal ordered at McDonald's, it's no surprise this is their biggest problem. They don't know how to balance managing a team, with a realistic expectation from their employees. Unfortunately the company has become so focused on sell, sell, sell, that they don't compensate the thoughts of their employees. I knew this store was going in a bad direction when improvements to our stock/ break room left us without a fridge or even water for months. As much as they promised to substitute water for the time being - they never did. They never cared to listen to the complaints and concerns of us. Instead, they wanted more selling, higher sales, and still pay us minimum wage. I'm not sure how you think your expectations are realistic. I could not be more dissatisfied with the way this company has turned into.

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate what your mission statement is, and the core values of this company and realize you have stepped so far from it, that this is no longer the company it once was. Listen to your employees because it is the sales associates that work the hardest meeting the goals you so kindly put forth. If the sales associates aren't happy, you're not going to get the results you want.

  3. Helpful (12)

    "Do it for the discount if you must, but only until you can find somewhere else better."

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

    Pros

    Generous discount. 40% off full retail price, 1 electric per month.

    Relaxed dress code.

    Great clientele.

    Free coffee from the Jura and Nespresso machines.

    Now and then there are snacks to sample in the back if not on the floor.

    Cons

    • Benefits begin and end with the discount.

    • I have worked for Sur La Table since May 2011, as both a culinary assistant and a sales coworker, and have never received any kind of training, orientation, or even employee handbook.

    • When I transferred to the sales floor two months ago, the store manager informed me that pay starts at $10 hourly. I've been making $9.50 ever since.

    • Very little opportunity for advancement.

    • With a few exceptions, unhelpful if not combative management team.

    • Management largely incapable of thinking for themselves. Unless it's on a spreadsheet, it doesn't exist.

    • Require full-time availability, but most weeks only give 4-8 hours per coworker. I thought this was a store policy (a previous store manager was fired because the staff incurred too many meal break penalties) until reading the other reviews on this site.

    • Weekly schedules are made on Monday, based on sales and forecasts, and must be approved by district manager and not issued until Wednesday. Schedules are seemingly revised at will—last week I was told an hour before my shift that I had been called off because numbers had not been met.

    • Was told that I could not have my schedule e-mailed to me, as it constitutes working from home—even though other jobs in the past have done this. Have yet to find a state or federal law that supports this.

    • Most shifts last only 4 hours. My store is located in a premium shopping center in a busy part of town where street parking is difficult to find. Arriving to work requires on average an hour in drive and parking time, or spending $9 at the mall parking garage to work 4 hours at $9.50 per hour.

    • Never seen a major chain retailer so poorly organized. My store employs a full-time stockroom manager as well as a full-time merchandising manager, yet the stockroom always looks like a bomb went off. Inventory is stashed wherever there is room on the floor with no rhyme or reason. I can't begin to count the number of items that are not priced.

    As a result, countless man hours in productivity and sales are lost every day because we can't find the product within our four walls, or spend peak time horsing around between the company site and the archaic POS system looking for prices on items.

    Advice to Management

    It's really quite sad that Corporate chooses to operate based on their balance sheet and executive bonuses, because this could be such a great place to work and for the customer an even better place to shop.

    People are the most valuable resource of any organization, yet it seems that staff are not worth as much as the $3,000 coffee machines they push us to sell.

    It costs money to make money—invest in your staff and your stores, give them the resources needed for success. Quit trying to squeeze nickels out of pennies.

    Allocate an advertising budget to the culinary program. Realize the difference between stores and local markets—you can't compare Farmer's Market to Newport Beach because the demographics are night and day.


  4. Helpful (12)

    "Run Away. Be afraid; be very afraid."

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

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

    Pros

    I had some wonderful coworkers. 40% discount on non-sale items. Did I mention the discount? Highly qualified part time chefs.

    Cons

    Because employees are part time, the supervisors think the underlings should be virtually on-call. Although no one on earth can afford to live off of what SLT pays, management doesn't seem to factor in that employees need their schedules to coordinate with other obligations (Job #2 and #3/School/Family). Sketchy attitude about breaks. Kitchen Assistants are paid the worst hourly wage possible under State law, whether or not they have extensive experience. Four Resident Chefs in two years. Unprofessional, disrespectful supervisors who have no experience with people; some have no experience with cooking or teaching cooking.

    Advice to Management

    While Jack Schwefel is the CEO, don't be fooled into thinking this is a Mom and Pop organization. SLT is owned by Investcorp, a multinational investment fund. Given the fact that the bad management stayed that way for the entire two years I worked there, I can only assume that Management likes the way the Sur La Table train wreck functions, so I won't waste any breath on advice to management.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Sales Associate"

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

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you enjoy cooking, its great

    Cons

    Constant pushing to achieve sales goals that leads to pressured customers who are not too happy with the sales pressure.

    Advice to Management

    Set customer satisfaction a true goal rather than sales at any cost.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "DON'T BOTHER! BAD COMPANY! TURNOVER WAY TOO HIGH"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    THEY'RE ARE NONE! BAD COMPANY TO WORK FOR! YOUR BETTER OFF AT K-MART!

    Cons

    The D.ms instruct the managers to cut hours on a daily basis. Nothing is ever stable when it come to hours. They change our schedules and never tell us. The Managers aren't allowed to call employees to inform them of the changes. We have to call on our time off to find out what we are working. This company is FAILING TO to provide advance notice to an employee of scheduling changes can be required to pay for "reporting time." Furthermore, California law imposes strict requirements on employers who adopt alternative workweek policies, and employers cannot adopt these policies without providing advance notice to their employees of their scheduling changes.
    THIS COMPANY IS NOT COMPLYING TO THIS LABOR LAWS WHATSOEVER. They are worried about numbers and productivity.

    Advice to Management

    GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER ON HOW TO RUN A COMPANY. IT SEEMS THAT THE CRAZIES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Open your eyes!"

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

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent discount - flexible hours - fun casual environment

    Cons

    Horrible pay. Terrible executive management (mainly HR)

    Advice to Management

    You have some very talented people. Realize this and pay to keep your good people. WS, BBB, etc recognize their value and pay to take them. Retain your people and don't lose your best talent over a few $! Lose all your best people, kiss your business goodbye!

  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.


  9. 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,


  10. 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.


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