Sur La Table Reviews in Portland, OR | Glassdoor

Sur La Table Portland Reviews

12 reviews

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Portland, OR Area

2.9
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Diane Neal
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12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You get a great employee discount (in 79 reviews)

  • I've learned a lot about the products, great discount (in 69 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management does not back customer service decisions made at the store level (in 36 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "It's all about the discount"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great discounts & foodie staff

    Cons

    The pay is garbage & you can't be FT/get benefits unless you're management. The raises are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more to support the cost of living, better raises & offer FT to non-management positions.


  2. "OK company for part-timers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent discount, great products, tons of opportunities to win/earn free products, flexible work schedule, opportunity for growth, great support from Corporate HR. I wouldn't suggest devoting 40 hours a week to a retail position, but definitely at the corporate level.

    Cons

    Little to no room for creativity for Resident Chefs & Chef Instructors. Menus for Cooking Classes are 100% determined by Corporate with menus that have not been tested by anyone prior to being sent out. Poor management in retail locations.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a close eye on how management in your retail locations are treating hourly employees. On that note, the HR team at Corporate Headquarters was very supportive - it was refreshing.

    Maybe allow some creativity input from individual stores with cooking classes - perhaps create regional menus.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Rediscovered my love of cooking by helping other customers gain confidence."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Employee discount. Unlimited coffee samples. Menu tastings. Funny and helpful cooking instructors. Friendly customers. Great cooking classes.

    Cons

    Unorganized scheduling system. VERY poor communication among management and staff. Company guidelines very unclear.

    Advice to Management

    It was a pleasure working with the staff and customers. However, I was disappointed with the management team at this particular location. My advice to you is to communicate with your team members directly, either through email and staff meetings. Workplace guidelines need to be clear and visible to the staff. Should a change occur, please continue to communicate will all members of the team. Appreciate everyone each day for a job well done. A small gesture goes a long way.


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "A company confused and peppered with unrealistic expectations."

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

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

    Pros

    Great employee discount, fun new products and incentives. A company still passionate about food.

    Cons

    inconsistent, ever-changing focus. Poor pay, with little room for growth. Incredibly high expectations (I understand this is retail, but unattainable goals do not help create positive moral). Availability requirements, especially of Floor Leads are extreme (even more so given the pay rate). Low hour availability, limited in most cases to some 12-15 hours a week, flexing to 20-23 (NEVER more than 25).

    Advice to Management

    The availability requirements for the Floor Lead position are unrealistic given both the compensation rate and and number of hours commonly scheduled. This position needs significant re-evaluation.


  6. "Educational"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tualatin, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tualatin, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great if you love to cook and talk cooking

    Cons

    Need to know above average cooking skills to be good at the entire stores inventory.

    Advice to Management

    Be personable, we all need to work and having a boss you don't feel intimidated by makes work worth being there.


  7. Helpful (24)

    "The company is profit driven and their employees are expendable."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    They have a generous discount and scheduling can be flexible.

    Cons

    It is not an environment where employees can comfortably bring up issues, continual criticism that is not constructive, low wages, terrible scheduling, upper management that is: rude, passive aggressive, discourteous, can have a vigorously fake demeanor to make sales, management won't care about issues other than that which applies to making profits. There is poor management of 'team', overworking staff because of not scheduling enough employees to work, also hiring more when they should be giving more hours to current employees, not paying kitchen assistants enough to do all front and back of house jobs and to sell too, management causes stressful environment, lack of urgent responses to fix/replace things that need attention, no break room, poor cleanliness of culinary area. Overall, it is a tiptoe environment.

    Advice to Management

    Dear Upper Management,

        You are a apart of a company where employees are only numbers. We know this through your disloyalty and lack of respect and also that we can be quickly replaced by another individual.

        Your management and interpersonal skills (or may I politely say, lack there-of to both!) are clearly not in the best interest of anyone but yourself. You see that we chefs, retail personnel, kitchen assistants, and some managers are continually understaffed, under appreciated, thus stressed. Yet we try to please you because we hope not to deal with passive aggression. What I find interesting is that you also expect a smaller team to do the work that requires many more. Please do think, why is that? Is it too much to add another person to the schedule? You expect efficiency as do I, but when the store is understaffed, we cannot always finish the work that we're supposed to do and then ensure that everything is ready for the next team? Do you take pleasure in keeping the environment stressful? Perhaps it is that you would rather overwork employees rather than to pay additional employees miniscule amounts to lighten the load. I know it is very clear, but just in case you fail to take notice, the consequences of under staffing has lead to a dirty and hazardous work environment.

       I understand that depending on the establishment and type of company, that there are different rules. I implore you, as management, that do you not care that there is no specified space, let alone a SINGLE chair that is dedicated to a break? Does this not bother you that your staff runs around yet must either leave or find a box (hopefully not one that says fragile) to sit on? That they must wiggle their legs 90 degrees to let persons walk past? Despite the possibility that there might not be a law for a break area in this institution, I still think that as decent management, let alone fellow humans, that more effort would had been made to amend the situation. For this, you do not care for our breaks so long as you don't get a fine. You don't care that we waste time going places for break; you do not care for us. How does this reflect on the company?

       I must mention that the majority does not behave as such, that some truly wonderful staff and some very kind managers do try to help, but I see that their jobs are on the line too. Even so, there are limits that must be set and not surpassed. I speak of these issues as huge obstacles, but I believe that these are amendable if you make yourselves open to hearing, truly listening, and to honestly care about our well being.

       It is possible that I have too much of a romantic notion with how a workplace should be. These words here are not only of my own, but are a representation of the sentiments of us employees store wide. I understand that you're under immense pressure to perform and that your jobs require much of you all, but I can say for certain that the current behavior is absolutely unacceptable. Whether I too am management or not, everyone deserves adequate respect regardless of rank, age, or length of work at the company.

       Please take this not as an attack, but as advice on what you can improve upon, because we all know that improvement is unbelievably necessary.

    Wishing you much health and kindness

    Sur La Table Response

    Jan 7, 2014 – Director, Talent Management

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this feedback. This is not the experience we aspire to create for employees in our stores and we would like to hear more from you. I invite you to ... More


  8. "A fun temporary work experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    Good perks - employee discount, products, fun culinary culture, etc.

    Cons

    Retail - low pay, irregular hours


  9. "Interesting and fun place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours, diverse product lines, nice customers

    Cons

    Staff turnover reflects limited income opportunities, inventory is often misplaced or short

    Advice to Management

    Expedite the point of purchase function to reduce customer wait time, manage inventory control


  10. "Need lots of culinary tool knowledge because there isn't much training."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Lake Oswego, OR
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Lake Oswego, OR
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great discount at 40% on non-sale items. Great customers - people just love being in the store and are excited about their purchases.

    Cons

    Not enough hours. They hire plenty of staff and hours can go as low as 4 per week.

    Advice to Management

    Hire fewer people and trust them to do the best job.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "If you like shopping here, don't go to work here, you won't want to shop here anymore"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The discount is ok, the customers are nice, if you are a foodie you will enjoy talking about food and cooking at work, nice products

    Cons

    Poor management, no real policies, only the ones they make up as they go along to pacify or scold employees, depending on the day. No training to speak of regarding product, except select high priced items. Although they carry many products, you are told not to sell certain ones because of price point or profit margin, scolded if you do. Zero communication - you never know if what you are going to do is going to incur the wrath of a manager - micro management to the point of ridiculous, if management is the right word. You may be told you are empowered to make decisions, but you are not. There is no right answer here, as someone else mentioned. Back stabbing and gossip between management and employees. Unfair and rude treatment of employees, with no accountability to anyone. Upper management answers to no one, while they are fully aware of problems, they don't care how employees are treated. If you are brave enough to ask for some accountability, you will be retaliated against with cut hours, even more rude treatment and a hostile work environment. You may not get fired, but they will be sure you quit. Promises of pay raises never happen - if they do they are insulting at best. No adherence to labor laws regarding breaks and hours worked. Really high turnover rate creates instability and confusion on everyones part. Read all of the other reviews, and include anything I forgot - they are very accurate and and should be a warning to anyone thinking of working here.

    Advice to Management

    Someone up there please pay attention to these reviews. Sur La Table has the potential to be a good place to work, but the current management style is a disaster. I am sure you could still turn a profit without alienating your employees and former employees and turning them into customers of your competition. With the high turnover rate, that could be a lot of people.


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