Sur La Table Reviews | Glassdoor

Sur La Table Reviews

Updated October 16, 2018
562 reviews

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2.6
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Billy May
19 Ratings

562 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "My problems aren't with the employees and management at the store level, but with upper management" (in 42 reviews)

  • "Part-time only for Sales Associates" (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Fun for Foodies & Culinary Students"

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn about kitchen products & great employee discounts & spiffs

    Cons

    Can get crazy during the holidays!!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Chef Instructor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chef Instructor in Manhasset, NY
    Former Employee - Chef Instructor in Manhasset, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - In terms of our location, loved our management and coworkers. Developed great relationships with not only other employees but our students of the culinary school.
    - Store Discount(though this changed when I had left)

    Cons

    My problems aren't with the employees and management at the store level, but with upper management.
    - Unfair minimum hourly requirements, as many of us had full time jobs. Many of us, including myself, were forced out of our positions due to this.

    Advice to Management

    Please be more respectful to your employees. In terms of the culinary program, many of us have dedicated our time to help the program grow. We have built relationships with many of the customers who come back time and time again. We do not get any credit for this, but instead, get treated like nobodies and are forced out. This is why there is such a high turnover rate at the company. I enjoyed my time there, but did not appreciate being forced out because I had to make a living with a full time job.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Part Time Culinary Instructor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Culinary Instructor in Glendale, WI
    Current Employee - Culinary Instructor in Glendale, WI
    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 way to hone and share your passion for cooking and teaching cooking

    Cons

    The company is not a friendly employer to pt chefs with other gigs and families to balance.

    Advice to Management

    I was a PT Culinary Instructor for the past 20 months. Came into the job with 20 years of culinary experience and running my own business as well. I have been an independent contractor for many years and many organizations around my city offering cooking classes and personal chef services. SLT will not hire staff as independent contractors, so you are forced to become an employee, which is what I did, despite my intuitive concerns. What this means is that you are subject to the same policies as completely untrained and uneducated retail floor employees in terms of your schedule, pay, and most notably, the way that you are addressed, communicated with and treated as a human being. Even though I was hired on the premise of teaching 1-2 classes a week (to complement my own personal chef business), some weeks there were no shifts or canceled shifts and some weeks they scheduled you at random times, with very little notice, for up to 4 shifts. Most of the time, schedules were posted 1 week ahead. Classes were canceled for lack of registration on several occasions with less than 24 hours notice to the chef instructor. Staff meetings were called at the pleasure of the manager and culinary manager at times when you were not shifted. Teaching classes was always fun and rewarding but the store does not even thank CI's for their efforts in helping to sell products to students. Moreover, the store almost always under-scheduled the kitchen assistants, who worked like dogs. I was virtually laughed at when I inquired about incentives for the many, many products that I was personally responsible for selling. Moreover, the teaching kitchen is stocked with old, even broken versions of tools, and the store is frequently out of stock of the tools that we use in the teaching kitchen. Employees are forbidden from communicating with each other or the store to determine work shifts other than by telephone. Schedules given by phone were wrong on several occasions and there was no way to verify with a paper schedule as printed communication via email or text is forbidden due to inane corporate policies. Managers are frequently blaming and complaining about the ridiculousness of the corporate policies yet seem powerless or unwilling to speak up to their superiors. There is definitely, as one reviewer said, an "I gotcha" attitude rather than one of mutual respect. I loved teaching people how to cook, and I was even willing to do it for a relatively low wage, but it was overshadowed and ultimately ruined by inane, unrealistic corporate policies in the end. I tried to reach out and communicate with the managers about improving communication, scheduling and policies for culinary instructors, but the store claims that they are not allowed to respond to emails even from customers and they refused to meet in a timely or meaningful manner when I made my requests. I would have been happy to work there indefinitely as a fun side job to complement my business, but the company is simply not set up that way for experienced chefs. It's really too bad. As a result, I don't recommend this job as a part time job to complement other work or a work/family/travel balance.


  4. "potential to be an ok job, but company takes advantage"

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

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

    Pros

    employee discount
    Ability to learn new skills and meet chefs and interesting people

    Cons

    Back breaking work for minimum wage, which is less than 8 an hour in Virginia
    company makes it clear that they have very little regard for their employees
    Chefs can have a serious attitude sometimes and take advantage of kitchen staff

    Advice to Management

    Here better managers and stop making it so obvious that you only care about the bottom line


  5. "Product Knowledge is Key"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

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

    Pros

    My knowledge of high-end home kitchen equipment expanded considerably through SLT training and product giveaways. My bosses were flexible in sometimes allowing my elementary schooler to attend kitchen trainings with me if I didn't have a babysitter (our store had an in-house kitchen, which also sometimes offered kids' classes.) We were also given the SLT in-house publication "Things Cooks Love," as a means to learn about the use of unfamiliar equipment and brands. The stores have a merchandising plan, high-quality stock, and look clean and beautiful. There is a staff discount, and from time to time, we were allowed to try some of the food, or take home clearance items that weren't sold. The pay at the time was better than average for most retail sales jobs, and scheduling was flexible. The uniform was comfortable and comparatively attractive (an apron), and we had our own small employee lockers. Even during the recession, we were able to hit individual sales targets in our wealthy market. I took pride in working at our branch.

    Cons

    The store was kept too hot for restocking duties in the summer--although it was fine for conducting other responsibilities. Our stock room was, unfortunately, very cramped (located in an older building). We were not allowed to have copies of our Personal Shopper Rating Reviews, even when they were outstanding (would have been nice for the resume.) It was cringey to have to ask for customer email addresses back then, but I think almost everyone is used to that question now. At one point I think there was an issue with underpayment or under-enforcement of break periods (it was the employee's responsibility to organize those.) One of our bosses was severely overworked during the store opening, and perhaps could have used more support from HQ or other local branch managers at the outset. Upon initial hire, the company culture seemed friendly and more casual than a competitor such as Williams-Sonoma, but visits from HQ let us know that the pressure to obtain numbers was on.


  6. "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    Great team to work with and had lots of fun. Good employee discount.

    Cons

    Management hired lots of employees and was unable to give a consistent amount of hours per employee each week. Very high management turnover rate.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Nobody is perfect but the company concept is pretty cool!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Arts Administrator/Dance and Acrobatics Instructor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Arts Administrator/Dance and Acrobatics Instructor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great staff, products, and amazing customers!

    Cons

    Weird high school like mentality toward staff and awkward social behavior by one of the assistant store managers. Sur la Table needs to update their sales register CRM and HRM database systems.

    Advice to Management

    Anger and harassment management trainings for everyone.

  8. "The company will be dead in a few years and is a nightmare to work for."

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

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

    Pros

    You get a decent employee discount, recently restricted, but still decent.

    Cons

    The company pays absolute garbage. Upper management shows ZERO appreciation to store leadership. Company refuses to increase starting pay ($9 for a sales associate) so I am unable to hire and fill vacant positions. The company refuses to use actual techniques that work (heavy discount, cheaper products) to drive business. Refuses to give on-the-spot discounts and discounts on high priced items (and a refusal to price match said items) to customers, causing my store to lose millions to online shopping. Store computers are ancient and slow, refuses to upgrade. Still has archaic policies such as requiring store management to close a minimum of two nights. Upper management for my area (FL) is probably the worst boss I've had the displeasure of working under. I have an employee who has yelled at customers, does not follow any instruction, wastes payroll, fights with other employees, and still hasn't been fired after 2 years of discipline. The company has absolutely NO idea how to properly stock a store, overloading with low-quality BS and not properly stocking items that actually make the store money. Overloads work and constantly cuts payroll. Good look being able to properly man your store with the payroll given. The company will be dead in about 5 or so years so they decided the only way to save money is to cut payroll, not cut spending on BS products, but payroll. The company employs the use of extremely deceiving pricing and marketing tactics to fool customers; this happens almost every single day.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. Just quit. A kid out of kindergarten could run this business better than you.


  9. "Cashier"

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

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

    Pros

    -20% Discount
    -Flexible Schedule
    -Learn about recipes and cookware
    -My kitchen looks great now
    -Some employees are nice
    -Nice Customers

    Cons

    -Manager favorism
    -You will be asked to do everything out of your hiring positions
    -Bathroom, dishwashing and floor cleaning
    -Manager has an I know everything attitude
    -You have to sell, sell, sell and make goals
    -Ask EVERY single customer for email and or zipcode
    -Entitled customers
    -Holiday work, overnight thanksgiving work, everyone has to be there to prepare for black friday and inventory count
    -The wage
    -Employees come and go
    -You will have to become a barista during your shift and clean machines

    Advice to Management

    Create a fun work enviroment, you would not be losing as many employees. More paid in-depth training and the manager needs to relax and be more of a team player.


  10. "Sur La Table #10"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time

    Pros

    Fun and interesting people to work with. Employee discount.

    Cons

    Short shifts. Part-time only for Sales Associates.


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