Total Wine & More Reviews | Glassdoor

Total Wine & More Reviews

Updated August 14, 2017
538 reviews

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2.7
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Total Wine & More CEO Adam Orvos
Adam Orvos
13 Ratings

538 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Really interesting environment; you will learn all you ever wanted to know about wine, beer and spirits (in 26 reviews)

  • You do get to learn a lot about drinks if you care to (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • Schedules are made without much consideration for work/life balance (in 50 reviews)

  • Minimum 50 hour work week for managers with only 30 minute break (if lucky) each day (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Great Job, Bad Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Merchandiser
    Current Employee - Merchandiser
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Total Wine & More full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Depending on your store, there is a decent amount of flexibility on your hours. Also, the work is not difficult.

    Cons

    Corporate will hire from the outside, always. The best way to enter the company is from the outside in the position you already want. There are no realistic ways to progress through the company internally.

    Advice to Management

    Hire talent from within. There is plenty of talent in the company from people who are looking for a decent way to advance if you are willing to see them shine through.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "It's an okay company."

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

    I have been working at Total Wine & More full-time

    Pros

    Discount on they're products is okay

    Cons

    Taken advantage of if you're a hard worker

    Advice to Management

    Realize who had the potential and move them up, instead of the ones who don't.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Wine Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wine Associate
    Current Employee - Wine Associate
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Total Wine & More part-time

    Pros

    Get to work at my hobby. Great coworkers and customers. In addition to learning more about wine as well as spirits and beer.

    Cons

    Understaffed. Compensation, Intense sales pressure with no financial incentive (except for an unattainable bonus during the holidays), not allowed to recommend truly wonderful national brand wines, unsafe and disorganized inventory system, technology that is 10 years out of date.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the compensation for sales associates, take some of the profits and look into a better way of managing inventory to eliminate wasted time and safety hazards. Look at staffing levels, because of low staffing sales associates only spend a small percentage of time actually selling most time is spent sorting through top stock, stocking shelves, fixing signs and backing up the front end team.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Front End Team Member"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Front End Cashier
    Current Employee - Front End Cashier
    Recommends

    I have been working at Total Wine & More part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fairly easy job, the managers and coworkers are very nice and will work with your schedule. They bring in food during busy holidays. You get .10 extra for every person who is under 30 that comes through your line, and .25 for every 21 year old. $5 extra if someone doesn't have their i.d.

    Cons

    Sometimes they don't give you as many hours as you ask for. You HAVE to call a manager for everything such as item lookups, out of state i.d checks, etc. , which isn't too bad except when they are all busy and you are waiting for a while and the customer is getting frustrated or there is already a super long line. Sometimes we are understaffed with cashiers. But again, it's a super simple job and those are just nit-picking cons


  5. Helpful (6)

    "IT Dept is at least bearable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Business Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - IT Business Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Total Wine & More full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Coworkers while overworked really rally to help you even if it means them staying later.
    - Lots of cool technology to implement due to lack of investment in systems for such a long time. They can't put off any of this stuff longer.
    - With people quitting, mgmt is acknowledging these reviews and trying to make changes.

    Cons

    Read the other reviews and on top of that...
    - No formal working from home program. Managers turn a blind eye to working from home as necessary.
    - High turnover despite them saying they want to keep people
    - No profit sharing or bonus program
    - Dress code is enforced.
    - Health insurance is expensive and has gotten worse year after year.
    - Very few vacation days given (15 days) versus 21-22 days you would get elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Act on the survey results you are always getting from the employees.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Front end team member part time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front End Team Member in Lynnwood, WA
    Former Employee - Front End Team Member in Lynnwood, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Total Wine & More part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They work with school schedules. Which is hard to find. They buy food on busy days. The wine discount is nice.

    Cons

    Management is terrible. Every weekend an employee is having a breakdown. You can literally walk in on every manager constantly talking negative on co-workers. Not a good environment at all!

    Advice to Management

    Boost morale. Promote with in. Learn to stand up for employees when customers are harassing them.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "The opportunity to grow and have fun"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wine Associate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Wine Associate in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Total Wine & More full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Coming from a wine background, I was quite please at the opportunity to learn more about beer and spirits. The company's vast selection and numerous opportunities to try new things is a huge positive. I've discovered a great love of Belgian style beers, Tequila and Single Malt Scotch from working here.

    With wine training, it is what you make of it. The company is committed to giving employees the tools they need to succeed but it is ultimately up to each individual employee to decide if they want to utilize these tools to their full potential.

    The company offers wine associates "Wine for Life" which for the first year of employment is a set list of 6-12 bottles an employee on the service team can take home (free of charge). After that first year, the employee has more flexibility in picking what wines they want to take home (within certain guidelines) with TWPs (Total Wine Professionals who have passed 7 levels of certifications) having the most flexibility and access to higher end wines to take home. With this Wine For Life program, employees have a tremendous opportunity to expand their wine knowledge by actually tasting wines that they may not have the financial means to regularly taste.

    More ambitious souls can utilize their Total Wine business cards and connections to attend free trade events put on by wine commissions, distributors and local wineries (ask your Store Manager and District Manager about invitations to these events). The company also helps set up visits to wineries across the globe if you are traveling (on your on dime). I've had the opportunity to dine with winery owners of classified chateaux in Bordeaux and Piedmont all because of Total Wine and I'm just a simple Wine Associate.

    The opportunity is always there. Earning your TWP opens even more doors to company paid trips to wine regions, attending (free of charge) events like the Union des Grand Cru of Bordeaux where you can meet even more Chateau owners and taste, in one evening, over $5000 worth of wine. Likewise you can get free tickets to events like the Wine Spectator Grand Tasting where, again, the amount and quality level of the wines you can taste is fantastic.

    Cons

    First and foremost, its retail and has all the cons and pratfalls of working with the public and customer service. You are always underpaid, constantly on your feet, working long hours, dealing with sometimes frustrating customers and have to make sales goals and customer service metrics. Some people are cut out for this line of work. Some aren't.

    Likewise, as with all retail companies, the particular culture of a store (and a district) will vary. Some stores have more fun and inclusive cultures that promote better morale. Some stores struggle with it. All you have to do is read the reviews on the site like this to see that it is a mix bag of what kind of working experience you may have. But, again, that is retail and Total Wine is not unique in that regard.

    Some of the inventory and receiving systems are very antiquated by retail sector with redundant paperwork. It's a work in progress but I always pity receivers and managers with the systems.

    Advice to Management

    As an employee, I have a lengthy list of "Pros" because I've been fortunate to work in a store and district with a fantastic culture that encourages growth and good employee moral. To some degree that was luck of the draw but a goal of management should be to minimize the amount of "luck" that there is and encourage this kind of positive culture in all markets.

    Another reason for my lengthy Pros is the type of person I am. I am an ambitious person who seeks out wine knowledge and opportunity to learn more and maximize these tools. Some of my peers don't have the same ambition or confidence but it is in the best interest of Total Wine & More's customer to try and stoke the fires of ambition and thirst to learn.

    Losing "Alfio training" in Old World has hurt (but I know some markets are cobbling together their own version) as well as going from monthly MSM training meetings to now 5 or 6 times a year. The quality level and efficiency of product training during those MSM has been reduced--especially in markets with rapid growth. Often these meetings seem to be more about herding cats and power tasting through a rapid fire of wines without taking the time to really learn and discuss how to know what kind of customers would best enjoy these kinds of wines.

    Finally, while the company does a fantastic job in promoting small family wineries and unique labels with their Winery Direct program, the company absolutely needs to make it a focus to have more training and tasting on large, well-known brands. When a customer comes in saying that they like "Brand XYZ", it is vital for the associate to know what Brand XYZ taste like in order to best serve the customer with other recommendations. While, as I noted in my Pros, ambitious folks can use their connections and business cards to visit these wineries and attend trade tastings, it is in Total Wine's best interest not to have this kind of knowledge just limited to the ambitious.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A learning experience"

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

    I worked at Total Wine & More full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They provide you with extensive training in wine, spirits and beer. Monthly sales meetings where new products are introduced and sampled.

    Cons

    The starting hourly pay rate for a wine associate is low. Management delegates most duties and blame to wine associates or merchandisers. Disorganized inventory system makes restocking inventory very difficult and time consuming. Managers changed schedules at random without notifying associates. Pressure to push wine and spirits direct is very intense, I did my best to make suggestions to customers in a subtle way.


  9. "Merchandiser"

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

    I worked at Total Wine & More part-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good hourly rate, managers are decent.

    Cons

    Work is non-stop. Constantly refilling cooler and orders, getting carts, and helping on registers.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more, or add more people to each shift.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Merchandiser"

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

    I have been working at Total Wine & More full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Works with class schedule, gives time off when requested.

    Cons

    Takes advantage of hard workers, they put a lot on one persons plate. They don't have a set team and keep hiring crappy people. They do not pay enough for the amount of work they expect from you but hires lazy college kids at 10+ an hour while their hard workers get paid less with crappy raises. They are not organized and they don't listen to their employees opinions and advice on what can make things easier for everyone. The shirts suck, they are not breathable at all, and the crappy wages has more to deal with the upper management telling store managers they won't give their workers a decent raise even when their motto is to help their employees and that their employees come first which is total crap.

    Advice to Management

    Help out your hard working employees before you end up losing everyone.


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