Whole Foods Market Reviews | Glassdoor

Whole Foods Market Reviews

Updated May 26, 2017
4,826 reviews

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4,826 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great culture amongst team members (note: experience based on a smaller store) (in 547 reviews)

  • Great company to work for with great benefits (in 328 reviews)

Cons
  • Team members are becoming more jaded about the direction of the company (in 482 reviews)

  • Some differences when it comes to work life balance (in 94 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Meh"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cashier in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Cashier in Cupertino, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Whole Foods Market part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is a little above minimum wage, 20% discount almost makes food a normal price

    Cons

    Workers are babied, customers are entitled and rude

    Advice to Management

    Be more selective of who is hired


  2. "Meat & Seafood Team Leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Meat Team Leader in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Meat Team Leader in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    They sell the highest quality products. They source products locally whenever possible. They treat suppliers very well and continue to establish good relations

    Cons

    They do not value employees in the way their core values state. They are inconsistent on follow through with employees and employees are often not treated fairly.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to supporting team member growth and promotion from within. Establish better customer relations and experience through team member empowerment.


  3. "Promises Not Kept"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prepared Foods Team Member in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Prepared Foods Team Member in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Most Coworkers are likable people
    -401k plan is acceptable
    -If you want to move up with the company you can do so easily
    -The employee discount is nice

    Cons

    -Coming in, they promise you flexible hours. What they mean is inconsistent hours.
    -They constantly are finding ways to cut costs, which often times means providing a inferior product to the customer
    -They will find any reason to not give someone a raise, even if said person didn't know what was keeping them from getting a raise was an issue
    -Team Members are rarely listened to about what would be best for their store and the company, instead, management implements corporate ideas without first consulting the people who are on the floor with customers on a daily basis
    -Customers are immensely rude to team members
    -The company doesn't practice what they preach. They don't compost. They rarely recycle. They aren't nearly as health or environmentally conscious as they claim to be.
    -Team Members are treated more like numbers than human beings
    -There is a inconvenient tardiness policy that doesn't account for outside forces
    -They are now requiring everyone to only wear only Whole Foods sanctioned apparel, seemingly wiping out any sense of individuality
    -They are opening too many stores too close together too quickly, wearing the staff, and profits, thin

    Advice to Management

    -Listen to your employees when they have ideas on how to better the store/company
    -Pay people more
    -Be open and honest with people


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  5. "Can be a demanding place to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Produce Clerk in Lafayette, CA
    Former Employee - Produce Clerk in Lafayette, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They are very flexible and understanding about life circumstances. Store leadership is generous with their time and always friendly and eager to listen.

    Cons

    There are times when the store is short handed on employees which is always demanding when there are tasks to complete and customers to satisfy and delight.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the open door policy.


  6. "Overall satisfactory work experience."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Whole Body Team Leader in Overland Park, KS
    Current Employee - Whole Body Team Leader in Overland Park, KS

    I have been working at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, usually great TMs to work with, benefits are good, annual reviews. I've always felt freedom to have open communication with my leadership.

    Cons

    Lots of changes at regional and corporate levels are hard to keep up with. Team members are becoming more jaded about the direction of the company


  7. Helpful (2)

    "A Decent Job, But Don't Believe The Rhetoric"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Member in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Team Member in Cincinnati, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent minimum pay, paid time off, insurance, good food.

    Cons

    Whole Foods is failing.

    Growth opportunities are shrinking, and it's hard to make more money without getting promoted. The company has drastically reduced the amount of positions that exist above regular "team member. " For example. the bakery and the prepared foods department used to each have a person in charge of their ordering. Now, those departments are merged, and one person is literally expected to do both jobs, meaning neither are done as well. This is happening company wide, with multiple departments merging.

    Whole Foods used to have a solid policy in place regarding raises. Each position had a minimum and maximum pay per hour, and during your yearly review you were given a percentage increase based on performance, up to that ceiling. The numbers ranged from no raise if you weren't meeting expectations, up to over 10 percent if you were doing a great job. This meant that after a few years, if you did not move up, you could still make pretty decent money. I think that's a great idea, it keeps people who don't necessarily want managerial responsibilities in their positions for a long time, and builds up an experienced staff.

    Now, the numbers seem to come out of thin air. I was given 25 cents after my 2 year review. This was after frequently being told what a great job I was doing, being given more responsibilities and receiving 75 cents after my first year. I applied for a supervisor position that would have paid more, but was told we were not filling the vacancy. To me, this means that growth would have been very difficult and it was not worth my time to put in another year just to get 25 cents more.

    You're supposed to sugar coat things a lot there. Using negative language is not encouraged, even if it's the honest truth. This can be very counterproductive. I've had complaints lodged against me for being short with leaders from other departments. When discussed with people in my department, they all agreed I was just being succinct and trying to get back to the task at hand. It seems like I hurt their feelings, so they told on me, which is a ridiculous way for grown adults to act.

    Team Members are not treated equally. If people like you, you can get away with a lot. If they don't, you're in bad shape. We have a Team Member leadership doesn't care for, and they watch him like a hawk. Things that wouldn't raise an eyebrow if done by others are instantly talking points if done by him. And I say this from the positive side of the equation, I got along great with my department leaders and could tell I was given more free reign than some others might be. This isn't fair, plain and simple. Maybe that's just how the world works, but Whole Foods claims to be better than the petty world it exists in, and it's not.

    Regarding the culture... it's a mirage. Maybe it was real at one time, but financial reality has set in for this company. They can't skate by on huge profit margins anymore and have to act like a real business, but the illusion of hemp and free love still prevails. There are a lot of people who I would describe as being more disappointed than angry about their experience at Whole Foods(although some are definitely angry). It just isn't what it pretends it is. If a regular business did the things Whole Foods does, I would be okay with it, but Whole Foods does it and claims it doesn't.

    As an example of the above, how much food do you think they waste at Whole Foods? If you said "a whole lot" you win. We throw away literally hundreds of pounds of food a day. I'll be honest, this is the reality of the grocery industry. The logistics don't exist to make use of every scrap of food. We give some to food banks, and we try and utilize items as best we can, but you have to throw a lot away. Again, this is not an issue necessarily when it is acknowledged and presented as a hard truth of the food business. But Whole Foods would have you believe it recycles and composts a LOT more than it does. Want to know what happens to most of what you throw in a recycling container at a Whole Foods? It goes in the garbage. See, we can't send off a bag that might accidentally have chicken and stuff in it to a recycling plant. So if it seems like it does, in the garbage it goes.

    Let's be clear too, Whole Foods is expensive. They are trying to fight this image as much as they can, and they are not succeeding. Because they are. I, and 100% of the people that work there also shop elsewhere. There's more than one reason for this. First, the prices. Don't get me wrong, the 365 Brand makes some seriously good stuff. I genuinely love a lot of the products, but a great deal just isn't worth buying there.

     Second, and more egregiously, Whole Foods doesn't carry a lot of stuff people need when they go to the grocery. As part of their commitment to only carrying "natural" ingredients, you can't buy things like tylenol or ibuprofen at Whole Foods. The only "medicine" they sell is homeopathic, which makes me sick just thinking about. It's one of my largest complaints about the company, honestly. More than once, somebody has had a headache or allergies or whatever, and they've needed to clock out and go to the convenience store down the street to buy real medicine. How can we have truly loyal customers when you're almost forced to shop elsewhere to buy everything you need?

    Our catering is out of control expensive. I'm suprised when people aren't upset at the price of their orders, because that's the norm. There is essentially no discount for buying large quantities. And at least in our store, catering is a complete afterthought. It's nearly always thrown together as fast as possible at the last second, using whatever subpar ingredients we can get for free from other departments, then put together by whoever is most expendable in the department that day. Got one extra person in the kitchen and might actually get some stuff done? Too bad, that person needs to do catering now. I know many other stores have somebody dedicated to catering, but it was a joke in our store.

    There is more, I don't want to come off as disgruntled. I'm not. I for the most part enjoyed my time there, and I worked with a lot of good people. But I just can't sit and watch the company smile in people's faces and then stab them in the back and essentially punish those who are most loyal by heaping on responsibility and not offering compensation for it.

    Advice to Management

    I think this company once stood for something, and now it still wants to but can't. Because it's a business, doing competition in the real world against other real businesses. Whole Foods can only tread water before ultimately failing. I don't have any real advice, because nothing is going to help. But stop pretending to be the same company you were 20 years ago.


  8. "Meh"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Barista in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Barista in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Whole Foods Market part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When I originally started working there, work was really excited and we had a lot of opportunities to learn stuff (I worked as a barista, but we also had control of the aisle). The best thing was that they were flexible, at least with me, about my schedule.

    Cons

    The downside is that after a while, things became more about churning out more drinks for the customers, and we started cutting a lot of stuff that really pissed customers off which ended up as a vicious cycle. This meant we had less people working, which meant less customers, which meant more cutting deals and complicated, yet favored menu items. You get the idea.

    Advice to Management

    Care more about team members and actually listen to them about their qualms instead of pretending that 'things will get better with time'.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Whole Foods is all a catchy store name"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Meat/Seafood Clerk in Overland Park, KS
    Former Employee - Meat/Seafood Clerk in Overland Park, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, above average pay, and opportunities for advancement are all realities as long as you are willing to play the political games the store management perpetuates.

    Cons

    The tension on a store level and absolute ill respect that regional leadership receives is well deserved. Regional has no idea how things work at a store level, and store level leadership is a giant pool of pushovers who don't get anything done, and manipulative store leaders who create a culture of fear.

    Advice to Management

    Understand what it actually looks like to work at the store level, and realize that slashing labor hours, increasing daily responsibilities, and triple red tape is going to affect your customer service, and you will lose business over it.


  10. "Customer Service Team Member"

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

    I worked at Whole Foods Market part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    co-workers are great! immediate supervisors want to cultivate growth if effort is shown on the other half (takes two to tango)

    Cons

    Bureaucracy gets in the way of professional development.


  11. "Started Great, Ended Badly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Barista in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Barista in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent opportunities for promotions if you want to make Whole Foods your career. Also, great training opportunities for different departments.

    Cons

    Company has been restructuring their business model, so a lot of employees had their salaries frozen or they were laid off. Whole Foods ended its gain sharing policy recently. Now departments do not get to divide their excess budget among the employees.

    Advice to Management

    Be prepared to move departments on a moment's notice. Your job is not secure, no matter where you are in the company.


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