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What It’s Like to Work the Front Lines at the Best Places to Work

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Retail. Foodservice. Hospitality. Working in customer-facing roles in these industries can be challenging, and many people dismiss these jobs as low-paying and tedious. As such, they might be surprised to see so many quick-service restaurants and retailers on the Best Places to Work list. But these employers prove that frontline roles don’t have to fulfill those stereotypes — on the contrary, many employees working at these companies describe them as providing great pay and benefits, a fun, dynamic work environment and tons of room for growth.

We dug into the reviews of frontline employees at a handful of the Best Places to Work to find out exactly what makes them stand out from the pack, and why employees love working there — here’s what we found.

Trader Joe’s

Rating: 4.1

Where Hiring: New York, NY; Palo Alto, CA; Birmingham, AL; Scottsdale, AZ & more

Why Employees Love It: Anyone who’s walked into a Trader Joe’s before can tell you — the upbeat attitude there is infectious. One Crew Member describes TJ’s as an “upbeat, fun environment while keeping it professional.” Another common theme is the competitive pay and benefits. “They cap you out as a crew [member] (entry level position) at $22/hr, eligible for a $0.60 raise every 6 months, and offer great medical and dental,” another Crew Member says. But perhaps best of all is the variety. “My favorite part? Every 1-2 hours you’re given a new task, so no one stands in one place all day, like other grocery stores,” says a former employee.

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United Airlines

Rating: 3.9

Where Hiring: Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Denver, CO; Newark, NJ and more

Why Employees Love It: Two words: flight benefits. “The travel benefits are fantastic and in partnership with other airlines, you can get anywhere in the world (with patience as standby),” says a Flight Attendant. Employees also cite a sense of unity and shared dedication towards providing an excellent customer experience. “The company culture is extremely supportive and customer/employee centric,” says a Senior Analyst. And last, but certainly not least, there’s plenty of room for upward growth. “There are opportunities all over and room to grow,” says a Customer Service Supervisor. “If you are a go getter this is the place to be!”

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Kwik Trip

Rating: 3.9

Where Hiring: Rochester, MN; Dubuque, IA; La Crosse, WI; Purchase, NY and more

Why Employees Love It: Kwik Trip isn’t your average convenience store — employees there receive benefits that most retail workers can only dream of. “They have a profit sharing program which means a nice bonus check right before Christmas time,” shares one Retail Co-Worker. On top of that, the company offers “birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, enrollment in benefits, sabbatical leave after 20 years, pto and sick time,” according to a current employee. All of this makes for a positive environment with plenty of opportunities. “Very friendly atmosphere. Always room to move up,” says an Assistant Supervisor.

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Hyatt

Rating: 3.9

Where Hiring: Honolulu, HI; Baltimore, MD; Omaha, NE; Morristown, TN and more

Why Employees Love It: At Hyatt, they understand that employees are just as important as the customers they serve. “They spend a lot of time working on ways to care for their staff,” says a Front Office Supervisor. “They understand the balance of a happy associate and a happy guest.” And a big part of that involves generous compensation. “Great benefits, free food, 12 free nights after 1 year,” says a former Server. Many employees describe a company and environment that feels like family. “People truly do care about you,” says a Sales Administrative Assistant. “Hyatt supports career growth and encourages you to challenge yourself, personally and professionally.”

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Walt Disney Company

Rating: 3.9

Where Hiring: Burbank, CA; Glendale, AZ; Orlando, FL; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA and more

Why Employees Love It: According to employees, the Walt Disney Company might just be the happiest place on earth. “The reputation you hear about for The Walt Disney Company matches the employee experience. The company has a strong sense of ethics, a focus on inclusion, and gives everyone a chance to be innovative,” a current employee says. And people rave about the perks — “solid health benefits, free employee benefits for all employees, certain roles have 401k match, free tickets, and many discounts,” says a current employee.

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Chick-fil-A

Rating: 4.0

Where Hiring: Arlington, TX; Atlanta, GA; Jonesboro, AR; Hendersonville, NC and more

Why Employees Love It: One of the top reasons employees love working at Chick-fil-A is the excellent training they provide. “During my time here I learned patience, developed a very useful set of customer service skills, and realized what true leadership looked like,” says a former Shift Supervisor. They also love the upbeat and supportive environment. “Chick-fil-A was my home away from home for the 4 1/2 years that I worked there. The people I called my coworkers became a strong support system and a group of people that I still call friends,” the Shift Supervisor continues. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that they always get Sundays off!

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J. Crew

Rating: 3.8

Where Hiring: Arden, NC; Savannah, GA; McLean, VA; Gulfport, MS and more

Why Employees Love It: One of the best parts of working retail is the employee discounts, and J. Crew’s is one of the best in the industry — employees report discounts between 30 and 50 percent. Added to that is a laid-back atmosphere, fun environment and great coworkers. “I loved working at J. Crew! The people were so nice, the atmosphere was so fun and the employee discount was awesome,” says a former Stylist.

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Discount Tire

Rating: 4.0

Where Hiring: Scottsdale, AZ; Millbrae, CA; Murfreesboro, TN; Madison, AL and more

Why Employees Love It: At Discount Tire, you can expect to work hard, but you’ll also be rewarded for it — the good pay is one of the most commonly cited pros in company reviews. And it is very much a meritocracy. “If you deserve a raise you WILL get one,” one Tire Technician says. The company is also widely known for promoting from within. “Great place to rise up the ladder for employees with a strong work ethic,” says a current employee. “Discount Tire is like a big family. From start day 1 everybody has awesome work ethics & looks out for everyone else,” adds an Apprentice.

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T-Mobile

Rating: 4.0

Where Hiring: Chelmsford, MA; Bellevue, WA; Louisville, KY; Portland, OR and more

Why Employees Love It: It’s hard to find a group of employees more excited about their company than T-Mobile’s. “The Creme De La Creme in [Employers],” says a Test and Learn Specialist. “Advancement and growth opportunities, excellent earning and bonus potential, excellent support, amazing incentives (monthly and annual), [super] support and OUT OF THIS WORLD BENEFITS!” Included in those benefits is comprehensive medical insurance, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, a 401K plan, stocks and more. “T-Mobile treats their employees as good as they expect us to take care of our customers,” a current Coach says. “They are always looking out for our best interest and they are providing us the tools and knowledge to be successful.”

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