Trader Joe's Reviews

Updated 27 September 2014
Updated 27 September 2014
637 Reviews
3.4
637 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane
Dan Bane
404 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great benefits and a great place to work for people who don't mind working hard (in 52 reviews)

  • The benefits are great considering it's non-union part time work (in 47 reviews)


Cons
  • Managers sit in the office all day while crew members run the store (in 63 reviews)

  • It can be physically demanding so entry jobs are best for the young and fit (in 40 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    In desperate need of diversity, good balanced leadership & an emphasis on updating.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member  in  Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time

    Pros

    10% discount on decent already cheap booze, carbs; nitrate free meats; tasty hummus, good mineral water spritz prices, good coffee, sample anything; emphasis on reusable or paper bags -- no plastic bags used anywhere.

    Cons

    Scheduling is rife with poor communication and inaccessible management adding to the frustration are back-to-back shifts like closing then opening then closing then opening that contribute to poor health, sleep depravation, which in turn causes everything to suffer, least of all the people. TJ's uses a 2 star rated iPhone only app -DayForce- for employees to request vacation, sick leave, etc. The only other way is to track down the singular manager responsible for scheduling at least a 2 weeks in advance to place a request. There're are no TJ afforded/addressed emails to management that could expedite this process and good luck reaching anyone if you're sick and have to open at 5am. It's the most antiquated systems I've ever had the displeasure of working with.

    All employees were forced to use our/their own cell phone data to fill out post hire documentation --wifi is available, but kept greedily from employees & the hiring process. Out-of-date cheap training materials & computers give off the distinct atmosphere of a 2 bit bodega & not the image of the fastest growing "children of god-esque" replica... ahem, grocery store in America.

    A 2 hr orientation took 6 hours due to ridiculous needless miscommunication, inexperience, a nonexistent HR, constant technical failures (inadequate computing power aforementioned) & interruptions as there was no space separate from the 100+ degree break room to process new hires. The introductory training content & direction were disgustingly condescending at best.

    Scheduling & pay were after thoughts & addressed half heartily at the end of the day.

    My favorite ridiculous-ism was the non-confident assertion that "integrity" was, "...just about being nice to people and stuff..." - Manager

    The GM (Captain) was so socially awkward, he made the others look adequate, when they were just as bad.

    There was an overwhelming sense of false/faux equal treatment for equal work with the white men holding the highest positions & wielding the most control & power, while the female higher ups (all 2 to the men's 7 @ least) were constantly abrasive, unprofessional & defensive as if they had had enough of inaction to right the proverbial ship of obvious inequalities & were determined to react irrationally at or around anyone anytime no matter the reason, nor the company kept & that included in front of the glassy eyed patrons, whose questions went unanswered, irritatingly passed off, or were given completely false & concocted out-of-thin-air responses that presented TJs in the angelic light the kool-aid drinkers with their purple stained lips thought it deserved.

    An overall poor performance from the top down -- I came home bewildered & wondering if all the red flags had been shown or if it was just a really bad day at the park. Sadly, I should've walked away. While not tasting the kool-aid, a glass was poured and I kept it on ice. In my case I got out before I was forced to drink it.

    For a place that wants to be considered a family of friends, it fails on almost every level through forced, coerced, fake & out-of-date methods that actually give off the impression that it IS all just an act. No one cares. The company is cheap. The equality is fake. The trust is paper thin. There is no integrity above "...just being nice to people and stuff..."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the cons and fix them. Focus on diversifying by race/ethnicity & gender (@ the very least) both crew and mates/captain. Take notice of skill sets and place employees accordingly -- it's one thing to have a crew that can do everything & quite another to have a crew that enjoys & is good at doing everything -- most are drawn to particular roles and those roles should be witnessed early-on and exploited if so desired by all parties. That way people like their jobs with the exception of management who need to be willing to pick up the slack in every area. I think this goes to the schedule which is a hot mess to say the least. The answer to avoiding 9 hours of bathroom duty is not breaking up an adult employee's day w/2 hrs here, 2 there and so on. It's demeaning and doesn't allow one to get any sort of rhythm, nor satisfaction.
    Don't be cheap! Fix intolerable break room temperatures. I'm sure there's a way to put a wall unit in there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Crew Member in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very helpful, energetic and supportive staff to work with. Management (at least at my location) really cares about the crew and our physical as well as emotional well being. Both crew and managers have gone out of their way to make new members feel like a real part of the team. The training was pretty good and the managers did a good job of matching me with people who were particularly good at their jobs. Pretty good starting pay for a minimum wage job and the benefits are also very generous as well. Very easy to communicate to management and communication is welcome and encouraged for any issue. very comfortable and honest working environment.

    Cons

    The work can get very tiring, physically as well as mentally. Dealing with customers can really drain you emotionally at the end of the day as the diversity and variety of people that you interact with can really influence the experience you have. While thats obvious for any customer service position, however i feel that Trader Joes is particularly unique in that we are obligated to go out of our way to help customers; and because a lot of them know this you can be taken advantage of and more or less have to suck it up. The manual labor can be particularly taxing and you must make sure to adhere to proper techniques for lifting and other tasks in order to ensure no injury as it is all too easy to injure yourself. There are also politics in play with some of the management for earning raises and thats disappointing. Management also sometimes does a poor job of scheduling the amount of crew necessary to close the store in an adequate and timely manner which really burdens the crew that are helping. Moving up in the company isnt hard but it also isnt easy. You need to be extra dedicated to whatever section you work, which is good but it also consumes your personal life and that seems a bit extreme.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The politics on who gets a raise and who doesnt should end as this is one of the biggest areas for improvement regarding communication. Not being so stingy and borderline drill sergeant-esque with how many hours a crew member can work a week would really help alleviate the problem of having enough crew. I understand the store has to make money, but it can only make money if it has the right employees to fulfill the standards that management sets

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Crew Member Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member  in  Westfield, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Westfield, NJ (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great co-workers, flexible hours, better than average starting pay, free food, great products, wonderful benefits

    Cons

    Not much job security....people who have been there for years and who make a good hourly wage will get passed over by newer hires for promotions just because it causes the company less money

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of the old guard

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place but your body will hate you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part-time Crew Member  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Part-time Crew Member in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The atmosphere was great for the most part. Coworkers are cool but do tend to rotate. Some people stay on for years, some drop out after a few months. The work is hard but rewarding and you get to see just how much work goes into keeping a small supermarket stocked. The benefits are great considering it's non-union part time work. You get a discount (but it's pretty puny) and for a foodie who loves their products it was pretty great, especially since you burn so many calories during work that you get to eat like an absolute pig to make up for it. My location (in NYC) saw upwards of 6,000 customers a day from all walks of life. If you can make it in that store you can make it anywhere.

    Cons

    I worked part time but regularly clocked in at 39 hours a week. I asked for 20 a week when I was hired, and requested to have my hours reduced a bit but it never happened. The work is intensely physical and your body aches all over. Eventually my elbows hurt enough that I went to the doctor who said I had medial epicondylitis. I was put on "light duty" but as this was mostly register work (which is repetitive and is the actual cause of epicondylitis in many supermarket workers) this only exacerbated the problem.
    The following isn't about TJ's so much as the workers comp company they hire: The workers comp rep I had was a monster. Others who dealt with her had the same experiences. Word to the wise: if you deal with workers comp record EVERY call. They will lie and then accuse you of lying. She even changed her name half way through and used several different combinations of the two in our correspondence which was just confusing and unprofessional. Several times I received extra checks because the state comp board saw that they were cheating me and forced them to cough up the dough. Comp Drs covered were a joke, and repeated made paperwork mistakes that delayed my checks (which were less than $50 a week in NYC which is literally less than a panhandler can make in half a day). Several years later and my left arm still hurts. Probably will for the rest of my life. It's a sad legacy of a job I truly enjoyed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know you want to get all the hours you can out of the crew but when they are basically working full time hours that's kind of ridiculous. On the other hand there's benefits like a full time job would have to... meh.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    good part time job on the side

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member  in  Shrewsbury, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Shrewsbury, MA (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    the people and managers are happy

    Cons

    getting a little too corporate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    too many managers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Company, Great People

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    fun coworkers, great benefits

    Cons

    communication is sometimes thin

  8.  

    Awesome!

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

    I have been working at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    Great atmosphere phenomenal pay and benefits!

    Cons

    Hard physical work but no biggie if your OK with being on your feet

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what your doing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great experience for the inexperienced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member
    Current Employee - Crew Member

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They have a practice of hiring crew members for attitude instead of inherent skill. It's groceries, after all. Not rocket science. Crew members are trained in every aspect of the store; from basic stocking practices to more advanced ordering and receiving deliveries. Management always fosters crew development. If you want to move up, you have the opportunity to do so.

    Cons

    It's a physical job. You're expected to lift heavy cases of all sorts of stuff. Some managers give preferential treatment or micromanage to a fault. It's inevitable but upper management should keep an eye on these individuals. Low morale is a critical issue in such a customer-service heavy job.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    I like working there for the most part.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mate (Assistant Manager)  in  Westwood, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Mate (Assistant Manager) in Westwood, NJ (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great people, they pay a fair wage for the work being done and the health benefits are pretty good. The food is good and they are on the cutting edge of what people want.

    Cons

    Crazy hours, early mornings late nights and weekends. Very few holidays off, and the customers can be rude at times.

    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Find a new career

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

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The benifits is good. the starting pay is $13 an hr so dont cheap yourself.

    Cons

    Leadership is very Foney, they pretend to like you but they dont. All the managers secretly hate their job, so they will make your life hell if they dont like you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a new career if your not happy, support those who add value to trader joes not so much likes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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