Sur La Table Reviews in Los Angeles, CA

Updated 17 October 2014
Updated 17 October 2014
193 Reviews
2.6
193 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Diane Neal
2 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount 40% I have to put 20 words in this section as Pros so I'm writing this (in 39 reviews)

  • It's a friendly place with great products, nice stores and you do get an employee discount (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • This allows for the middle management team to look favorably in the eyes of the upper management (in 17 reviews)

  • but then hired outside managers with little to no expertise in the market (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Fun and dynamic working environment, helping customers with all of their culinary needs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA (US)

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Passionate about cooking and the products they sell, great training, emphasis on teamwork, compensation, good employee discount

    Cons

    focus on selling, holiday hours, lack of new product training

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sales Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you enjoy cooking, its great

    Cons

    Constant pushing to achieve sales goals that leads to pressured customers who are not too happy with the sales pressure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set customer satisfaction a true goal rather than sales at any cost.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Run Away. Be afraid; be very afraid.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Kitchen Assistant in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I had some wonderful coworkers. 40% discount on non-sale items. Did I mention the discount? Highly qualified part time chefs.

    Cons

    Because employees are part time, the supervisors think the underlings should be virtually on-call. Although no one on earth can afford to live off of what SLT pays, management doesn't seem to factor in that employees need their schedules to coordinate with other obligations (Job #2 and #3/School/Family). Sketchy attitude about breaks. Kitchen Assistants are paid the worst hourly wage possible under State law, whether or not they have extensive experience. Four Resident Chefs in two years. Unprofessional, disrespectful supervisors who have no experience with people; some have no experience with cooking or teaching cooking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While Jack Schwefel is the CEO, don't be fooled into thinking this is a Mom and Pop organization. SLT is owned by Investcorp, a multinational investment fund. Given the fact that the bad management stayed that way for the entire two years I worked there, I can only assume that Management likes the way the Sur La Table train wreck functions, so I won't waste any breath on advice to management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Needs to get their act together before becoming irrelevant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great customers, great employees, nice products

    Cons

    Hours cut across board every week. No directive for new products placement, no time allocated for given tasks, to keep store clean, with the inclusion of sell sell sell!! Unrealistic daily expectations. Infrastructure is 10yrs old. Company can't even market themselves properly constantly mixed up with WS. Name recognition very low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change before you guys are the same as the local supermarkets' kitchen aisle. Well trained employees help make the sales not the products. The customers always ask to be educated on even the most basic items. Visual team should be realistic (no PS) and organized. new products should be given placement. De-clutter your shelves & stack-outs (too much distraction), customers always walk past the products they came in for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Overall good company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Costa Mesa, CA (US)

    I worked at Sur La Table part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great discount on product once you are a full employee. 40% off of everything.

    Cons

    Folding towels and napkins. You get them all done and have to do them all over again the next day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a new computer system. With people being technologically advanced in today's market, the POS system is outdated and difficult to work with (takes too much time).

    Additionally, while I understood capturing customer data, it was pushed so hard that I became a robot so that I didn't forget to ask for something. Maybe find an easier way or loosen up on those standards. Concentrate on being "THE" source for kitchenware knowledge and expertise.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great work place!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Newport Beach, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Newport Beach, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers annd managers. Incredible discount!!!

    Cons

    Not many hours after the holidays and peak season.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great crew to work with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sur La Table as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    People and customers wonderful
    Great Discount

    Cons

    Sometimes tough to get hours
    Raises are small

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    likeable staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Santa Monica, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sur La Table part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Nice people, low key atmosphere

    Cons

    I'm doing part-time restocking and the palce is a bit of a mess except for in the store itself.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Do it for the discount if you must, but only until you can find somewhere else better.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sur La Table

    Pros

    Generous discount. 40% off full retail price, 1 electric per month.

    Relaxed dress code.

    Great clientele.

    Free coffee from the Jura and Nespresso machines.

    Now and then there are snacks to sample in the back if not on the floor.

    Cons

    • Benefits begin and end with the discount.

    • I have worked for Sur La Table since May 2011, as both a culinary assistant and a sales coworker, and have never received any kind of training, orientation, or even employee handbook.

    • When I transferred to the sales floor two months ago, the store manager informed me that pay starts at $10 hourly. I've been making $9.50 ever since.

    • Very little opportunity for advancement.

    • With a few exceptions, unhelpful if not combative management team.

    • Management largely incapable of thinking for themselves. Unless it's on a spreadsheet, it doesn't exist.

    • Require full-time availability, but most weeks only give 4-8 hours per coworker. I thought this was a store policy (a previous store manager was fired because the staff incurred too many meal break penalties) until reading the other reviews on this site.

    • Weekly schedules are made on Monday, based on sales and forecasts, and must be approved by district manager and not issued until Wednesday. Schedules are seemingly revised at will—last week I was told an hour before my shift that I had been called off because numbers had not been met.

    • Was told that I could not have my schedule e-mailed to me, as it constitutes working from home—even though other jobs in the past have done this. Have yet to find a state or federal law that supports this.

    • Most shifts last only 4 hours. My store is located in a premium shopping center in a busy part of town where street parking is difficult to find. Arriving to work requires on average an hour in drive and parking time, or spending $9 at the mall parking garage to work 4 hours at $9.50 per hour.

    • Never seen a major chain retailer so poorly organized. My store employs a full-time stockroom manager as well as a full-time merchandising manager, yet the stockroom always looks like a bomb went off. Inventory is stashed wherever there is room on the floor with no rhyme or reason. I can't begin to count the number of items that are not priced.

    As a result, countless man hours in productivity and sales are lost every day because we can't find the product within our four walls, or spend peak time horsing around between the company site and the archaic POS system looking for prices on items.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's really quite sad that Corporate chooses to operate based on their balance sheet and executive bonuses, because this could be such a great place to work and for the customer an even better place to shop.

    People are the most valuable resource of any organization, yet it seems that staff are not worth as much as the $3,000 coffee machines they push us to sell.

    It costs money to make money—invest in your staff and your stores, give them the resources needed for success. Quit trying to squeeze nickels out of pennies.

    Allocate an advertising budget to the culinary program. Realize the difference between stores and local markets—you can't compare Farmer's Market to Newport Beach because the demographics are night and day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fantastic Company and a great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I worked at Sur La Table

    Pros

    Great Discount, Love Cooking, great People

    Cons

    Sur La Table has a a very fast paced work environment. It's intense.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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