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Marks & Spencer Cafe Assistant Reviews

Updated 3 November 2017
22 reviews

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Cafe Assistant

3.5
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Approve of CEO
Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I'm training at a M&S location right now where we all are doing the same work but I am being paid (in 72 reviews)

  • work life balance challenging at times (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great pay but bad management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Edinburgh, Scotland

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time

    Pros

    Great pay, lots of hours offered, nice team to work in

    Cons

    Bad communication between management, pressure to work more hours


  2. "Too few staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people i work with are lovely. The company tries to look after you offering; celebration day once a year, and they try to be flexible with things outside work. They also put on many events for staff parties or engagement evenings. They do try to engage us with various surveys on managers etc...and they also try to involve us in the store and how its doing...

    Cons

    Recent cuts in staff and changes in processes in cafe has made the job more difficult. We are constantly having to run around trying to do many jobs at once. The cafe is now looking grubby, food quality is dropping and customers are frequantly complaining and you cannot do anything to put it right, we are working as hard as we can... on one occasion i was physically running around cafe delivering food to get it out on time. A customer asked me to wipe a table as every table was dirty, i had left food cooking in the kitchen and i had to apologise because i couldnt do it .. i have always prided myself on putting the customer first but in that situation you havent the tools to do that. All we are doing is rushing around trying to survive a shift.
    Before staff cuts it was a nice job... they have however taken on staff for christmas but still on weekends the cafe relies on staff from other departments to support it.. but they are limited in what they can do as they dont have training in cafe.
    Another point is that m&s customers are challenging... they expect a lot which is understandable considering what they pay in store, but with the issues above it means we the staff receive so much negativity from customers and sometimes it can get to you. Ive known people go and hide in the toilet because its got too much...

    Advice to Management

    Increase staff again, especially at the weekend... managers should be able to see that the levels are not working or dont have a cafe. It damages the brand to have customers disappointed. M&s is not a budget brand therefore they should not run cafe on a shoestring


  3. "Ideal place to work whilst studying."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant (Cafe) in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant (Cafe) in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent £8.50 wage.
    Flexible hours to work around uni timetable.

    Cons

    Customers... but thats the same in any customer service job


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Nice company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great discount
    - Good team and community spirit

    Cons

    - Not much room for growth within the company


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Review of cafe job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good pay
    Flexible hours if that's what you're looking for

    Cons

    Long hours
    30 minute break despite 8 hour shift
    Poor management
    No chance to make friends with colleagues
    Constantly bossed around
    Often understaffed

    Advice to Management

    Create a more friendly environment amongs the employees
    Don't put so much pressure on someone just because the manager is not in store that day


  7. "Solid training provided. Management extremley supportive, always involved with staff. Great teamwork."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Cafe Customer Assistant in Merry Hill, England
    Current Contractor - Cafe Customer Assistant in Merry Hill, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Professional company, enjoy going to work every day.Found them to be very flexible and accomodating.

    Cons

    Would have liked more hours and a longer contract but this is not a fault of management, as the post was clearly statedvas part time Xmas work.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to mentor your staff as you do. Its extremley motivating to find a hands on management team


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great employer to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant in Washington, North East England, England
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant in Washington, North East England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free fruit, bread, butter, jam and drinks in the canteen

    20% staff discount

    Occasional Friends & Family vouchers

    Cons

    Constant changing of the rota's

    No overtime


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Fine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant in Edinburgh, Scotland

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment and discount card, 20% off all M&S products and the chance to win awards. Good induction and training

    Cons

    Not much, they can be a bit disorganised with the rota and letting you know what happens. Managers don't communicate amongst each other much

    Advice to Management

    More communication


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Not the best place for diversity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Cafe Assistant
    Former Contractor - Cafe Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -20% discount - often had vouchers too
    -Online system (Job portal), was easy to use
    -Getting to meet the nice regulars
    -Sometimes free cake
    -Overtime
    -Uniform is nice quality

    Cons

    -Some colleagues have attitude problems
    -Poor management. Was often left to work in a cafe with just 2 other people even though there is supposed to be at least 10. Therefore we couldn't do all tasks, but were penalised for it. If we were serving customers, we couldn't clean the tables, if we cleaned the tables we couldn't serve customers properly. And often found ourselves finishing at least 30 mins late.
    -Store Manager was always eating in the Cafe, don't remember seeing him doing any work.
    -Some customers are very snobby and rude and talk to everyone like crap
    -Very changeable work pattern, would be ok if you can cope with change and live nearer. I lived an hour away which meant I couldn't plan much in the week.
    -Short breaks, by the time I got to the staff room, they were over.

    Advice to Management

    If there is loads of Overtime available why not have more people on duty instead of just having 3 people to do a 10 people job?


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Insultingly low starting wage"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Guildford, England
    Current Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Guildford, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Set two week shift patterns so you always know the hours you are to work. Colleagues are nice to work with

    Cons

    Despite having 9 years hospitality experience, I needed to be put on the base £7.20 p/hr because I've not been M&S cafe qualified previously.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate. On the first day of my induction I was taken to the cafe for an hour to observe how it is run. When I arrived the section coordinator who was MoD at the time had no idea anyone had even been hired. On the second day of my induction the women in charge of the induction failed to show up because she'd worked very late the night before.. No cover was arranged and until we went and found someone to ask what was going on., they had no idea there was a planned induction. We were then just taken to our respective areas in the store and put to work. It's two weeks later and they now want to complete the second day of induction despite working on the floor already. M&S is the definition of bureaucracy and the typical disconnect between how a store actually functions and how head office thinks it functions. COMMUNICATE.