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Marks & Spencer Cafe Assistant Reviews

Updated 7 September 2018
30 reviews

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Cafe Assistant

2.8
StarStarStarStarStar
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Approve of CEO
Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Older members of staff like to look down on you if you're younger than them, rude as hell snobby customers" (in 41 reviews)

  • "I couldn't fault my experience with M&S" (in 78 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Cafe assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay. Ability to do extra hours. Good management. Appreciated for hard work.

    Cons

    Sometimes pressure to do extra hours. Poor system for temps. Worked there 6 months on an 8 hours contract then was told I’d have to increase this to 16 to stay. Studying at the time so was unable to do so, so was let go. Was called back a week later to be offered my usual shift. Poor upper management caused this. But was glad to be kept on.

    Advice to Management

    Less pressure on those with shorter contracts - there is often a reason why people might work fewer hours and it is beneficial to the company. We have more energy than those who are there 24/7.


  2. "Awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hard working friendly team at low level, good benefits, good pay, good bonuses..

    Cons

    Commercial management look down on lower members of staff, hours stripped from the business making jobs impossible to complete to M&S standard.. if you take a job in the cafe be prepared to be treated as though you are not even there.. progression available but only if your face fits, witnessed many people turned away from jobs because they ‘don’t have the M&S look’.. equipment old and broken never replaced or fixed.. continually run out of basic consumables such as hand sanitiser, napkins, crockery.. management spend most of their time in the back, leaving shop floor staff to front the busiest times of the day and basically fend for themselves.. do not provide aprons for kitchen staff working with very hot food... basically if you are offered a job in an M&S cafe it will be the most miserable, stressful job you ever take

    Advice to Management

    Accept the fact that without your lowly customer assistants you would not have a job in the first place, appreciate them.

  3. "Seriously? A company which has an HR Department dedicated to OVERPAYMENT!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Horsham, England
    Former Employee - Cafe Customer Assistant in Horsham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Apart from making good friends and having a very supportive section manager there were not many pros!
    20% Staff discount. (but I receive same discount in my new job

    Cons

    Where do I start?
    Treated like children by some of the middle management.
    Being overpaid by nearly £700 when I left and receiving rude and threatening letters from the OVERPAYMENT department making it feel as if it was my fault that I was overpaid.
    Not being paid the extra perhour for being a First Aider. Unsure as to whether my certificate is still valid and unable to practice my skills if required. Despite asking for this information I have not received it and my new employers are asking for it. Which is embarrassing!!!!
    Some of the customers are as rude as hell!! It is as if we are stupid because we work in a cafe and are treated as such. They look down on us. Complaining about the length of time hot food took to prepare at peak times. On the whole the customers are lovely.
    There was little opportunity for progression or extra hours and it seemed that unless you were loud and pushy you were kept in the background.... I was told by
    a former co-ordinator that being loud and pushy was being 'assertive'. Hmmmph?!!!
    I was forced to leave as I was unable to get extra hours and I was sadly getting into debt. I am even more insulted as I am being chased for being overpaid and do not have the ready cash to pay it back in one go. I am unable to make an appointment with the bank to arrange a loan to do so as I have weekends off now and my bank is closed!!! How can I possibly be overpaid when employees swipe in and out of their shifts electronically?

    Advice to Management

    For the record Managers, you lost a potentially good team member. In the three months since I have been in my new job. (I have passed my probationary period and had a long meeting with the MD of the company with regard to taking the business further) we have had a mystery customer and we scored 100%. The previous one was 67%. I was the one who dealt with the customer but the entire team contributed to the score. She commented that it was clearly a good place to work and that we all seemed happy in our jobs and environment!
    I was slightly sad to leave as I made some good life long friends and I have faith that the new Store Manager, who is young, may breath some new life into the store. On the whole though I did not see any future for progression with the company and felt my skills were wasted and not respected.


  4. "THEY CARE MORE ABOUT MONEY THAN THEIR STAFF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant in Horsham, England
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant in Horsham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    20% staff discount (but not on electronics)
    Made great friends
    Learnt to never take this type of job again

    Cons

    Managers only want to do as little as possible. I work in the Cafe where we don't always have our manager around, if i call another one to help with an angry customer or to sign paperwork I'm told to do it myself because their busy.
    A complete disregard for the employees feelings or opinions - was threatened with getting fired because I was wearing all black converse and not 'smart shoes', when i tried to explain it's because I'm running around for 8 hours a day and need comfortable footwear I was told "i don't care, buy different shoes".
    I have been working here for over two years from when I was 16 to now being 18, and yet despite being one of the most trained members of staff I am CONSTANTLY being put under the jurisdiction of older staff having only been here for 6 months.
    After finishing my A-Levels I asked my manager to give my extra hours during the week so I can afford the deposit on a room in a house, after being denied any for 2 MONTHS because of 'changes in how much staff they can have' - they then hire 4 NEW PEOPLE FOR WEEK WORK.

    Advice to Management

    Check that your staff are happy with their working environments!!!!! If you want us to wear specific shoes then make it part of the paid-for uniform!!!!! Train your new staff in the week when it isn't busy, not the weekend!!!!!


  5. "Cafe Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Former Employee - Cafe Assistant in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Higher than average wage
    Staff discount
    Canteen
    Organised

    Cons

    Massive food wastage
    Most of the managers were nice but some tended to patronise staff
    Overly strict attitude toward staff

    Advice to Management

    Trust that the staff, don't patronise them and create a happy working environment.


  6. "Great job, bad management"

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

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

    Pros

    - good hourly wage and goes up after few months from £8 to £8.50
    - nice cafe staff to work with
    - 20% discount for you and one family member

    Cons

    - breaks aren’t long, need to work over 4 hours for 15 minutes and over 6 for half an hour
    - management team wasn’t that great, especially in some specific departments
    - hours change weekly, some not given what they were contracted

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees needs more and actually give support to them who are in need of it


  7. "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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It pays decently, has benefits, and is flexible enough for you to choose whether to work part time (20-30 hours) or full time.

    Cons

    There is no sense of respect between management and staff, and you should not expect to be noticed for any progress you make. If anything is stolen, they will not be bothered to use what resources they have to locate it, even in the case of highly valued items.

    Advice to Management

    A very contagious habit in management is the authoritarian attitude that often leaves their staff feeling undervalued and patronized. Management would do well to better understand and be conscientious of what practices are and aren't practical during busy periods, and to treat and speak to their staff like equal human beings.

  8. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe and Sales Floor Assistant in Bedford, England
    Former Employee - Cafe and Sales Floor Assistant in Bedford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great pay for temp and permanent staff. 20% off discount & good uniform. You get a contract so you know they won’t cut you short. You also have a chance to make some extra hours if you need to as long as you let the managers know

    Cons

    Not enough notice before your contract ends and you get told it hasn’t been extended. Got underpaid for my extra hours a few times so keep track of that

    Advice to Management

    Give your stuff at least 1 week notice if you’re not going to extend their contract


  9. Helpful (3)

    "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


  10. "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