Trader Joe’s Employee Reveals Insider Secrets on Reddit

updated Apr 30, 2019
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If you go to Trader Joe’s often enough you might start to notice that, for the most part, all the employees seem uncommonly cheerful and eager to help for people who work in customer service. It would be suspicious if wasn’t so pleasant. Although Trader Joe’s is typically busy and crowded, and people are shoving you aside to grab the last bag of cauliflower gnocchi, the employees imbue the whole store with a positive energy.

In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread, a New York City-based Trader Joe’s employee revealed why everyone who works at the beloved grocery store seems so happy. And no, they aren’t drinking a special Kool-Aid in the break room.

“I know that sounds sappy and fake, but I swear on my grandfather’s grave that I have met some of the most amazing, caring people at Trader Joe’s in my time there … my coworkers make it a beautiful place to work,” the Reddit user who goes by the name semblanceofafeeling writes.

Semblanceofafeeling revealed that a combination of good health care and above-average pay (employees in Manhattan make around $17 per hour) makes the working culture at Trader Joe’s particularly healthy. Managers are also subject to review from their employees, meaning even those in positions of power are held accountable.

The company also encourages workers to just be themselves. Managers don’t “force” employees to, for instance, work the register for eight hours if that task makes them uncomfortable. They’re also told to not “fake” a chipper attitude, so the personality that you get when you interact with a Trader Joe’s employee is probably their actual personality.

On top of that, the Redditor divulged a few other interesting tidbits: Apparently Trader Joe’s is especially conscious of food waste, so the stores order new products based on a system called “truck to shelf.” Basically, that means that whatever can fit in the truck from the warehouse ends up on the shelves, and sometimes that means there might be too little of your favorite item — but as far as the store is concerned that’s a win because there won’t be any waste (and prices can remain low).

Now onto the bad news: Semblanceofafeeling confirmed that the feta spread and black bean taquitos have been permanently discontinued and will not be returning to stores. On the plus side, you can always request that items you see in other stores be ordered for your local Trader Joe’s; semblanceofafeeling confirms that managers will usually honor those requests if enough customers ask for the same item.