Compared to Whole Foods, which has 435 locations, Wegmans is small, with only 92 locations. But the dedication of Wegmans' customers runs deeper than any other grocery store chain in the country -- the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Wegmans as America's No. 1 "favorite grocery retailer" last year. In 2015 alone, more than 4,000 people reached out to Wegmans requesting a new store be built in their neighborhood.
The employees, too, are just as loyal to Wegmans as the customers, as the company provides benefits that go far beyond just flexible schedules -- including a scholarship program that has awarded over $105 million to 33,000 individuals. "Wegmans really cherishes people who work here," says Kathryn Williams, who works at a Wegmans in Woodbridge, New Jersey in the service department. Williams started as a customer service representative in the produce department, and has since been with Wegmans for 12 years. "My managers are always asking me, 'What do you want to do next? What do you want to do with your career?' and then helping me to get ready for that next step," she says.
In addition to the scholarship program, Wegmans holds an employee summer carnival, complete with live music and team games, hosts yoga classes, and has "store wellness champions" in each location to help employees lead healthier lifestyles. "They are striving to push forward as a company, but they also want their employees to come with them and be a part of that success," she says.
The retailer has long been on all the lists of best companies to work for, with a level of customer service that many described as "telepathic." "They are literally the best employees ever," LeBel says. "I live in Montreal, and last week I was getting groceries and the clerk never once looked at me. That would never happen at Wegmans, because the staff is always so welcoming."