Here's How Much Whole Foods Workers Really Make

When it comes to grocery store chains, Whole Foods is arguably the priciest — and what one might describe as "fancy" in terms of a chain grocery store. The Amazon-owned grocery store is a must for those who wouldn't dare think about not buying organic, and thankfully, Whole Foods backs up those higher prices by paying their employees higher wages. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, as of 2018, the average wage of a cashier at a food and beverage store is $11.43. Land a job a Whole Foods, though, and you'll be making almost 4 more dollars an hour. In 2018, the company bumped up its minimum wage to $15 an hour (via Eater). That's more than what cashiers at both Aldi and Trader Joe's make, though TJ's crew members overall do average around $16 an hour.

What's especially interesting about Whole Foods is that the company has a transparency policy with its employees' paychecks. From new hires to top-level executives, the pay is out in the open (via CBS). Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says its the company's way of motivating workers to work harder. 

One employee on Reddit said that they used this to their advantage to get a raise several times and "loved it."

The Whole Foods wage increase did draw some criticism

A starting wage of $15 an hour is pretty good for a job that could be as simple as bagging groceries, but the pay hike actually disgruntled some veteran Whole Foods employees. When Whole Foods enacted the wage increase, some Whole Foods workers who had been promoted as many as five times were suddenly making just a buck more than new hires. 

Whole Foods employees also took issue with the chain reportedly cutting their hours not long after the new wage increase took effect. "My hours went from 30 to 20 a week," an Illinois employee told The Guardian. Another employee in California said, "Just about every person on our team has complained about their hours being cut."

For some Whole Foods employees, this sort of cutback in hours could mean having to look for a second job. 

Whole Foods has overall high marks with employees

For 20 years, Whole Foods made the list of Fortune's 100 best companies to work for (via Whole Foods). That seems to have changed, though, and you won't find them on the 2019 list. Whether or not this exclusion is due to Amazon's purchase is up for debate, but Whole Foods employees do give working for the company high marks on both Glassdoor and Indeed

Yes, some veteran Whole Foods employees may view the $15 minimum wage increase as a double-edged sword, but the grocery chain still pays more than Kroger, Aldi, and most other grocery stores. According to Indeed, if an employee works their way up to department manager, they could also expect to make an average of around $21.06 per hour.