Not only have Wegmans Food Markets, Publix Super Markets and Whole Foods Market made the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, coming in at No. 2, No. 21 and No. 58, respectively, but they’ve also been named Great Place to Work Legends. The grocers earned the distinction by being among only 12 companies that have appeared in the ranking for all 20 years of its existence.
Woodland, Calif.-based Nugget Markets –- another familiar Best Companies to Work For stalwart –- also claimed a place on the list for the 12th consecutive year, at No. 30. C-store chains QuikTrip, at No. 68, and Sheetz, at No. 87, were other food retailers scoring spots in the annual ranking, which is compiled by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune and based on employee ratings of workplace cultures, including the level of trust they feel toward leaders, the pride they take in their jobs, and the camaraderie they have with co-workers.
Danny Wegman, CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, repeated what his late father, Chairman Robert Wegman, said in 1998 when the company was named to the first 100 Best Companies to Work For list: “’Nothing could mean more to me than having our people say that Wegmans is a great place to work.’ That’s what my dad said then, and it’s true for our family today. It’s our belief that we are a great place to work because we help our customers, our communities, and we help one another.”
The family-owned grocery chain, which operates 92 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts, plans to celebrate the honor by serving cake – or mini apples for more health-conscious eaters – to customers and employees alike at every Wegmans store on Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m.
“We are humbled to be recognized by Fortune for two decades as a great place to work,” noted Todd Jones, CEO and president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, an employee-owned company with 1,143 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. “I am so proud of the passion of our associates and their commitment to our customers, our communities, our company and each other. They continue to make the difference each and every day.”
“Our associates make all the difference,” said Eric Stille, Nugget Markets' president and CEO. “At Nugget Markets, it’s not just a job. Our environment is like a family that has fun, and we all come together to create something very special.”
Associates from all Nugget's 16 stores participated in the anonymous surveys that helped determine its ranking. Fortune quoted feedback from associates in its write-up about Nugget Markets, now in its 90th year, including one who called it “the Disneyland of grocery stores,” and another, which said managers feel like "just another friend at work."
“It’s an honor to be named on Fortune’s Best Places to Work For list for 20 years,” said John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods. “We’re grateful for our team members, who are dedicated to our core values and who have helped our business grow over the past four decades.”
“Congratulations to the 2017 100 Best,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of San Francisco-based Great Place to Work. “These leading companies are at the vanguard of a new business frontier, where organizations know they have to develop the full human potential of all their employees. They are working to build Great Places to Work For All, which are better for business, better for people and better for the world.”
To find out the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune annually teams up with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. The ranking is based on the feedback of more than 232,000 employees at Great Place to Work–certified companies with more than 1,000 employees.