For the 20th year in a row, Wegmans has been named one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.
It ranked second on the list this year, landing just behind Google. That's up two spots from 2016, and up from the number 7 spot two years ago. The company was also designated one of 12 Great Place to Work Legends, having been named to the list every year since the list's inception.
"We are always proud to be among the other great companies on this list. The fact that the ranking is the result of employee surveys is a real point of pride," said Michele Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokeswoman. "When our people feel happy and respected, they make our customers feel that way too."
The Best Companies poll is not scientific. Companies that wish to be considered for the list must apply to the Great Place to Work Institute, a for-profit research and consulting firm with offices in New York City and San Francisco. Companies on the list are not ranked against all other companies in the field, just those that applied for the list. So companies ranked the "best" are the best among that limited pool of applicants. To be eligible for the list, a company must have at least 1,000 employees and have been in business for seven years. They must also be Great Place to Work certified, which costs a base rate of $995. More than 1,000 companies are certified, but fewer than that might have participated.
Data for the rankings is compiled through anonymous employee surveys as well as other information gleaned from companies. Findings are calculated by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work. Among other things, the employee survey asks about the company's culture, communication, and personal and professional support. More than 232,000 employees took the survey this year.
The Rochester-based grocer has 46,800 employees and made $8 billion last year, according to the ranking. It was bested only by Google, and beat out The Boston Consulting Group, Wisconsin-based financial services company Baird, and St. Louis-based financial and insurance company Edward Jones to round out the top 5. Publix Supermarkets landed at 21 and Whole Foods at 58.
The survey shows Wegmans employees ranked the company at 96 percent or higher for having great bosses, challenges, atmosphere, rewards, pride and communication. The average full-time customer service employee makes $36,542. The average department manager earns $65,272. Perks include 50 percent 401k match, $6,000 in college tuition reimbursement and 85 percent company-paid health care for part timers.
Fortune highlighted Wegmans' flexible schedules, opportunity for promotion, free cakes on birthdays and free hot chocolate in the winter for those who work outdoors.
To celebrate the ranking, Wegmans will serve free cake or mini apples in all of its stores at 11 a.m. Saturday.