Careers at Clover Food Lab
We’re hoping you’re here because you love food and you want to be part of something important.
We need your help if we’re going to change the world. This website is chock full of information to help you learn more about the special work we’re doing and the amazing people that make up Clover.
Where do you fit at Clover?
I love working with people of all types of backgrounds and personalities. At Clover you’ll find yourself working with Harvard grads and high school drop-outs, culinary grads and people who grew up in restaurants, super outgoing folks and very shy folks, and everything in between. We want you to be you and we want to find the place at Clover where you’re going to have the most fun and do the best work.
Most employees enter restaurants as a Provisional Employee. After about a month if everything is working great your manager will nominate you to become a full-fledged Team Member. If you like leading people we have a Team Leader role, and if you like working with customers there’s a Store Communications Lead role. If you dream of being at the helm of your own Clover someday, we may talk to you about Assistant Manager, Assistant General Manager, and General Manager roles. As you take on more responsibility your pay will increase.
Occasionally we hire folks with a ton of relevant experience directly into leadership roles.
We operate a central kitchen in East Cambridge that supports the restaurants and trucks and allows us to do everything from scratch, including making our own bread and BBQ sauce. Farms deliver directly to the kitchen, and the kitchen hosts a weekly Food Development Meeting that’s open to the public. Most folks join the kitchen team as Provisional Employees. After about a month if everything is working great your manager will nominate you to become a full-fledged Team Member. If you like leading people we have a Team Leader role, then Assistant Manager and Kitchen Manager.
We transport food between our central kitchen and our restaurants and trucks, and we provide support to the truck operations. Most folks join the logistics team as Provisional Employees. After about a month if everything is working great your manager will nominate you to become a full-fledged Team Member. If you like leading people we have a Team Leader role, then Assistant Manager and General Manager.
Most people at Clover work at the restaurants, trucks, or the central kitchen. In addition we have a small team of folks helping lead up various company-wide functions, such as Training, Communications, Payroll, Accounting, etc. Many of these roles are filled by people who have spent time in our restaurants (we are a restaurant company after all), but occasionally we’ll hire folks with lots of experience directly into one of these roles.
How do we pay?
I think pay in the restaurant industry is broken. We’re going to do our best to fix it. We’d like to bring our average rate of pay to $20 within the next 2 years. When we started this in November 2015 we were at $10.49 for hourly employees. By May 2016 we were at $12.34. Our customers are helping us make this happen.
You can read about some of our recent efforts around employee pay here:
What we look for in employees
We know really well what works at Clover and what doesn’t. And while some of these things are obvious and might apply to all restaurants, others are specific to Clover. Hopefully this list can help you figure out if you’d be a good fit:
– You love food.
– You’re curious and like to learn new things.
– You dream about food.
– Hard work feels great to you, especially when it has a purpose. You connect with those working alongside you.
– You talk to people about food.
– You’re kind to people around you and friendly.
– Learning new things about food excites you.
Examples of careers at Clover
Sara started at Clover during the first week that CloverHSQ was open. She had just come back from teaching English in Korea, and had landed in Boston with dreams of attending culinary school. Chris had her working 2 hours a week, making drinks. She was admittedly slow, and Chris didn’t have much confidence in her. Enzo saw something in her, and stole her away to work on the MIT truck. During crisp fall nights with Lucia, serving customers and closing down the truck each night, Sara began to view herself as a leader. She made homemade baked goods for her staff, and they called her Sare-Bear. Eventually she was tapped to open our truck at Longwood Medical, then to run the Clover truck at Government Center, and then to be the General Manager of CloverHSQ, at that time our busiest location. Sara now directs our entire Training Department.
One (pronounced Oh-neh) was a music teacher in Haiti before coming to Clover. You can meet him at Harvard Square where he leads our prep.
Nick was making sandwiches at a now-defunct cafe when Lucia overheard him raving about a sandwich he had just come up with. She thought, “he should be raving about Clover sandwiches.” That was 2 years ago. Nick has worked as a Store Communications Lead at CloverKND and is now training as an Assistant Manager.
Stephanie majored in Oral Storytelling. She works part-time at CloverFIN telling stories about our food.
Trevor was 18 when he started at Clover, during a sleepless time for most of us. We were 2 weeks away from opening CloverHFI (the first 24-hour restaurant in Cambridge) and we somehow had not staffed the restaurant. We decided to set up a pop-up hiring fair in the space, and get to know as many people as we could. Somehow we hired 40 people in less than one week. Three of those employees are still working with us today: Elie, Lindsey, and Trevor. Trevor moved from provisional employee, to team leader, and now works as an Assistant Manager at CloverHUB.
Vincenzo was making charcuterie at the Four Seasons when he ran into Rolando, his old professor from culinary school on the Red Line in 2009, his arms overflowing with produce. “What are you doing with all that?” Vincenzo asked. “I’m starting a food truck, you should help me.” That was 7 years ago. Vincenzo, who has had every job at Clover, now runs our kitchen as our Director of Food.
Ayr used to run labs at MIT, and later spent time at McKinsey & Company, advising major businesses like Coca Cola. He took all his vacation time at once, to work jobs toasting frozen bread and reheating frozen soup at Panera and Burger King before starting Clover.
Benefits at Clover
While most of our effort is focused on increasing direct pay, we look for other ways we can reward our employees for the amazing work they do. Our benefits plan is evolving, and currently includes:
- Health insurance for eligible employees
- Paid sick leave for eligible employees
- Paid time off for salaried employees
- Discounted meals at Clover restaurants
- Free cooking classes
- Hubway bicycle subscriptions for salaried employees
- Farm share subscriptions for General Managers
Like everything we do we’re happy to admit that our Employee Handbook is a work in progress. We posted the very first draft of this back in 2012, and since then we’ve been working to make it more and more complete.
Teacher's Training Guide
This is how we train at Clover. If you’re responsible for training this is your reference. But why keep it hidden? Feel free to take a look. Want to “cheat” the test, please do!