From Free Food to Marked Down Goods: 22 of the Best Employee Discounts

A Whole Foods cashier gives a receipt to a customer.
Nadine Vixama, right, works as a cashier at a Whole Foods in Cambridge, Mass. Steven Senne/AP Photo

Job seekers shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding employment in 2023. The U.S. had 10.3 million job openings, as of the end of October 2022, according to the most recent report. With so many companies looking to hire, the difference for many potential employees could be job benefits.

In the retail, restaurant and grocery store industries, one of the best benefits is an employee discount program. Free meals or discounts at a clothing store can be a huge help for someone working within a tight budget, trying to save money and gain some financial momentum.

So, with that in mind, what are some of the great employee discounts out there? We did the legwork so you don’t have to.

22 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts

From clothes to groceries to goods, here are some of the best employee discounts offered in the retail, restaurant and grocery store industries.

1. Bass Pro Shops

Working at Bass Pro Shops comes with a host of benefits beyond employee discounts, like paid vacation and up to $1,000 in a health savings account. As for discounts, you can score up to 45% off on merchandise plus you’ll save at restaurants, resorts and conservation attractions owned by the brand

2. Cabela’s

The outdoor and recreational merchandise company also offers a substantial discount to its employees. They receive a 45% employee discount on all Cabela’s branded merchandise and a 15% discount on all other brands.

3. Chili’s

Chili’s offers free meals to its workers during shifts and discounted meals during off hours. You’ll get access to discounts on clothes, movie tickets, cell phones and child care too.

4. Chipotle

Workers at Chipotle score one free meal for every shift they work, plus they get 50% off all menu items at their home restaurant during non-shift hours.

Pro Tip

Chipotle is one of many major companies that pay college tuition for employees.

5. Costco

Workers at Costco don’t receive an employee discount, but they do get a free annual membership — starting at $60 per year. They also get to pick three other friends or family members for a free membership.

A man walks past a Gap store where you can see his reflection in the glass.
A pedestrian walks past a Gap store in Miami. Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

6. Gap

Gap employees have choices when it comes to their employee discount program. They receive 50% off all regular priced merchandise at Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy. They also receive a 10% discount on items for spouses and domestic partners.

7. H&M

Among their many benefits, H&M employees receive 25% off on all H&M brands.

8. Hallmark

Long before their Christmas movies, Hallmark operated hundreds of retail stores — and they still do, with more than 1,400 locations in the U.S. Hallmark employees can take advantage of a 50% discount on all Hallmark products and 20% off non-Hallmark items.

9. In-N-Out Burger

Besides making delicious burgers, In-N-Out employees receive a free meal during every shift, as well as 15% off in the company store.

10. Macy’s

Macy’s colleagues receive 20% off clothing, furniture, accessories and cosmetics. They also receive 10% off electronics.

11. McDonald’s

After working for the golden arches for one month, you’ll receive a McDonald’s employee discount card. From there, you’ll receive 30% off at all McDonald’s. In addition, some locations may offer higher discount rates or even free food during your shift.

12. Olive Garden

Employees at Olive Garden, which is owned by Darden — the company that also runs Longhorn, Cheddar’s and several other national chains — get free soup, salad or Create Your Own pasta on shift, while also receiving 50% off additional items during their shift, according to a spokesperson. Off hours, hourly employees receive a 25% discount, for up to eight guests, on food and nonalcoholic drinks at all of Darden’s restaurant brands.

13. REI

The outdoor recreational retail company offers some of the best discounts in the industry. REI workers get 50% off all REI products, 30% off vendor merchandise and 10% off sales items. Employees can also get up to 30% off trips offered through REI Adventures.

14. Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club employees receive a complimentary annual Sam’s Club membership, plus a 10% discount on fresh fruits and vegetables.

A woman makes coffee at a mock Starbucks store.
Photo courtesy of Josh Trujillo/Starbucks

15. Starbucks

Starbucks’ employees receive 30% off all merchandise, food and beverage and a free pound of coffee or box of tea each week.

16. Target

Target employees receive a 10% discount on merchandise and a 20% discount on wellness products. The discount applies in-store and online.

17. The Cheesecake Factory

Employees of The Cheesecake Factory, a chain famous for its novel-sized menu, receive a 25% to 35% discount on dining. That also includes friends and family!

18. Trader Joe’s

The popular grocery store chain Trader Joe’s offers a 20% employee discount on all products in Trader Joe’s stores.

19. Urban Outfitters Inc.

Urban Outfitters offers a 40% discount on regularly priced shoes, apparel and accessories to employees both in-store and online. They also offer 25% off regularly priced home/apartment merchandise. The same employee discounts apply at other Urban Outfitters Inc. brands, which include Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN and Terrain.

20. Walmart

After 90 days of employment, Walmart associates receive a Walmart associate discount card — which gives them a 10% discount on regular priced general merchandise and fresh produce in-store, plus select items at Walmart.com.

21. Whole Foods

This high-end grocery chain offers one of the best employee discount programs in the grocery industry. Whole Foods team members receive 20% off in-store products. And after six months of work, they have the opportunity to increase the discount to 30%.

22. Williams Sonoma

The Williams Sonoma associate discount gives employees 40% off all in-store and online purchases — with the exception of electronics and fine art, which comes with a 20% discount.

Robert Bruce is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.