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Managing our stores

Patti Breckenridge

Patti Breckenridge

I received a call recently from a man with a Ph.D. in finance.  He was interested in becoming a District Manager for Publix.

Each of our District Managers oversees operations for about 10 Publix stores.  To rise to that position, you need exemplary experience as a Store Manager.  And you can’t become a Store Manager at Publix without previous experience in many areas of the store, including experience in several management positions.  Each store is a multimillion dollar business that is more complicated to operate than some people outside of the supermarket industry understand.

I asked the caller what kind of retail experience he had.  He said he had none but that he had a Ph.D. in finance.

I complimented him on his educational credentials and then began to explain the preparation involved in becoming a District Manager at Publix.

“That’s ridiculous,’’ he responded.  “You don’t have to have retail experience to figure out how to lead a group of Store Managers.”

I politely explained that you do at Publix.  No amount of book-learning can teach you the processes we use to achieve excellence in everything we do.  District Managers have to know why we cut meat the way we do, what our food safety standards are, and how that affects our pest control practices.   Even more important, District Managers have to understand how we hire, schedule, coach, reward and discipline our associates, and what it means to be an associate-owned company.  There are a million details to learn before someone can carry on the great tradition of this company by assuming leadership positions.

The most important details are those that guide how we serve our customers.  If premiere customer service was so easy to duplicate, we wouldn’t have remained on top of the industry for so long.  (We’ve scored higher than any other supermarket for customer satisfaction in a national survey conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index every year since the survey began in 1995.)

“Your company obviously misses out on a lot of good people like me,” the caller said.

I then asked him what industry he was from.  “The financial industry.”  And where have you worked?  “On Wall Street.”

I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t ask the obvious question: If the financial experts on Wall Street were running Publix, where would we be now?

35 Responses

  1. richi93 March 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    My name is Michel Richeld im a senior of north miami beach senior high school im inteersted to work with you guys i”ll let my phon number so you could give me a call 305 290 03 20 thank you

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 8, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Michel: How can I help you?

  2. stevedz313 April 4, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Well said! As a newly promoted Assistant Deli Manager, i hope to be a district manager one day. 🙂

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 8, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Congratulations on your promotion! I’m sure if you keep working hard and serving our customers well, you will earn future promotions!

  3. zlehoux1 April 19, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Patti, thanks for all the info.
    I work at 1348 in Pasadena and I actually had a great idea that I wanted to share with someone. Is there a way for me to submit my idea and have it reviewed?


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 19, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Please send by email to me and I will share with the appropriate leader.

  4. olvindamian May 23, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Hi! My name is Olvin Feliciano. I have two child and I need work. Please, let me know how applied to work with Publix. My actual residence is in Orlando, FL 32822 and I come from Puerto Rico. My experiences are in Supermarket, Landscaping & Warehouse. Please, help me.


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge May 23, 2013 at 9:51 am #


      If you want to work in one of our stores, please go to the one nearest you and apply at the Job Application Center kiosk. Then speak with a manager there and at any other Publix store where you want to work. Tell them briefly why you make a good Publix associate. If you want to work in one of our warehouses, go to and look for openings there. I hope this helps!


  5. 01085727 September 30, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Hi Patti!!
    I hope that you’ve had an excellent and relaxing weekend! My name is Antwon and I recently finished orientation at store #1291 in Byron, Georgia and our leader was the absolute best and i’d like to commend her. More specifically I’d like to learn how to work my way up to management and eventually become a manager who travels around to open new stores. I have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to it.
    Also, I will be earning my credentials as a certified executive chef next summer through the American Culinary Corporation, how will this help me advance and make more money as I progress? thank you for your time! My home store is #1263 and I work as a seafood associate. Thank you again!

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge October 7, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Welcome to Publix, Antwon. We’re glad to have you in the family. I apologize for my delayed response to your question. We’ve had some problems with our blog site. The best way to learn how to move into management is to work with your assistant department manager and department manager. They can teach you the ropes on how to advance at Publix. After you’ve completed your 90-day evaluation, take stock of what you’ve been told. Down the line, you can talk with your Store Manager as well, but you want to first learn from your department managers. Please let them know when you earn your executive chef certification. That would help you if you would be interested in one of our Sous Chef positions around the company. Down the road, you might also consider working at corporate in our Aprons Meals program. I hope this helps!


  6. irvinmorales October 31, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I am proud of being part of the Publix family. It is because of Publix’s secret sauce that we are successful. I enjoyed reading your post.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge November 1, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Thank you so much! And thank you for taking care of our wonderful customers!


  7. debbie123 November 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Hello Patti,
    Could you please tell me how to find out who the District Manager is of the Publix located in downtown St. Petersburg? The physical address of that property is 250 3rd Street South. Thanks

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge November 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Debbie:

      We work with recruiting issues here. For that kind of information, you can either call our Customer Care team at 800-242-1227 Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm (Eastern time) or Saturday 9am – 4pm (Eastern time).
      You can also complete a request form at this website:


  8. hidden_garnet March 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I am the job coach for a young man who works in a store in Broward. He will soon be moving to Brevard County (near Melbourne, FL) and I know he wants to keep working for Publix, because as he says, “They are the best employer ever.”
    Can a Publix employee transfer to another store if both managers agree to the transfer or must he quit and re-apply?
    If he can transfer, are there any special instructions I can help him carry out?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge March 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Donna!

      Publix associates can transfer to other stores as long as both managers agree.
      Thank you for caring.


  9. polito21 March 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Hi Patti,
    I have been an employee for Publix for four years. I work in the Bakery. I am a 31 year old single dad and work very hard to provide the best I can for my son and I. The only problem is time and time again I have been promised full-time and I have yet to receive it. I have opened up my availability and have never gotten written up. I am willing to do whatever it may be to be full time and eventually become a manager. Please, please help me. I am begging you. I don’t know what to do anymore. Thank you for your time.

    Hipolito Rosario

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge March 31, 2014 at 5:31 pm #


      I totally understand what you are saying. You have to take care of yourself and your family.
      I assume you have spoken with the managers in your store.
      If they have promised to make you full-time, what do they say when they do not follow-through?
      Is there something they say you can do to increase your chances?


      • polito21 April 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

        They have told me year after year that they will give me the full time. Every time they bring in someone else. They have even brought someone from outside, and let me not forget to mention I had to train him. He came in from kmart and they gave him full time to start. My store manager says it’s out of his hands. He says it’s our district manager making the decisions. I do not know what to do anymore Patti. I am a hard worker, I am never late and always go above and beyond. Please help me and guide me in what I should do. Thank you.

        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge April 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

          Can you ask your manager if you could speak with the District Manager?


          • polito21 April 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

            I have spoken with him and he says to me next time we have a position open. Then they go behind my back and hire someone else for full time. It’s ridiculous. The guy that came from Kmart a year ago already took his assistant manager test and is now becoming our assistant manager in the bakery I’m at. They brought back a girl that quit and as of yesterday I heard that they are giving her the full time position. Is there anyone else that I can go to beside the district manager? Because it seems like it’s all wrong.

          • Patti Breckenridge
            Patti Breckenridge April 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

            You can speak with the Associate Relations Specialist in your area. His or her name and contact information should be posted in your break room.


    • Tyler Lopez June 30, 2016 at 2:28 am #

      im having a really bad experience working at Publix and it’s mainly because my store has really bad management 🙁 to much to say in words

      • Maura Satchell June 30, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

        Tyler, I’m sorry to hear that. Have you reached out to your Associate Relations contact? The individual’s name and telephone number should be posted in your breakroom bulletin board. If you can’t find it, email me at with your store number and I can provide that contact information for you.

  10. polito21 April 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      You are most welcome.

  11. patrick43 June 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    I am looking for a management type position in Nashville TN. My email is

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge June 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      We fill management positions through promoting from within. We would welcome your application for an hourly position. Just go to any Publix and apply and all stores in the area will be able to see your application. Have a great weekend!


  12. joe89 July 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    I just got promoted to full time baker, I love my job and work my hardest every day. I can’t wait to try for management in six months.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge July 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Congratulations!! Keep up the good work!


  13. kello81 February 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm #


    Thank you for this informative article.

    I am a teacher who is looking to get into corporate training. I am interested in working at Publix because the associates at my local Publix are kind and hard working and because Publix has a reputation for treating their employees respectfully.

    I understand, and like, that Publix hires from within. Would working part time as a cashier enable me to garner enough recognition to be promoted to a department manager and eventually to other managerial positions?

    Any suggestions you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in working at Publix! You have to work in a store to be considered for a store management position. However, you must be in a full-time position to be eligible. But most everyone we hire has to start in a part-time position. So it can take awhile before you are eligible for a management position. If you are interested in a corporate training position, you might watch for HR openings at


  14. truck55 July 29, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi I applied for a position last April. Had phone interview in June and live interview in jacksonville in July. The next week I got a call and they said they had to repost because of diversity. They said I didn’t have to reapply as I am still strong candidate.

    Can you please tell me how that works?



    • Marcy
      Marcy July 29, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

      Hi Dan! Can you tell me if you applied and were interviewed for a job in a store, distribution center, or in our corporate office? Thank you! ~Marcy


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