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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ever Work for Darden Restaurants? (I'm Sorry if the Answer is Yes.)

This is a public service announcement brought to you by The Bitchy Waiter

I was recently contacted by a writer for the Orlando Sentinel named Sandra Pedicini. She asked that I help her find fellow restaurant folks who have dealt with Darden Restaurants. I have never worked for them so I have never had the pleasure of working at a Red Lobster or Olive Garden. Unfortunately, I have eaten there. Here is her email to me:

 I cover Darden Restaurants for the Orlando Sentinel. I've seen your website and would like to ask for your help. I'm trying to find people who have worked for or interviewed for jobs at new Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses - ones that have opened in the past six months. I'm also looking for anyone who works at these chains that has been labeled something called an M28. I'd like to ask them a couple questions about benefits and hours. Would you mind posting something about that on your blog and on Facebook?

Sandra Pedicini
spedicini@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5240

There you have it. I know that some shit has been going down with Darden lately and maybe this is a great opportunity for your voice to be heard. Please contact Ms. Pedicini if any of that M28 stuff means something to you. (Apparently it is not the Manhattan bus that goes down 28th Street.)

And this concludes the public service announcement from The Bitchy Waiter.

Please share this so as many people can knw about this as possible. Thank you.


74 comments:

Bryan Austermann said...

Wait... what is M28? I'm confused. I worked for Darden (Olive Garden in CT) for a year and had no troubles with them!

Anonymous said...

Yes, could your find out what this M28 is? I do work for this corporation and have for ten years. I can verify that at one time the company believed and acted in the manner of 'we are only as good as our employees are happy', over time and the financial 'hard times'(in which darden did not suffer)there were actual emails to managers that stated this was a time for us to get ahead, since the job market sucked, that we could offer less benefits, lower pay and get away with it. It was at one time a shining star in the restuarant bussiness, now it is even more dirty than any other. They have been using legal loopholes and using the language of laws to get around the meaning of such laws piut in place to protect the 'little' guy. This is an anonymous post due to the fact I can fired for even talking about this. Corporate actually pays people to find employees bad mouthing the company on-line and then terminating them.

kelsea jackson said...

I worked for Darden for about nine months in a restaurant that opened last December. I wonder if that counts me because I certainly have a lot to say.

Nikki said...

Hi! Thank you so much for posting this about Darden. I've been talking to workers at Capital Grilles and Red Lobsters for almost 2 years now to uncover what really happens in terms of work environment, benefits, pay scale and promotions, health and safety, and wage theft. And let me tell you - according to every single person I've talked to, their health insurance program is a total scam. Additionally, many of the workers we've spoke with report racial and gender discrimination in hiring and promotions practices, especially at their top tier restaurant, the Capital Grille. Plus, we've got reports of wage theft - from people not being paid their overtime properly, to illegal tip out practices. Lastly, this company still pays tipped employees at $2.13/hour and pays back of the house workers minimum wage. While paying people such a low wage isn't illegal, it really makes no sense when the CEO makes a salary of 8.6 million dollars, with a 29 million dollar severance package. His name is Clarence Otis, Jr and you can find his information as well as the Board of Director's on their corporate website. And finally, the Darden Corporation just got a "D" grade from the Coprorate Library for their poor governance practices, tax liability, and other things. To make this company do what's right by their workers and build long term sustainability, workers from across the country in New York, Miami, DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago have been organizing their Capital Grille workplaces. Otherwise, the Darden supercapitalists will continue to cut and squeeze the life out of their workers all in the name of the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

The location I work at isn't new, and I don't know what an M28 is, but I have to say this place is unlike any restaurant I have ever worked for. They are very strict, and turnover is rapid. Maybe this is why they are distrustful of their employees. When I was hired, I was told never to bring anything inside the building except my coat. If the boss asks me to empty my pockets, and I refuse, I will be fired. We actually went over this in training. If I have to go to the bathroom during a shift, I can't bring my apron with me. I'm obviously not going to leave my money pouch in my apron, so I have to carry it in the bathroom with me and either balance it on the toilet paper holder or tuck it under my armpit, both less sanitary than just leaving it in my apron, and hanging my apron on the coathook in the bathroom, like I used to at every other restaurant I have ever worked in. (Also makes it obvious if it is my time of the month; my pockets aren't big enough for a tampon, and since I can't have a purse or apron in the bathroom, I have to carry it through the dining room with me, so embarrassing.) I feel like a prisoner sometimes.
I have no desire to work here full time, but I know that overtime is forbidden. If you are scheduled for a double, they will cut you (end your shift) after lunch and have you come back for the dinner shift in a couple of hours. It's basically working 2 separate shifts in one day; I would rather take a lunch break and then keep taking tables all afternoon, than break up my day like that.
We only get 3 table stations there, and sometimes we get stuck sharing the 3rd table (if it is the 8 top), which is irritating. I have never worked harder for less money. I have had a few good nights, but mostly I make $30-$40 per shift. Partly due to the 3 tables, partly due to the short shifts (sometimes I go it at 5pm, done at 8:30). It's pretty awful. Everything is free refills- $9.99 will get you all you can eat soup or salad, pasta and breadsticks, and customers will eat ALL they can eat. It's hard to run up a tab there.

Paula said...

i worked for this sorry ass corp in Lake City, Fl for a few years on and off. Mostly off because it was such a terrible place to work. The GM and managers care only about their bonus and how they are going to get them. We were all treated like we didnt know what the hell was going on. I had a walk out ( a family with 2 kids) and was written up like it was my fault. The insurance plan is ridiculous, they have a $10,000 policy, that is the policy limit, they take the premium out of your pay check. I wish i could remember how much it was per check, you can find in it their employee propoganda. Its not worth it. I cant even begin to tell you all the tales of this stupid corporation. We were also told at times not to punch in until the GM told us to. I never listened and punched in anyway. The so called "guests" that patronize this hellhole also know that is they complain about ANYTHING they will get their dinners for free. This is commonplace in most chain restaurants. I always wanted to drive around the USA hitting all the chains to see how much i could get for free then write a book titled "How to eat for free on dumb ass corporate chain restaurants" I hate Darden Restaurants, especially The Lobster and never ever patronize them.

Rogue Wino said...

Undercover waitress had a post about this too- she looked up M28 and found out that servers with this classification can't work more than 30 hours a week. So part timers, basically.
I read somewhere else, and I can't remember where, sorry, a comment from a darden worker about part timers being treated much more poorly then full time employees. Anyways, not much info, but maybe this helps.

Lissa said...

I worked for Olive Gsrden for 10 years here in Ca..I have never heard of that M28 phrase.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for Darden for close to three years and have never had a problem with the company. My insurance is great and even though I'm tech. part-time, I get to work close to 35 hours a week. The previous location I worked at, however, would always let me work over 40 hours. Never hassled, never had a problem.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for the company for almost 9 years when I first started it was great felt like a cloe nit family money was good then was made a bartender made $9.00 per hour plus tips and tip out about 2 years ago I was basically handed a paper saying that company wide they were cutting all bartenders pay to 5 dollars and hours and making a fixed tipout system to where me and my family have suffered completely by this basically cutting my wage for the year in half when the change happened i was basically handed a paper saying I ok my pay to drop and if I dont sign I know longr have a job now i have to wait until the next day to get tipout which takes up to an hour on some days because its a hassle to management. I also have noticed that with the pay cut they have added more and more work as a bartender we should be walking out of a shift with more than servers when some shifts I make 10 bucks plus a 30 dollar tipout but they some how always have loop holes in the legal sense. Years ago I LOVED my job now I can't stand it am always worried that my job is in danger because I am a long time employee and am grandfathered in on some of the vacation pays and benefits it is no longer abou the guests or their employees its all about how big of bonuses management can make and all about labor numbers and anything else to benefit the higher ups

Anonymous said...

Worked at OG for three months, as a waiter. First corporate restaurant job, and assuredly the last one. Took the job because I needed some semblance of an income. Don't ever work at a place in the industry where a manager says "Never do this", drops a breadstick on the alley floor, puts it into a basket, and carries it out to guests. Also, Springfield, Illinois. Enough said.

Frank Giannantonio said...

You mind if I re-post this on BluntDinerz?

Anonymous said...

I work at a Red Lobster and have not heard of this M28 thing. I actually like the restaurant I work at, the GM is friendly and listens to his workers. It's corporate that I hate! They come up with these stupid promotions (4 course meal for $15, Endless shrimp, etc) and horrible coupons ($10 off, $5 off) that it brings in trashy people and bad tips.

Anonymous said...

I have been at the Lobster for almost 9 years. I have never heard of M28 and I have worked several 40 hour weeks but we are not allowed a minute of overtime. When I started RL was a wonderful place to work where I felt valued and until the recent changes I was still one of the newer employees.
I am a bar tender and a server and I have had my bar wages cut four times in the last five years, I am now expected to a lot more work prepping the bar as well as take a full 4 table section and do take outs as well as tend to my bar patrons. The only manager that allows me to take a break is the GM all the others expect me to still work off the clock. The only way to get a break is to go smoke and I have been trying to quit for years.
After we had the meeting about the new menu I am looking for a new job. because this corporation no longer gives a shit about anything but money.
Can you believe that in CA, they are going to put the four course meal on the core menu in the middle of endless shrimp and launch a new value menu.
Oh and I almost forgot benefits. The insurance is laughable at best for a family of four they wan $300 a month for nothing insurance when I can just buy private insurance for $200 that is actual insurance. Darden dimes is a joke they have matched a couple of times but not once have they ever helped anyone who needed them, even if they say the problem they are having is covered. the only good benefit is I still get vacation pay but I am now one of very few.

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Anonymous said...

I have worked for olive garden for 2 years, I havent seen any part time employees treated differently at all. There are waaay more regulations and stricter rules than any company I've ever worked for, ever. Theres also something there I havent seen elswhere as well, so much micro management it makes everyones individual jobs simple. Just what i've seen.

Chelsea said...

I worked for the great OG for three years in Clearwater and was always treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. Our GM is one of the most kind and understanding people I have ever had the pleasure to work for. We have the lowest turnover in the district and he was GM of the year one year, which he celebrated by giving everyone a cash prize for being such an awesome team. I have since quit because Hooters recruited me and I'm making twice as mucho net there, but I frequently visit my friends from the OG and I always felt valued as a Darden employee. There was a hostess there that had been there for 26 years when I finally left. These assumptions must be on an individual basis, because working for Darden was so rewarding for me. I'm sorry to hear that other people are experiencing such horrible work conditions. I hope things improve for you all.

shannon artis said...

I work for darden rest linghorn steakhouse I love my job we open in march 2013 started as a salad fry cooj and am now a culinary proffesional. The mgmt staff is awesome and so are our guests as well as the staff we were told when hired darden does only up to 30 hours a week except cps and cts so this in my opinion is the only downfall in darden restraunts.I will continue to work for them for many years to come

rcookiekids2 said...

I work for olive garden in va and love it , my benefits are affordable and the management team is awesome...we are extremely busy and the money is good. I am very thankful for everyone I work with,we are indeed a family.

Anonymous said...

I wk 4 lh and an m28 means 28 hrs a week there are also m40 meaning full time employment.

Anonymous said...

I k for C. Grille. I thought it would be the best thing ever. It is the worst thing that happened in my life. I have been with Darden over 9 years and I thought it would be very nice to work for C. Grille. NOT AT ALL. Especially now that we have to work on Thanks Giving Day. WTF is that. I been busting my ass to get promoted and their is always something wrong when reviews come. Always. They are never happy. Also nobody has seen any raises since they have been there. Me too. I fucking hate Darden. I am really thinking on going to Outback. Fuck Those Fucking Fucks. Further more, Chef and GM have made this clan that you cannot do anything. ex. one of the cooks said he wants to be a server and they told him he cannot do that, also they said if that does happen they will cut his hours down to 3 days. If they told me that I would had taken them to courts. That is a threat to me and my family. I am so sick off them.

Anonymous said...

THIS is a shameful smear post. You ask for information and then assume that the information y9ou will receive is both factual and negative. You need to acquire an education. Learn critical thinking skills and taake responsibility for your own life. Stop acting like a peasent.

Anonymous said...

Girls who get recruited to work at Hooters experience a completely different world than the rest of us. People are probably nice to u most everywhere u go...

Anonymous said...

I've been at OG for over a year. It's a miserable existence. The managers are under pressure to perform and crap rolls downhill. we're asked to work miracles with no management support and when guests get ripe it's the server's fault. I've worked in this industry on and off for 2 decades and I've never - ever experienced anything close to the chaos that is Olive Garden. It's so bad that some nights I want to advise guests to eat elsewhere. Garbage has been photographed 4 feet high in a rolling tub which blocks the only fire exit from the kitchen. I'm not sure why this particular store hasn't been shut down for health reasons. And additionally, smokers are allowed a break to get their fix but tired non smokers are not allowed to sit down in a crowded break room for even a minute. The OG takes full advantage of workers who for lack of better opportunity take a job there.

Anonymous said...

The Red lobster I worked for in Novi mi, was terrible. 2 managers were ok, but the top 3 were nazi's,.

and practically promoted complain and get a free meal for everyone at the table. We will just blame the server and write him up for no good reason just so we can keep scum like you coming back to our restaurant for yet another free meal. It was hillarious to me how some people wore there sunday's best to this shithole. I sometimes thought they were hoping something would spill on them so they could get a new mink, or chicken feather coat. The managers had new rules daily to take any kind of constituitional rights away from you in the work place. Even tried to stifle our fredom of speech in their socialistic workplace. It was horrible. I hope other chains are better avoid working for darden at all costs, they dont care about you, their god is money and greed is their religion.

Anonymous said...

i work at capital grille and i ll say this its a joke they do what they want when they want and screw the employees if i had another place to go i would in a minute

Anonymous said...

Noooo, we get the real world too, there are plenty of people like you out there to make snarky remarks out of jealousy.

Anonymous said...

Leave the smokers alone, in our store they made it a rule that we can't smoke on the clock or on the property.

Anonymous said...

I would first like to say that I love this blog! It is such a great idea... now how do i make sure to tell my guests to check it out without being a complete ass? ^_^ Now for my comment about darden... I started with this company at longhorn steakhouse in 2011 and it was wonderful: the managers were respectable/respectful, the employees were hard working, the benefits were good, and the maximum hours were given to those that wanted them... but something happened in upper management that made all of this change. Since i started i have worked with 23 different managers and probably 6 rounds of employees that all end up leaving for something better (i should have followed) but i stuck it out because the core values they kept were positive... over the last two years i have had the great pleasure of watching the standards drop all around me, i have had the pleasure of being passed up for promotions because im gay (my manager said: "As a practicing homophobe, im going to have to disagree with you") and worst of all i have had the pleasure of watching the company start picking on the little guys. There were several employees at one of my stores (i transferred because i thought it was my store, only to find out its company-wide) who were full time employees... when the healthcare bill got passed, darden cut them down to 29 hours on average just so that they dont have to pay for their health insurance... i could keep going but spewing verbal vomit isnt going to help, because if you read most of the posts here, it is evident what the problems are and it shows that darden is just a corporation that doesnt care about anything but the money it is making. P.S. I have found another job and am getting out of the grasp of darden, i highly advise to anyone currently employed with darden to go find another job, they dont care about us and we are easily replaceable... they make sure you know it.

Anonymous said...

I am a cook who is job seeking. Career Builder sent me an opportunity for Darden. I filled out the application like so many others, but then something ODD happened. They required a 105 question personality survey to be filled out. One had to agree to some level of confidentiality re the survey. I said OK because I figured every company has its quirks. Had some time to think it over and I thought, wow, it must be great to work in a place that is so selective of their employees. So this am I decided to do some internet research and this was the first link I followed. Seems like a lot of bad news and bad experiences. I'm looking for a good work experience and from what is being said this will not be it. Too bad, I am an excellent employee. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your posts. Reading this blog will prevent me from even interviewing for what looks like yet another job from HELL.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for the company two years and love it! They have never showed signs of discrimination and pay is excellent especially for hoh workers. Never heard of any of this crap! I make hella money waiting tables even with only three tables at a time. Idk wth you were doing wrong but my takehome is 150-300 a shift and I live in Ar!! And the Darden Dimes thing has matched money for four people since I have worked there and has reimbursed three different people for unexpected or emergency trips they have had to take. You people are whack!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you in many of your points. I am a Darden employee for 11 years.
All the gm cares about is his bonus.
The insurance is bullshit.
And I'm being taxed for sales that she not truly mine. I have been trying to talk to my gm and corporate for a year now. This year, i actually had to pay taxes.
My store is now open an hour later.as a test run. I now work eight hours no break. I've been asking them about the labor Laws with breaks after so many hours. No response.
I'm.actually considering ending my 11 year employment there because of all these issues.which makes me feel I've wasted all that time. I'm now 41.
It's bullshit.
Im so glad I stumbled on this site. Because now I know I'm not the only one with these thoughts

Anonymous said...

I also feel that it all depends on the location and management.
My gm has changed over the years perhaps due to the pressure from corporate.
However, I feel, all he cares about I's his bonus.
We broke a corporate sales record on Valentine's week.
Corporate sent us cookies. Really? Cookies? That's ask we measly hourly employees get are cookies ? We WE the hourlys made corporate 100 grand in a week. We get cookies. Wow..gee thanks.
And what did our gm get?
I'm sure it was much Better than a freakin cookie.

Darlene said...

Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Hey Darden... A home office nurse accused me of repeated behaviour after detox from cutting your ribeyes for over a year. That includes senior managers. Also, I went to the hospital and your director told everyone at my restaurant. I have more. Much more. One of the women he told is sleeping with my husband since I went.

Anonymous said...

I havent had a problem with Darden. So far it seems like a great place to work and everyone there has been there for 10 or more years! They have collage degrees but still work there so that says alot..They show us they appreciate our hard work. Benefits are good and in fact Ive already used some of them with no problems..There is always 2 sides to every story, and the people bad mouthing them must not work there anymore and when they did im sure they would tell you it was a great job with great pay!!!!

Anonymous said...

Testing testing making sure it's private. They are watching.

Anonymous said...

The newer darden restaurants have Em30s and Em40s
an Employee who may not work more than 30 hours.

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OGserver said...

I have worked for Olive Garden for the past 6 months and it is one of the newer to open. I have not had any problems. It is a great place to work. They changed management and they are very focused on the guest (at least in our area). Every company has some issues somewhere. As for the servers making 2.13 an hr pretty much anywhere you go servers are making that so its not just this chain. Not sure while yall have it out for this company, sounds to me like possibly an angry ex employee.

Anonymous said...

They are posting fake reports on here, acting like happy employees. Look at all the positive replys. Most are similar and are a 180 from the negative. Darden has so many lawsuits, and some pending, including one my firm is involved in. They work employees over their break rights. They are under investigation.

Anonymous said...

I have been at Olive Garden (one that has been around for a while)for about 9 months. I do not know what all you people are screaming at! If you do not like working there then quit or if you didn't like working there and quit then good for you. I love my job! Yes we only get three tables in our section but if you are an "exceptional" server you can make good money.... If your not then perhaps this is not the job for you! I used to work as a banquet coordinator for a hotel making 40k a year, working 55-60 hours a week. I can work less than 30 hours a week and almost make as much (on average) on a good week and on a bad week I still get by. I don't have insurance through them but they offer it the day you start working there which lets face it, who does that? I think it is a pretty awesome place to work especially if you do your job! That is the problem these days, too many people have got lazy and just stand around whining, don't help other servers out, don't help with side work and just complain like crazy! I know we have our fair share at my Olive Garden, it is people like this that are giving Darden a bad name. Buck up people and stop complaining. If everyone was better at their job and cared about the company they worked for there would be no need for this study!!!

Anonymous said...

I just started working for Darden Long Horn through all my training we focused on "core Values" of the company and how to treat your fellow co-worker but never how to do my job. I never even touched their P.O.S. System until my first day on the floor. Then got in trouble because I didn't know were anything was. I have been a server for over 20 years and I have worked for large corporations as well as small privet restaurants but I have never worked for a place like this. Everyone is angry, unhelpful and if I want more then 10 hours a week I have to pick them up on Ishift because what they didn't tell me when I was hired that most of their employees that worked their transferred from other restaurants and had been there over 15 years and I would have to work my way up the seniority ladder before I would receive a decent schedule and that they were already over staffed when I was hired they were just anticipating their consistent high turn over. Also not one of my paychecks have been correct I pick up off Ishift and my checks only reflect my original schedule and though 95% of my tips are on credit cards after tip out I am always short 20-30$ after tip out.And the last time I took off my apron and left it on the designated table so
I could go to the bathroom all my cash was gone needless to say I hold it even if I have to work a double. One more thing I worked for a well known breakfast restaurant for several years and made more in 4 hours than I do at Long Horn during a double.

Anonymous said...

Wow... people just like to complain. I love working at og. Totally worth my time and management is great. My co workers are nice and very helpful. My advice if you dont like it leave. People.make life so difficult.

Anonymous said...

Chelsea - I just read your post and I'm glad you had such a positive experience. Some others are not so lucky and that is a shame. I wish you luck at Hooters! With such a great attitude, it's no wonder that they recruited you. Your closing statement in your post really impressed me most! Not every Darden Employee experience is a good one, but it sounds like you enjoyed it, and I'm glad for you. Every Darden restaurant is different where Management is concerned - my one wish is that they could all Coach (Manage) from the same playbook...We'll see. :-)

Anonymous said...

I know nothing of this. I was aware of the amount of hours I would be given from day one. I also started out at 9.50. benefits could be better, but I make 9.50 washing dishes!!! truth is if you are in the service business and are complaining about olive garden go find a mcdonalds or bk. they will be happy to give you that 7.00 for 20 hours.

Anonymous said...

What are their manager in training programs like? I heard they are a few months long.

Anonymous said...

Fuck smokers! I like to drink, but don't get a five minute break to take a shot while someone else watches my tables. Smoker breaks are bullshit. You're at work; deal with it or quit.

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Anonymous said...

Yes very disappointing to work your ass off on three tables all of them stuffing themselves with soup and salad only to box their meals as soon as they arrive to their tables. Way too much pressure from management to sell, sell and sell, but with their "$9.99-allyou-can-eat-unlimited" clientele you could figure how hard is it to sell anything.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had seen this sooner. lol I have been at Olive Garden for over 2 years and USED TO love my job. I am cross trained all over the restaurant from server to dmo. The raises are bullshit, they work you to death, penny pinch your 40 hours to get the most out of you. I have more than once gone to work for 2 hour shift to help close the restaurant because someone, as always, did not show up and was sent home early the next day to fix my hours to not be in overtime. I have had almost the exact same management team since the day I started I have had the unpleasant experience of watching them do things that completely loose my respect. Like someone said, the shit rolls down hill and my restaurant is no where the same as it once was. I am putting in my notice this weekend because I find it unfair that I am no longer allowed to take a break during my 13+ hour shifts because they no longer have enough people to staff correctly. Darden used to be a good company to work for, but not anymore. If you are smart, don't work there.

Anonymous said...

I work in a RL now. Even though it is not part of Darden any longer they still maintain the horrible practices. The most bothersome is the lack of an 18% charge on large parties. It is left up to the guest. I have received $10 on a $400 tab from a party who proclaimed how wonderful my service was. This happens quite a bit. This lack of automatic gratuity has to due with accounting not law.

In addition RL claims they want to bring the image back to higher dining level. Well, get rid off the specials. It brings in people who never tip and are looking for a reason not to.

I have worked in corporate America as well as serving jobs all my life. This place, though can make money, it shooting itself in the foot by hiring a lot of incompetent people. It's a mess. Period.

josh parkhill said...

I'm a DMO and Line Cook at the Elkton, MD O.G. I gotta say i've had my gripes with the GM on a personal level but other than that my complaints are nowhere near the level everyone else on here is. On Valentines Day management bought us a dozen pizzas, subs & wings from Pats. In fact there's several occasions where managers have brought in homemade food. In fact last night was pretty busy for a Wednesday so the culinary manager had the bar make every employee a smoothie. Almost every time an employee is leaving for somewhere else, there is a cake and a going-away ritual. Managers support servers and frequent guest tables, and get rave reviews for doing so. Although they do constantly try to get servers to upsell everything. Most management is pretty relaxed and humane. The GM himself seems to have a superiority complex but he does know what he's doing management wise.

Anonymous said...

The Olive Garden I work at has been on a down ward decline for years-----the insurance is expensive and doesn't cover much----the quality of the food sucks----all they hire is illegal immigrants in the kitchen with fake social security numbers and fake last names----management has favorites as far as employees----it doesnt matter about senority, yours hours still get cut because your labeled replaceable----no raises for years -----modern day corporate sweat shop----

Anonymous said...

When I started there was a 90% American work force in the kitchen --what t h e hell happened---it's all 100% illegal mexican and central American workforce---they all lie ,steal,and don't like americans---they talk shit about them all day---dont be an mexican born and raised in the Bay Area of California they'll hate you more ---I know I work there in the kitchen and I do understand both languages so I know what I'm talking about

Anonymous said...

When I started there was a 90% American work force in the kitchen --what t h e hell happened---it's all 100% illegal mexican and central American workforce---they all lie ,steal,and don't like americans---they talk shit about them all day---dont be an mexican born and raised in the Bay Area of California they'll hate you more ---I know I work there in the kitchen and I do understand both languages so I know what I'm talking about

Anonymous said...

Wow never go to Bahama breeze. There kitchen manager Maria is such a racist bitch. She gives her days to the ones going to lick out of her ass. Asskissers. If you not her pet then you basically don't have a job

Anonymous said...

It was m30s and m40s I've worked for darden for 11 years they basically wanted to wipe out all the high paid employees that didn't work over 32 hours"full time" and would no longer higher full time employees, but that recently stopped due to lack of filling empty spots

Modern Maverick said...

Man, I'm with you there.

Modern Maverick said...

I been with Darden(Longhorn) four months and sad to say, I concur with a vast majority of these posts. I am pretty dismayed about this, because I came in with high hopes and a positive outlook. I have been personally scammed with tips. My last two checks claimed not just my tips, but the other three bartenders tips who I worked along side on Fri and Sat. I was not taught how to avoid this and my gm claims there is no way to fix it. I actually made $370 in tips last week yet my stub says my tips are at $678. So my pretax $270 check was peanuts. And I will likely have to pay in come tax time. On top of this, my bar manager verbally accosted me in front of guests and employees. I'm talking screaming through the entire expo swearing at me and speaking in such a demeaning manner. Reason why, you ask? Because I was scheduled to bar train but we were down a few servers due to cold season so the am manager and I reached an agreement that it be best that I serve. Apparently, that is reason enough to yell at me in the most foolish way and humiliated me in front of plenty of people. I let it slide and hoped he would apologize. Never happened. We do not have an open door policy. I mean this sincerely. I'm lucky if I can get my managers inside from their 25 minute smoke breaks to do my checkout so I can go home and get off the clock.

Said manager, the one he screamed at me, has now taken to being rude every shift we work. He rolls his eyes and ignores anythjng I have to say. This alone, I could handle, but now his new favorite pass time is to hang up on me. I tried calling to get approval for a swap for an injured employee and he hung up on me mid sentence.

When I serve, I'm lucky to average $9-10 an hour and I always have at least a full hour if strenuous side work. I'm talking, far more then any place I've ever served at. Plus I typically have around 8 guests yet am expected to role 38 silverware. It's a joke. Max capacity is most likely around 300 including bar, yet 15 servers staffed. When I bartend, I make less. Last night I made $7 in five hours because we hosted a Christmas party for a trucking company. Servers were not required to tip us because they had cocktail hour at the bar. Only problem is, they ordered an additional $700 in bar drinks after being seated.

Luckily, I've gotten a couple other offers to tend bar at classier joints where I will have the option of having tables if I want them.

I am loyal and hate job hopping so for the sake of all fairness, I plan to give it a bit more time to see if things improve. I'm just going to drop down to part time in order to have time to work. I mean... For money. Not free. Lol

Anonymous said...

I've worked for Olive Garden for less than 2 years and I've already been promoted to salary managment. The company wants their team to preform well and hold people accountable when that doesn't happen. This article isn't fair and doesn't have much fact behind it. I've never been mistreated and neither had any of my fellow crew members. I also worked for Outback Steak House which was a completely different story. They treated every one like shit. I suppose the moral of the story is every store is different you can't judge one olive garden to another Darden as a whole pays their employees well and treat them well.

Anonymous said...

I have been with Darden for 9 months,as a busser but can clear up a few comments. First of all, I do not take health insurance through them because I am under 25 but insurance at every corporation is becoming increasingly expensive. As far as gms are concerned, you will probably quit in 2 years so why bother with formalities and getting to know you. They don't have much of a say when it comes to policy. I would agree that breaks don't come often and you typically starve for 3 hours in an 8 hour shift. I have had $50 stolen from my tips in the till. The thief was not found. Cleanliness is debatable. Our silverware is place near the floor which gets sprayed with a pressure washer. This only sprays dirt from the floor on freshly rolled silverware. The servers hired are very friendly, which makes sense. The bussers are either lazy or they are nice to work with. The kitchen staff is usually convicts, drug dealers, and that one nice quiet guy. Dish pit workers typically kill themselves after 4-5 shifts jk. They usually are temperamental and cause fights. The servers obviously talk shit about customers, but that is going to happen everywhere. If you are looking for a job to work your ass this is it. If you don't have any facial tattoos and smile often you may work your way into great tips. I would not recommend more than part time for your sanity. It is very hard to get fired here. I have seen people try so hard. The company needs to install larger breakrooms. We are given 2 stools. I have had good times at og but would honestly recommend someplace else unless you are collecting tips or need something temporary.

Anonymous said...

Ive been working for darden for 6 months. There is a 30 second greet time to a table. I was tripple sat and some service partners are a joke. I was written up because i didnt greet the for 7 minutes. In my resturant, if you are caught not greeting a table without a wine bottle, you will be written up. I was actually busy running out abother tables food order which was on the opposite side of thecresturant from my section. I was told i was ignoring og's customers and written up. I was written up because i brought out soft drinks to a table before i rung it in first. I was trying to speed up the service. Lastly, i was written up bevause i lost a $2.50 lunch coupon. I prebus my tables to the point that the only thing that is left are two glasses and napkins. Its quicker for me to bus my own tables then to wait for a busser. Our place overstaffs horribly and because we only get 3 tables, i cant afford for 15 minutes to pass beforecmy table is cleaned. When i complain im told its team work. Because i bus my own tables (i still tip out), i then annoy the hostess because i keep coming up,there to tell her that one of my tables is cleaned and ready to be sat. Lastly, im scheduled numerous 4 pm shifts and sent home between 6:30-7:00 pm. They overstaff horribly and its not working for me. I only get 3 tables and sometimes one of my tables is pushed together to make a large party and i dont get the table. This means my section is now a two table section. None of it is fair, and its time for me to go. Good luck all.

Anonymous said...

seen a busser work for 12 hours for 5 days for $4.95 an hour and occasionally $60 on tips. He's running marathons back and forth, with 5 table's worth of plates carried ABOVE his head over the ENTIRE restaurant, when its busy there's 2-3 of us.

work pay ratio is crap
lot of work for very little pay

They watch. They watch fr any negative comments o_o
just waiting until I get a car and I can go

Anonymous said...

also servers only get 3 tables and do constant refills
and get treated like poo

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Emma Anderson said...

I've worked for a few chain restaurants, and I wouldn't say my experience with Darden has been much different than others, for better or for worse. I do like the relatively lower amount of coupons and ridiculously low priced specials. This leads to a different clientele than I've noticed as other casual chains, and it's a nice change of pace. I'm talking about Longhorn, by the way. I really love the food and most of my coworkers. I was hired into an underperforming restaurant. Changes are being made and I'm really seeing positive growth. It feels good to know I'm helping the restaurant improve, as well as witnessing a great team growing closer together to achieve a common goal. The management is a weak point, but that is improving as well. Some policies I don't agree with, such as the lack of breaks and the fact that we'll get hours cut if we use iShift too much. But I don't think it's a bad place to work at all, at least for serving.

Anonymous said...

remember the bring wine to every table??... well i told the general manager what if the guests at the table underage?. And i mean if all of them are underage. Like by looking at them they are no more than 14 years old. and He said yes it doesn't matter you offer wine to every table!!! what are your thought about that?

Unknown said...

I made it 4 days at the Toledo Ohio Og it was the worst experience in my 16 years working in a restaurant the dish washer did not clean dishes properly being safety certified I was disgusted by the filth an their practices never again will I eat at Darden restaurant in surprised they haven't killed their guest with how nasty it was wiping food off of dishes that covered with it is not clean same goes for silver ware an cups being ran one time with all disease's in the world an pointing it out to Kim the culinary manager was pointless to worried about her cigarette an for the Jeff's ur a joke all you guys are worried about is a paycheck u don't have to work for

Anonymous said...

The manager of the OG I worked at purposefully got me fired. After two customer complaints while at a 100% server score I was terminated, even though everything the customers said about me was a bold face lie. Later on I found out that BOTH customers knew my GM on a personal level leaving me to realize I had been played for as a fool.
This company will terminate you over any customers complaint without care or consideration of the truth. If you put your all into this job then you can expect to be slapped in the face one sunny day while you are there thinking your apart of a "familia". What a joke of a company! If you are a good person at heart then do yourself a favor and stay away from this company.

Anonymous said...

I am currently employed at a MA Longhorn Steakhouse. It's been 6 months and I truly love what I do. I also truly abhor management. With any and all guest complaints comes write-ups and threats of termination. I consistently get positive guest comments, verbal and written and take my job very seriously. We serve every walk of life and so, I have some crazy stories. I can only assume management is under severe stress to treat servers as deplorably as they do. I worked at two other chain restaurants and they were not as bad as Darden. The only positive aspect of my job is Longhorn's (and Capital Grill's) high ticket items and fast turnaround. The stress is unreal and the above comments are mostly true. Health insurance is a joke. Payroll is a mess so most employees owe income taxes. Being cut early from your shift (ugh) or told to take a 2-3 hour break so as to not "go over" (40 hours) is constant. You are only a number and entirely dispensable, so turnover is high. Consider this....management is hired from within, soooooo after being treated like garbage yet finding a way to climb the ladder, that manager is YOUR miserable ass after a few years. It's like what comes around, goes around. I have learned to keep quiet and persevere. Oh, and if you want a free ribeye, you've come to the right place. Darden loves to provide free meals to ruthless guests who know the system (like most chains).

Anonymous said...

worked for darden for two years. i bought in hook line and sinker and worked 40-50 hour weeks at the tipped wage of $2.13/hr. the tips were good because of the high ticket concept, but the management is an absolute disgrace. hiring servers at the door with no experience if they were cute and had good proportions. i studied the menu and drinks until i could recite them by heart and earned my promotion from corporate trainers... but newly promoted servers (to service professionals and the training team) bought their way in with sexual innuendo and daily starbucks for the managers. these girls are 19/young 20 somethings in the locked office alone with managers while tables are in the restaurant and servers are on the floor.

so much hypocrisy. so much favoritism. there should be no reason team members text managers daily. no reason whatsoever to have personal relationships with your superiors. but watch out: if you complain about them on social media that links back to you, they can and will terminate you for violating social media policy. free speech only protects you when you're voicing options on the government! darden thinks they own your opinions, speech, and mind!

hands down the worst 1984 big brother operation i've ever worked for. wish i could have those two years back.

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