Darden

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Darden Reviews

Updated 3 March, 2015
Updated 3 March, 2015
856 Reviews
3.5
856 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis Jr.
Clarence Otis Jr.
402 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible schedule and the ability to walk with cash in hand are the best perks of this job (in 52 reviews)

  • flexible hours and availability to trade shifts with other servers (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • Very long hours that are not equivalent to the compensation package (in 29 reviews)

  • Current environment is hard on work/life balance (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Hosts under-appreciated; do tasks to help server but do not get rewarded

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hostess in Winnipeg, MB
    Former Employee - Hostess in Winnipeg, MB

    I worked at Darden part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Weekly pay. Fast-paced so keep you on your toes.

    Cons

    Seems to be a hierarchy amongst Service Team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow through with what you say you will do and provide training to those who deserve it and have been loyal to you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Very Mean company with high ATTRITION Rate …always looking for manpower and abusing local available skill in the city.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager in Edmonton, AB
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager in Edmonton, AB

    I have been working at Darden full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Concept , seems to be Racial Management

    Cons

    Great Concepts with huge opportunity to grow if management wants

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Looks great bright place to join ……but it is completely dark and insecure inside

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    I am a Server/Host

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in Orlando, FL (US)
    Current Employee - Server in Orlando, FL (US)

    I have been working at Darden part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Such a great company to work for. I worked for Red Lobster, Now I am at Longhorns

    Cons

    Just ready for a new job with my degree

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    looking for 11.00-13.00 an hour

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Working here was a very enjoyable, and dependable experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Pasadena, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Server in Pasadena, TX (US)

    I worked at Darden part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Expectations were very clear, and leadership was consistent. High standards were set and it was a very respectable place to work.

    Cons

    Servers were limited to 3 tables at a time, which limited the amount of money you could make. Also, the customer would get free stuff every time they complained.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't accommodate the customer so much to where they can take advantage of the system. Also, give qualified servers a 4th table.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Waiting tables sucks no matter where you do it, but at Seasons 52 I find that it sucks just a little bit less.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Current Employee - Server in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    Darden restaurants are the only ones I will consider working in any more, because (though not perfect) I feel that they do take necessary steps to take care of their employees. You receive much better training in a Darden restaurant than at any other kind of restaurant I've worked in, the management are overall on a higher level of caring and integrity, and my store in particular has AMAZINGLY responsive and caring managers who really want to help you to be happy with your job and give you the opportunity to succeed. In my store, we are served family meals every Saturday and sometimes Sunday, we are given the opportunity to have the restaurant supplement our tips in the event of a really cheap table (I had a guest leave me $5 on $200, and the restaurant made up the missing $35), and the managers are always very open and candid with us. It really is like a little family, and we all do our best to take care of each other.

    Cons

    Let's be perfectly fair, this is still a massive restaurant chain, and your experience is going to be different depending on which store you are in. I had a terrible experience at the Olive Garden I worked in, a mediocre experience at Bahama Breeze, and an excellent experience at Seasons 52. All of these brands are owned by Darden, and all of them have a very different business model. At the end of the day, you have to know and understand and be okay with the realities of working in restaurants to be happy here, and not every location is going to have awesome staff or awesome customers. Location is key, and your attitude is key. Darden remains on of the best restaurant companies I've ever worked for, but never forget that it is still a restaurant company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Benefits benefits benefits BENEFITS. Pay us more in salary, even if it's JUST enough to cover benefits. Seriously. Carrying heavy trays and ice buckets and stuff will absolutely ruin your body, I know. I injured myself at work and now both of my wrists are permanently damaged. This never would have happened if I was not waiting tables, and the permanent damage could have been avoided if I'd only had the medical insurance I needed to go to the doctor before it got severe.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Started as server, rapidly became trainer, bartender, and to-go.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Darden

    Pros

    If you work hard the earning potential is very nice for the hours you put in.

    Cons

    Must be able to work with people that will not work as hard as you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more ideas from the people working in the restaurant.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Darden

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server Assistant in Fairlawn, OH (US)
    Former Employee - Server Assistant in Fairlawn, OH (US)

    I worked at Darden full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    good company over all to work for, great money in the right position, hires competent employees, very high volume location

    Cons

    communication, management didn't take much responsibility for things, didn't promote from within the restaurant

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    loved hosting

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Olive Garden Host in Cutler Bay, FL (US)
    Current Employee - Olive Garden Host in Cutler Bay, FL (US)

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    decent pay
    chill job for college student
    great managers

    Cons

    4-5 hour shift
    bossy employees
    guest can get annoying but thats expected at restaurants

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    nothing, i had great managers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A lot of paperwork

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    Fast paced, easy in company transfers

    Cons

    hours, no where close to a set schedule

  11.  

    Decent income. But, inconsistent expectations.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Server in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Darden part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The expectations of the staff are to the highest caliber.

    Cons

    Limited upward mobility. The expectations of the staff are not evenly distributed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat all staff equally.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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