Pros: high volume, decent price points on menu items, strip location, flexible online scheduling and shift trading, 50% meal discount, employee discount website.
Cons: terrible insurance benefits, long shifts without breaks which, are offered but you need to decide at clock in if you’re going to need a break), zero teamwork, uncaring managers, cliques.
At the beginning they will make it seem like the company and team is fantastic and emphasize their “benefits” as being great but the reality is much, much different.
To start, there is no concept of teamwork, at all. The bussers don’t actually clear any plates off the table for you as you are expected to pre-bus your tables throughout the entire meal. – more... Pre-bussing is difficult as the plates are large and VERY heavy and you aren’t allowed to stack plates on the table to clear away everything more efficiently. The bussers basically just reset the tables, most times, poorly and incomplete with items that are clearly dirty from afar. They’ll ONLY clear water/wine glasses leftover from a meal - no dinner plates, silverware or bread baskets and will even go as far as to stack up any dirty tableware you didn’t manage to get to while pre-bussing, only to place them back on top of the newly set table for you to take to the dish pit - A CLEAR HEALTH CODE VIOLATION. If you ask them to help with pre-bussing or runs to the dish pit, they will either demand more money on top of their nightly tip out, which is 2% of your total sales, or flat out tell you that “it’s not their job” and management will back them up and on both “policies”. Working on the Strip, you come across many foreigners who are not accustomed to tipping so you will get stiffed, occasionally, or, gratuity that falls around 10%, which is more often the case, so the bussers don’t care to help you because they are guaranteed a cut of your sales, not your gratuity. Some nights, you’ll get screwed and the bussers will walk out with more money than you.
The bar is usually understaffed and none of the bartenders have any sense of urgency so good luck getting any drinks in timely fashion. I once waited 17 minutes for a few draft beers. In their defense, they mostly do the best they can getting orders filled but they have the entire bar-top to handle and those guests are allowed to eat there as well and they sometimes have to take tables that are self-seat in the bar area if no one is working cocktails, so they have their hands full. The minimum tip-out, even if you don’t sell anything alcoholic is $1 with the norm being 3.5% of your total alcohol sales.
The hostesses are not tipped out but some servers slip them cash to get preferential section assignments, larger parties and hand selected tables with people they feel are or will be good tippers, and will require less maintenance. Tipping is not allowed at all and it’s supposedly a fireable offense, but it happens in front of others and even with witnesses who complain managers do nothing. There’s always a pathetic excuse for why a server was seen handing cash to a hostess and managers buy it. Have fun being on the other end of the spectrum because you’ll be the one in the terrible, low traffic sections, with all the people that are high maintenance, demanding, rude and racially stereotyped to be poor tippers. Worse off is the way your seating will be influenced if you happen to be disliked by another server, for whatever reason (if any) and they are buddies with the hostess. You’ll be double and triple sat all shift long or not sat at all while you watch other sections fill up. The hostesses should all be replaced because they are all unfriendly and rude to the guests…just read the review online about them and you’ll see there are rarely any compliments given about them and an abundance of complaints regarding their attitudes.
They don’t drug test and about half of the staff is high on something throughout their shift and the other half are former drug addicts with rotting teeth and extreme personalities that are often frustrating to deal with. Management could care less and puts up with the nonsense from these employees with nothing more than an eye roll and a shrug. The kitchen workers actually get high in the back corridors during shifts and some were even arrested once for smoking pot in the parking garage but were not fired. Simple things, like salads and fried appetizers suddenly start taking 20-30 minutes to make so your timeline and order fires often become a guessing game, making guests feel either rushed or annoyed at the long, unpredictable stretches between courses. Again, who suffers? You do.
The majority of the servers are all extremely negative and catty and working with them was worse than being in middle school. They all complain incessantly about how much they hate their job, hate the managers, hate the guests, hate foreigners, hate african americans, and hate most other staff members not in their clique. Basically, they just hate. Teamwork is slightly better than it is with the bussers but I use the term loosely. The people that are happy to help, don’t have the time as they are busy with their own tables and the people that constantly ask for help are the people who never want to help in return. They will complain and you’ll be forced to listen to it and if you try walking away, they will notice and will in return go to management and talk badly about you and try to get you fired. Some people, if asked, will agree to help you with something and then not do it and you’re left looking like an incompetent to the table as they’re now mad for having to wait, yet again, for you to do whatever it was they needed in the first place. Managers and servers frequently hang out off-premise so there is obvious favoritism toward their friends and everyone else is treated as just another “worker”.
The job is performance based and your “peformance” includes pushing people to sign up for email lists that will send out coupons that you never get tipped on as well as other freebie promos that management never forewarns you about so you’ll occasionally have people from other states come in and ask for these freebies that you’ve never even heard of and you look stupid. Next, is Make-A-Wish, Maggiano’s charity of choice where you’ll be forced to push terrible specials on people that they more often than not dislike and with only $1 of the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish you’re expected, and allegedly “not required” to further the fundraising efforts by flat out asking the guests for cash donations to purchase a Make-A-Wish Star. To make their annual goal of $30,000, you generally have to make at least $15/night in combined sales of Stars and special menu items, which isn’t easy. There were several occasions where I was not able to sell any of their terrible specials to people or get them to make cash donations so I had to donate my hard earned money just to keep from being ridiculed by management, who tracks and monitors each persons sales and donations daily. It wasn’t much but I’d say that it came out to being close to or over $50 a month. that I “donated” to Make-A-Wish. Next, comes the GEM surveys that print out on the receipt offering customers the opportunity to win an alleged $1,000 for their online feedback, which they track and post for everyone to see, no matter how scathing. You get a free meal, from a limited menu, for each positive GEM so some of the servers will just go online and fill out their own “reviews” of themselves for the free grub and you can totally tell which ones do because they are far more lengthy and unusually descriptive than necessary. Any normal person, who has no vested interest, isn’t going to take the time to write a novel about how wonderful their dining experience is. Period. Still not done with “performance”…What else is tracked, you ask? Cocktails, wines, beers, bottled water, your per-person average (PPA)…the list goes on, and on, and on and changes frequently.
There are 2 good managers out of the 5 on staff and neither of them are in the GM position, which is sad. Even sadder, however, is the fact that everyone knows who should be in charge and isn’t afraid to tell you who the REAL GM of Maggiano’s is. Managers there are focused on the bottom line and meeting sales goals so they aren’t even slightly sympathetic when you have a “difficult” shift or get stiffed on a tip. One manager will tell you to offer freebies to people when service goes awry and another will refuse to comp things off if the bottom line will take to much of a hit and they will most times refuse to go speak to the unhappy guests leaving the burden on you to make them happy within your limited means.
Benefits are good, if you’re a manager or a full time status employee of 12+ months. If not, you’ll spend $200 a month on individual benefits that are more like “discount plans” offering very little coverage. It’s more beneficial and actually even cheaper to just not have any insurance at all. – less