Olive Garden Employee Reviews

Found 3,294 reviews matching the search
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Skillful
Culinary Professional (Current Employee) –  Cary, NCMarch 10, 2016
I have learned a lot from this company since i have done almost every position. I loved working in the front of house and making a difference in any experience. I got the promotion to key manager about a year and a half ago, and then i transferred to back of house. Since this is a laid back company, there are a lot of things that don't get done correctly just due to employees unwillingness to get them done the right way. After i moved to back of house, it because clear to me something in their server training was flawed. We were having the same mistakes, night after night and it all began in front of house. The management needs to be a little more productive and strict on how they train their employees.
Pros
Large Company, Great Benifits
Cons
Short breaks, non uniform
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Good, productive, friendly workplace
SERVER (Current Employee) –  Virginia Beach, VAMarch 17, 2016
Olive Garden is a good place to work at. It is a stable, flexible job.I serve meals to guests and try to make their experience dining at the restaurant as enjoyable as possible. The staff and management are friendly and easy to get along with. Here, I learned how to effectively communicate with guests, as well as other employees, and how to work as a team. Although the work can be stressful, plentiful, and tedious, as guests may have specific and/or plentiful needs, it is satisfying to know when guests appreciate the work and care you have done for them so they can enjoy their experience at the restaurant.
Pros
Flexible, friendly environment, good management
Cons
hard to receive benefits
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Great place to work for. I enjoyed and learned a lot. I met and still have mentors from their locations.
Restaurant Manager (Former Employee) –  Cincinnati, OHMarch 9, 2016
I recommend Darden to anyone to work for. Management is very nice and there is a big culture of work. Training is extremely great. The menu changes a lot, sometimes is not good because guests get very disappointed when dishes come off the menu. A lot of the GM's and directors are very family oriented and understanding. Great place to work if you have kids and a family.
Pros
Very family oriented with quality of life as a Manager
Cons
Hard to get promoted to a GM or other higher position
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Not the best place to work
Hostess (Former Employee) –  Queen Creek, AZDecember 6, 2015
A typical day starts at 8-11 depending on your position. Hours are long and breaks are short if you are even given a break. I have worked 10 hours straight without one many times. The management is hit or miss. You do not have a very good chance of advancing unless you are a favorite. The hardest part is having to work your butt off for little pay. It is like you are still in High School because the co workers do nothing but gossip and the management as well. The most enjoyable part is being able to work with those people you actually like. You only get benefits if you work a minimum of 32 hours on average.
Pros
discounted food, uniforms
Cons
short or no break, advancement, pay, benefits.
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Terrible company
Culinary Manager (Former Employee) –  Boardman, OHMarch 5, 2016
Worked for this company for 3 years. They focus on a vs t (actual waste versus theoretical) which is fine. The problem is you have to keep waste at a certain amount yet you give everything away. I had tables yell at me, tell me I would give them as many pints of sauce as they requested or else they would call corporate on me. So you do this then get told there is no way to account for this its just the "cost of doing business", the companys favorite quote, yet then they turn around and write you up for having high waste. This company talks out of both sides of their mouth all the time. They look for ways to make management fail yet let employees do whatever they want. Absolutely the worst, most stressful company I have ever been associated with. We were told to comp gift certificates to use when ziosks froze up then they terminate people for doing that exact thing. They were sure to terminate three days before the end of the period so I didn't get the bonus I busted my butt for over the prior three months. Disgusting work practices.
Pros
Benefits, work hours, some of the employees
Cons
Upper management, attitudes towards stor mgt
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Olive garden has a set of great workers thats all about teamwork
Server (Current Employee) –  Florence, SCFebruary 19, 2016
A typical day at work is normal not too hectic. If is business is normal everything flows well and the shift is good. I learned to tailor needs to every single guest everyone is not the same. The hardest part of my job is when business flow is heavy sometimes we run short on some materials needed to make each guest happy. Management is helpful and there if you need them. My co-workers are all about teamwork and are very helpful. The most enjoyable part of the job is the when the guest are very happy and return on a weekly basis.
Pros
fast money
Cons
little benefits
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Hard Work for Unknown Salary
Server (Current Employee) –  Oshkosh, WIFebruary 11, 2016
Servers at Olive Garden are not your typical servers found in any restaurant. Since nearly everything is refillable at no charge at all, the servers have to constantly be on the move to suit all of their guests needs and provide satisfactory service. In order to work at this restaurant, you must be able to communicate well and work with a team because there are many times where you will need a hand during busy hours. Management is accommodating and helpful when it comes to scheduling and solving problems/hiccups during dining. This job is enjoyable because it is fast paced and the coworkers are fun and friendly. However, it is less enjoyable having the wage of only $2.33 per hour because most of it is taken out of your paycheck. This means that servers rely solely on tips as their salary, which is of course never guaranteed. With nice, appreciative customers, working as a server is enjoyable. There are times though, that you lose money tipping out to bussers and bartenders after a table never tips you at all after your hard work.
Pros
Discounted food
Cons
Non-guaranteed salary
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Great place to work!!
Server Trainer/Server (Current Employee) –  Lexington, KYMarch 23, 2016
Great people to work with. Team work is just amazing, everybody wants to help everybody and you will never feel like an outsider. Management is always willing to work with staff whenever it comes to scheduling availabilities. Job can get pretty stressful but I had a great team that I got to work with. It's a very positive environment =)
Pros
Benefits and discounts
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Fast pace and challenging
Cook (Former Employee) –  Liberty, MOMarch 2, 2016
Fast pace for both cooks and servers however it fun if you like the challenge. they are family oriented and in a great environment.
Advancement is available if you seek the opportunity. can be very stressful at times but its the nature of the beast working for a face pace company. the management has a lot of respect for their employees. i really enjoyed working for this company
Pros
fun, exciting and fast pace
Cons
some people cant handle its fast pace and they tend to get grumpy
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Great Benefits, Delicious Food
Certified Trainer (Former Employee) –  West Hartford, CTApril 6, 2016
They offer a great training program that is very thorough. The benefits start day one (seriously!). You can advance well if you really put forth the effort and continue to exceed standards. Every location is different which is unfortunate for consistency. Management varies and they're easily replaced by another.
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Stressful and Overworked
Host /Waitress (Current Employee) –  Canton, OHMarch 6, 2016
Although Olive Garden does particularly well at having you fill out an availability form, they are not so well at following it. There are constantly scheduling mistakes that need fixed.
Management shows obvious favoritism toward employees.
Its a constant headache. way too much to even begin to have time to type about.
Pros
discounts on food and other business
Cons
long hours, low pay, poor management, poor training
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Not for everyone
Waitress (Former Employee) –  Henrico, VA 23231February 28, 2016
Money is inconsistent. Some days you do okay like a holiday or party but these only come every so often.. Management is even more inconsistent letting some things fly with some and choosing to punish others for the very same thing.
Pros
Discount lunches, leave with money in your pocket
Cons
Long hours, hardly take breaks, management shakey, money inconsistent
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E. Washington St Olive Garden
Server (Current Employee) –  Indianapolis, INJanuary 15, 2016
Ill start off by saying if management was stronger, the store would operate much more efficiently. Lack of communication and leadership and the willingness to help understaffed areas is completely unprofessional. Besides for the management issue, mainly speaking of the GM, Olive Garden is a great place to work. The environment is nice and the co-workers are all very friendly. I'm a people person so the fact that my job is just to talk to people all day and run them food is nice. Great job for someone in school or not decided on what career to pursue.
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Fast-paced, great co-workers, lack of management, excellent customer care.
Server, Trainer, Bartender, Sevice Professional (Current Employee) –  Fairfield, OHMarch 21, 2016
Taking detailed orders and serving the guests needs at a fast-pace. I learned leadership skills and how to properly train new employees. Management was dysfunctional and lacking the skills of leadership. The hardest part of my job was having to pick up the slack, as people have begun quitting each week. I was next in-line for management training but our General Manager has pushed too many employees away.
My favorite part of this job was being able to make an impact on the multiple groups of guests that fluctuated in diversity. And having the freedom to increase my income by up-selling high-end products and offering what's best for the guests.
Pros
Half off on lunch, dental, health insurance.
Cons
Lack of leadership, no breaks.
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Productive and fun environment
Hostess, ToGo Specialist (Former Employee) –  Rochester, NYDecember 14, 2015
Working for Olive Garden, a typical day consisted of cleaning the host stand, making sure servers knew their sections, and preparing reservations along with assisting guests to their tables. I learned customer service skills and professional skills as well. I always loved being in the presence of the guests and forming relationships with coworkers as well as management.The hardest part about my job was knowing there was little to no room to advance. As for management, there was a very high turnover rate, which made it hard to bring issues or concerns to the table.
Pros
Forming friendships
Cons
Large turnover rate, no advancement opportunities
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Great Co-workers in a tense environment
Hostess/Server (Current Employee) –  Tucson, AZApril 4, 2016
Coming in for a morning shift, you don't really know when you'll leave. It could be early if we're slow or it could be well into dinner time if we're busy and/or the managers forget that day workers are still on. If you're scheduled a double shift, the managers can choose whether or not you get a break to eat or if you have to work 12-14 hours straight. Sales are being pushed and if you don't sell enough, they put you on probation and then eventually fire you even if you're excellent with guests. That's the worst part: feeling like sales is more important than guests. This pressure has made me learn more about sales though. I can read the guests to figure out if they're wine drinkers or favor cocktails more, see if they want desserts or appetizers. My coworkers are great. We all support each other and help out as much as possible. Management does a great job on who they hire. Employees are consistently friendly, supportive, and competent.
Pros
great coworkers
Cons
too much emphasis on sales
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Long Term Experience
Certified To Go Specialist (Current Employee) –  Owensboro, KYJanuary 25, 2016
From November-February, shifts (especially the evening) can be extremely busy and team work is of dire importance for guest experience. March-September stays on the slow side due to the nice weather, with exceptions of typical busy days such as Mother's Day. I really learned how to work as a team, and have greatly improved my ability to talk and interact with co-workers and with the public. Management is very focused on guest experience, and always puts guest needs above all else. The employees are very driven to make their job the smoothest, easiest shift that they can have. The hardest part of the job is the multitasking that it requires, and if an individual doesn't have great multitasking skills going into the job, they either hone that skill or they leave for something not as demanding. The most enjoyable part of the job is the flexible hours and the variety of people you get to work with and work for.
Pros
Great meal discounts in Darden restaurants, yearly vacation pay, great discounts and benefits from other companies for being a Darden employee
Cons
Short or nonexistant breaks, high turnover rate, requirement to hit company-set scores within a low-volume restaurant
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fun place to work
Restaurant (Current Employee) –  Athens, GAMarch 29, 2016
On a normal day at work there is less talking and more working unless it gets busy. I learned how to work with others and keep a good work pace. The management is good i get along with my managers we communicate often and they are all very supportive and helpful. my co workers are interesting, most of them are college students so they show how important it is to work and achieve the little easy things to be rewarded in a big way. I do not find anything hard about my job it is a favor for a favor i do the work i get paid i look forward to my job everyday.The most enjoyable part of my job is getting paid because i know i put in the work to receive the paycheck i deserve.
Pros
50% off
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Olive Garden Employee Review
hostess (Current Employee) –  McDonough, GADecember 10, 2015
A typical day at Olive Garden is what you make it. If you come in with a positive attitude you can expect to have a positive day. Olive Garden taught me cash handling, good customer service and communication skills, team work, and time management. Most of my co-workers are very professional and work hard to achieve a common goal. The hardest part of my job would be juggling responsibilities when we are understaffed. The most enjoyable part of my job would be interacting with guests and being part of the reason they have an enjoyable experience.
Pros
flexible schedule
Cons
Not enough hours, poor management
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Friendly workplace where being a team player is a necessity.
BUSSER / SOUP CHECKER (Current Employee) –  Daytona Beach, FLJanuary 4, 2016
There are a variety of different job positions and each one is an important part to the restaurant. I enjoy being able to have pleasant conversations with my coworkers and I also like the flexible working hours. It can however be a very loud and stressful place when it is at its busiest.
Pros
Flexible work hours, discounted food, free fountain drinks, work reviews and pay raises.
Cons
Can be a stressful place when everyone isn't doing their job and working together.
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Overall rating

3.9
Based on 3,337 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.8
Compensation/Benefits
3.4
Job Security/Advancement
3.4
Management
3.5
Culture
3.8