Olive Garden Employee Reviews

Found 3,827 reviews matching the search
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No room for advancement
ToGo Specialist/Sever/Host (Former Employee) –  Bristol, VAFebruary 13, 2017
Managers were a hit or miss team. Some days they seemed to care, and others you were just a bother. There was no room for advancement. Promises for advancement were made and not followed through with. The overall feeling of the team is lack of communication and lack of teamwork. Rules change on the daily giving nobody a chance to learn what not to do. Sometimes work long shifts with no break, and not allowed to eat, even a granola bar. Only joy of the job is to get to work with friends. Decent pay for host, underpaid ToGo Specialist. Servers only make decent money on weekends and some week nights, Always overstaffed in the morning giving servers one to three tables before being cut making it hard to make money.
Pros
50% off food before or after your shift
Cons
Long work days with short breaks. Lack of care from management team.
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Great advancement at the start and then you wait...
Culinary Professional (Current Employee) –  Fort Lauderdale, FLJanuary 14, 2017
Advancement:
Olive Garden is great at advancing their employees to know as much of the restaurant as possible. However, promises are often made for management that are not followed through. I have personally been told I will be considered for management for the past 3 years and have had only interviews after I left the company and came back.

Schedules:
Working in the back of house my schedules would change every week and I would never get 40 hours. Sometimes I would be scheduled mornings, have the afternoon off, and then come back for night shifts.

Working in the front of house is much more flexible. It is easy to pick up or give away shifts making it much more enjoyable.

Environment;
Fun people to work with, just don't wait for false promises.
Pros
Front of house scheduling is flexible
Cons
Back of house scheduling
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I loved it!
Server/Bartender (Former Employee) –  Grand Island, NEJanuary 6, 2017
I loved working at Olive Garden it was by far my favorite job I got to work very closely to guests I learned a lot about sales whether it was selling a dish some thing extra or a drink or dessert it all adds up I also learned a lot about team work and helping each other out you're all there for a common goal and I loved that I got the opportunity to work with money and give change as well as cards like credit/debt other gifts cards and coupons I took on more than one roll at Olive Garden it was a server but I was also a bartender and I worked in the kitchen every so often to help make desserts and salad
Pros
Amazing people to work with, food discounts, great managers who worked with your schedule, good breaks, treated very well there
Cons
Because of my position as a server/bartender i couldnt get a raise because you make money off tips
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Grate place to start serving if you never have before
Server (Current Employee) –  FLFebruary 16, 2017
Though the employees (excluding managers) are great, It becomes tedious to be expected to have a 5 star quality time while the staff isn't trained properly. A team member may be good at their job, but that will not guarantee promotion. Promotions are always given to employees based on favorites over performance. A typical day at work usually involves at least one manager ignoring your problem, having to doing others side work, and short breaks for shifts that will leave your body sore. Working may be rough at Olive garden, but if you can learn to finesse your table and work hard you can make a living. I truly enjoyed working at Olive Garden due to the amazing people you will call your coworkers. The hardest part of the job is trying to move up and managers will alter you schedule the day before shifts but wont tell you. The most enjoyable part of the job is having amazing table interactions with people.
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Management and Enviroment was Hostile
Server (Former Employee) –  Prattville, ALSeptember 22, 2016
The GM and one of the assistant managers at this location should not have been able to become managers. They were very unprofessional, and treated their employees like garbage. Half of the staff was under the influence of something. The benefits were a joke, and advancement was only possible if you were a management favorite. the hardest part of the job was dealing with the GM, and the most enjoyable was going to the restaurant next door to drink after clocking out.
Pros
Flexibility of hours
Cons
Laughable healthcare options, bad food, unreasonable management
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Fun place to work
Assistant General Manager (Current Employee) –  Santa Maria, CAFebruary 7, 2017
Darden is the company where you want to be.
Great culture. Great benefits. Great job security. Work life balance for this industry. Easy to get noticed if you're a high performer.
Pros
work life balance
Cons
Hard to terminate employees
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Decent job
Culinary Professional (Former Employee) –  Athens, GAJanuary 6, 2017
The people were definitely the best part of this job. It was almost like a home away from home. The compensation again was the biggest flaw. The management team would squeeze as much labor out of you as possible with providing as little incentive as possible. With false promises of advancement within the company.
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Fun place to work, good culture
Service Professional (Current Employee) –  Springfield, ILOctober 10, 2016
I was mostly a server but learned most positions. It is a great place to work, but comes with the typical restaurant problems, like managers change and some are really good and some are really bad. The culture of the restaurant is a lot about team work and taking care of the guests first. It really is like a family with your coworkers. If someone has a problem then others will rally to help out if they can and management will work with you. However, the new corporate management that bought the company or shares of the company have been making changes and some are not good and don't work well from the perspective of employees. Some changes might sound good on paper and may be more efficient or cost saving on paper but does not play out well on the working level, and has caused some guests to be unhappy.
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Great place to work through school
Server/Expediter (Current Employee) –  Greensburg, PAFebruary 1, 2017
Overall Olive Garden is a good company to work for if you do not plan on making a career of it. I have been there for over 15 years, and with the change in corporate leadership, my job satisfaction has decreased. They have implemented rules and cutbacks that make it much more difficult to function as a high-quality customer service professional. Also, my income has decreased due to the above mentioned reasons and a few other managerial issues, mostly due to corporate restrictions.

I do enjoy the staff, the family environment, and support of co-workers. Also, management does the best they can to accommodate schedule availability and family obligations. We care about each other, and it is evident. There is also a shift exchange that is actively used and comes in very handy for last minute schedule changes.

For a job of this nature, they do offer great benefits, including medical, eye, dental, legal, pet, life insurance, accident, identity theft protection, and a few others.

They do reward success and offer advancement opportunities. I myself have been offered the opportunity, however, declined due to the long hours, stress level vs pay, corporate interference, and the decrease in management's salary.

I highly recommend this job, however, if you are trying to work through college or just need a good place to start. You can work to your heart's content (overtime offered during peak seasons) for decent pay, or adjust your schedule as needed. This is the main reason I have stayed.
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Productive and Fun work place
Customer Service (Current Employee) –  Lexington, KYJanuary 15, 2017
Everyone that works here is very easy to get along with, it comes with the personality of being a server. Always a lively bunch, it's almost impossible to have a bad day because everyone notices when your mood is down. Always a team effort to help ensure guests are well taken care of. Management can be tough, but its always to better the company and your personal work ethic.
Pros
long breaks, free breadsticks, happy environment, darden dimes program
Cons
part time, no benefits
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Fast Paced, but Demandkng Job
Server and Trainer (Former Employee) –  Bailey's Crossroads, VADecember 31, 2016
It has its ups and downs, but long hours and only compensation is tips. Management needs improvement, but overall a fun job for a college student or a service professional.
Pros
Free Lunch, Nice People
Cons
Low compensation, Bad Management
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fun coworkers, uneasy management
Server (Former Employee) –  Cerritos, CAJanuary 17, 2017
Management was always on different pages. Without using names, one in particular was rude, very unprofessional, and caused unnecessary anxiety throughout the store. No manager should make coming to work seem like a drag and talk to you like you're expendable. On the other hand my coworkers were fun and always willing to help. The teamwork was always there.
Pros
teamwork, fun coworkers
Cons
part time, little to no benefits, management, no free meals like other branches
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Fair Company
Bartender/Server (Former Employee) –  Kingston, NYJuly 18, 2016
Like any other Restaurant, Olive Garden has their Ups and Downs. If your looking for a long time career in this industry, Olive garden would be a great place to work and move up the ladder. I have a few friends who started off as servers and 3-4 years later are now in management and making salary with opportunities to advance even further. This company is also a great place to work part-time for extra income or while in school. They are very flexible with schedules. Staff and management are friendly. Some days are busier than others and some guest are easier to please than others but that is anywhere you go.
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Fun workplace with little drama.
Server (Current Employee) –  Addison, TXOctober 5, 2016
My favorite part of working at Olive Garden was the management team I was able to work with! You have never met such down to earth, sweet and understanding managers. There was almost no drama in the store, and most people got along as friends. I have never had the opportunity to work in such a rich, incredible environment.
Darden gives you benefits the day that you start, which in itself is amazing.
Overall, this company was great to work for! I would work again.
Pros
TEAMWORK, 50% discount, benefits package upon starting, management, work evironment
Cons
iShift
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Fast-paced, Patience is a MUST, Good food, and decent discounts
Host/Server/Busser (Former Employee) –  Vallejo, CADecember 7, 2016
A typical workday at the Olive Garden is to be expected: Constant running back and forth from kitchen to dining room with trays full of drinks and food, Good customer service skills are needed when dealing with unhappy guests as well as making connections for future visits. Co-workers are diverse and usually energetic.
Pros
Cash on hand tips, short hours, Benefits
Cons
Open on holidays, Management
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Olive Garden
Host, Server, Bartender (Former Employee) –  Greensboro, NCFebruary 4, 2017
This is a great company to work for. On a great day I was able to make $15-$20/hr. I really enjoyed working with all the people and even enjoyed having regulars and getting to see them. One negative thing about this company is that they do not offer benefits to anyone but management or at least thats how it was when i worked there.
Pros
discounts
Cons
healthcare, no breaks unless working a doub
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I Love Serving
Server (Current Employee) –  Colorado Springs, COOctober 27, 2016
My experiences at the Olive Garden have varied but mostly have been for the better. Any issues that I've had management had been helpful, accommodating and overall pretty good. I've just recently transferred to a location that stays overstaffed so benefits are nearly impossible to obtain. Pretty sure I've lost my anniversary check this year due to a drastic change in hours when I moved.
Pros
Discounts for dining in and during shifts, flexible hours
Cons
Inconsistent policy and management
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Horrible management.
Server (Former Employee) –  Secaucus, NJJanuary 5, 2017
The management team lacks direction. Everyone is intimidated by a GM who is barely around to give her all to the staff. She has no idea how to speak to the staff. She addresses the staff with sarcasm and disrespect which is not to be tolerated. Any management team that will throw staff "under the bus" in front of guests is not the right management to be employed by.
Cons
No breaks. No salary, just tips.
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a productive team in a fast past environment
Hostess (Former Employee) –  Austin, TXSeptember 30, 2016
management and co-workers worked as one big team to keep things running smoothly this made work a great experience for me . the biggest challenge id say is being able to handle working in a environment that kept you on your toes could become overwhelming and stressful at times . this isn't a place for someone who likes chill and laid back.
Pros
meal discounts, offers great benefits
Cons
trying to request off for holidays its alot like early bird gets the worm
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Great People
Bartender and Server (Current Employee) –  Cypress, CADecember 9, 2016
I have met many great and humble people working for this company, both co-workers and guests! The potential for advancement is there, if you wish to achieve that. Great benefits - medical, dental vision, 401k with matching, vacation pay, sick pay.
Pros
Meal discounts, vacation pay, medical if you work enough hours
Cons
There's always that lazy co-worker(or 5) you wish would just give up, and move on!
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Overall rating

3.9
Based on 3,884 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