Great American Restaurants
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Great American Restaurants Employee Reviews

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Ashburn, VA54 reviews
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4.0
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I learned a decent amount while working with Great American Restaurants, specifically in working with customers, or "guests".

Now I'm a lot more pleasant sounding over the phone. I know how to handle customers when they're upset, or have questions.

Over all, it was a wonderful learning experience.


The hardest thing about the job though was the communication within your "team" as they don't communicate very often, or when I'd try to, they never actually listened. BUT, not all locations were like this. I had helped at other GAR locations and the "teams" there were fantastic to work with and tons of fun.


What I had enjoyed most working with GAR was the fact that they took care of their employees, especially financially within the area of Northern VA.


A typical day at the location that I worked at was getting things set up within the host stand, and giving bars the TV list (sports games, what times, and teams), having headsets, setting up computers, etc. And, taking care of whoever walked in the front door, greeting them properly, and getting them seated. Not too hard.
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5.0
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There's a reason why Great American Restaurants have been nominated for 6years on Washington Post's Top Workplaces. Very hospitable, supportive management team. Management team and fellow team staff makes employees feel at home, not just an employee/number but a part of the family.
Pros
Hospitable work environment, management teams
Cons
Limitations on growth
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1.0
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The food and atmosphere of Carlyle is pleasant and beautiful until you work there. As a women of color diversity, and inclusion, amongst the company is what I look for. Here, at Carlyle, I was respected by a few co-workers and managers, but the Shareholder/General Manager Leah gave me the cold shoulder. Nothing she said towards me was authentic, and something regarding how I spoke or worked needed to be worked on . I wasn’t allowed to be my authentic self, and I was always told to change what I was wearing. On top of all of that, to this very day I never received my training check that was somehow “lost” Stressful environment, but O would go there as a guest. If not to Carlyle, to one of the other Great American Resturants because they all have the same food but different lenicacy on the worker according to her
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4.0
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Like most work places there are standards. Creates great work ethic, focuses on hospitality to ensure guest satisfaction. Really enjoy the people you meet here, co-workers and guests.
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5.0
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The job was fast paced and encouraged incredible team service. The managers clearly cared about the well being of their employees and everyone, no matter the position, was treated with the utmost respect. The company itself is also very diligent and organized in their training process which prepares you greatly for the positions you take on. Overall, a great organization to be a part of.
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4.0
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I’m theory there is room to grow and advance, but I’ve seen a lot of employees get stuck because the managers won’t provide them with proper training to move up. It is very frustrating to stay in limbo when you are willing to put in the work.
Pay is good and the Team-Service policy is unique but very comfortable as a server. Managers are not on the same page but they are all nice and do their jobs well.
Pros
Team-service, mid-day breaks, kind staff
Cons
Management is unclear of their expectations and how you can move up.
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5.0
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Great place to learn about restaurant customer service. Offered a view of what teamwork strategies can provide for the customer satisfaction. The menu was planned so that items be refined and be the best.
Pros
flexible schedule room for growth
Cons
Location could have been beter
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5.0
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The people and atmosphere are wonderful. I met many people while working at 2 of their restaurants that I am still great friends with today. The training there is very detailed so it creates confidence when handling situations
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5.0
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Great American Restaurants (GAR) is the go-to casual dining chain in the Northern VA area. I was employed on and off, of my own choosing, over five years. GAR has a lot of rules, but if you follow the rules and let management know you want to move up, they will support your future within the company. I didn't always love working for GAR, but in the end, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities they gave me and I owe a lot of my professional growth to GAR. The people that work for GAR are amazing people who quickly become like family.
Pros
cool people, good management, good money
Cons
lots of rules, strict dress attire, dry-clean uniforms
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5.0
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This is a great place to work if you are looking to have a career in the restaurant industry! There was extensive training and many manuals to go over
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4.0
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Great company. Highly organized and efficient. Focused on total guest and employee satisfaction. Amazing food and outstanding quality. They care about their people
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5.0
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I love everything that the company stands for. More restaurants should have the pride they have for the business. It may not be rocket science, but the effort and thought that goes into creating a positive experience for every guest is astounding. This causes you to have a tremendous amount of respect for what you do here. If you are a hard worker you will fit in perfectly here as they take accountability very seriously. Do your job and you'll have no issues. Come to kill time and screw around & and you'll find your stay brief.
Pros
Slight discount on amazing food, flexible hours, ability to get time off
Cons
Dry cleaning, occasional company rules
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2.0
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The only reason I enjoyed working here was because of the co-workers (who eventually turned into friends) and also the OLD set of managers (who have since been transferred to other locations of the chain; the company switches managers around once a year or so). Now lets talk about how HORRIBLE (some) of the current managers are. They have a rating system for all employees on your performance which they give quarterly. It’s based on close to nothing and determines future raises, what you’re doing good at and what needs improvement. However it is completely unfair & bias (if you’re one of the managers favorites you will be rated outstanding-even if nobody else agrees). I never understood how a manager can rate you when you know more then them and they hardly ever see you to be able to accurately rate you. They are also very judgmental/critical of everything (its 2018 people, a small piercing on my ear is NOT unprofessional and neither is any nail color besides pale pink) & not African-American friendly either, a manager once told an employee that their hair was "not professional" how insulting! The managing partner was AWFUL! The mood swings were out of control, I would have to text co-workers to see what I was walking into. Also the favoritism was so obvious. The environment was like high school, there was a lot of drama especially with the host manager who would blatantly talk about others to employees. There are MANY more things that I could say, but these were the main issues.
Pros
Nice co-workers, Pay
Cons
No real hours, Short breaks, Managing Partner
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3.0
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The people are really the main draw in my opinion. I had lots of fun and met loads of nice people while working there. They are a very successful company, and they have a proven track record of running things. Just keep in mind that their structure might not fit every person.
Pros
The staff
Cons
The structure of their business might not suit everyone
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4.0
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I like working for this company. I was a great (lol) job to have for the time. It is very organized. I was making enough money. It was probably the cleanest restaurant I have ever worked for.
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5.0
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This is an awesome job for any college students or recent graduates transitioning in their life. The company has a very high standard and expectation of their employees both within and outside the restaurant. That being said, if you are hardworking and want a job in the restaurant industry that may allow for growth, this is a good company to work with.

But don't forget that it's still the restaurant industry, so it may be difficult to get through some days. Generally speaking, GAR employees are awesome though, so you'll manage.
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3.0
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The people that work for the company are all fantastic.The system that is crafted around you allows you to succeed.

Long days, weekends, and holidays--all must work.


Management will expect and take advantage of your willingness to help them out, but does not always reciprocate. Can play favoritism.
Pros
Occasional Free Meals, Better than industry standard pay in tips, growth culture
Cons
Poor work-life ratio, Everday leadership/management varies in competency
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5.0
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This place is very strict and fast-paced as it should be in the food industry. They pride themselves with their incredible customer service and satisfaction rate. Employees are treated with respect and are taught to be formal and classy as well as speaking with utmost respect and phone mannerism.
Pros
Discounted food, great coworkers, great company reviews
Cons
Not a lot of hours given per day, late nights
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5.0
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I love working at Great American Restaurants! Unfortunately, I am trying to get experience in a field that correlates with my future career! Management was amazing and the people I work with are easy to collaborate with! A typical day would include greeting guests with a smile, seating them, and making sure their overall experience is spectacular. What I've learned through this workplace would be; patience, being flexible, helping out where needed, and wearing a smile goes a long way. The hardest part about this job would be the hours and flexibility with those hours. I would like to find a job where I wouldn't work long hours and where my employer would understand that I am still in school and that, school, would be my main focus.
Pros
work with friends, delicious food, and great management
Cons
long/late hours, short breaks, and the parking lot is far away
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3.0
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My experience with Coastal Flats was a great learning experience.I Enjoyed my time there while I was an employee I enjoyed my co-workers and the wonderful guest. A typical day at work would be coming in and working for a few hours, during that time I would greet guest, take to-go orders, answer phone calls, etc. I learned that having great hospitality skills is key in any work environment. Management was poor and unorganized, in most work positions you would want to be able to approach your managers with any concerns or issues but unfortunately at Coastal Flats that was not that case. The most enjoyable part about this job was making new long lasting friendships.
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5.0
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My favorite job I've had so far! Started out as a host and made my way up to a key server. Very fast paced, high energy, amazing co-workers, great management. Be prepared for long days, some difficult nights... All to be expected when working in restaurants. Really taught me wonderful communication and life skills I will continue to use every day.
Pros
Lots to learn, always something to do, fun atmosphere
Cons
Long hours, constant trips to the dry cleaner, unpredictable pay
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Overall rating
4.1
Based on 61 reviews
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Ratings by category
3.6
Work/Life Balance
3.7
Compensation/Benefits
3.5
Job Security/Advancement
3.9
Management
3.9
Culture