SERVER (Former Employee) – Orange, CT – January 16, 2018
It's a corporate chain restaurant. They have some stupid rules. The clientele that they attract is sometimes undesirable. They follow the "the customer is always right" saying way too seriously, because sometimes (a lot of times) they really aren't. I never felt supported by my management when a problem would arise or a customer would make false claims. On the flipside, the company definitely took care of their employees with good discounts, vacation time, health benefits, dental, vision, and even 401k.
Server (Current Employee) – Fredericksburg, VA – January 18, 2019
Customer service requires patience, but also a commitment to keeping the customer happy, while providing them with good food, respect, and a smile. Sales are involved as you must know the products available in order to explain them to the customers.
Server (Former Employee) – Lakewood, CO – January 18, 2019
If you've never served before, this is a great place to start. They sit you down and teach you everything you need to know about the company and what it means to be a great server. Once you're on the floor, you get a three-four table section, lots of help from team members, and lots of encouragement from management. Shifts are easy to get rid of and easy to pick up. The team is super friendly, at first a little intimidating, but once you've met everybody you feel like one of them. There's lots of room for advancement, all you have to do is ask. Scheduling is extremely flexible as well. Management is extremely understanding and helpful. Sometimes the business can be a little slow but as long as you understand the menu and are friendly to your guests, it shouldn't effect the amount you walk out with. You can choose to walk out with cash, get paid to your account, or have all your money paid to you at the end of each week. Overall a great place to work.
server (Current Employee) – Topeka, KS – January 17, 2019
The management is a joke at best, they hardly communicate with one another, so you have to relay anything at least twice, if not more. The head manager will treat any irritation as an 'attitude' and completely shut you out. The hosts have hardly any idea what they're doing and will seat you however they want, even when you tell them directly not to or to wait. Some of the other servers are pretty cool, but the ones that have been there for a while are stuck up and know they can get away with anything from being late to taking days off with no fuss. "If you're here, you're family" and that means servers are the red-headed step-kids that no one likes. You get treated like you're incompetent on a daily basis and there's very little recognition for good work. Surveys are forced and scores determine how soon you go from two tables to three. Three is also the highest number you'll have, and there are very few exceptions, usually for the ones that have been there a long time. If you ask to move to a different position, you'll be disappointed because they only allow that if it suits them. Hardly anyone is trained in multiple positions, so there's many people who are overworked and can hardly take a day off without a fuss being made. Management will also side with the guests, no matter what. They would rather you be made to look or feel stupid to your table than admit the guest is wrong.
Slight discounts on food
Poor management, poor room for job development, blatant favoratism
Server (Current Employee) – Coralville, IA – January 17, 2019
There’s a lot of work that goes into your tables that people don’t see and reciprocate the job you do for them. The managers care more about the guest experience than the workers 4.15/hr that all gets taxed out, the only money I get is my tips that are also taxed
Server (Former Employee) – Tacoma, WA – January 16, 2019
Worked here for 10+ years. Tips are great until Darden decided to have a value menu. Clientele changed to things hanging out their pants and not using toothbrushes. From 2000+ in tips for p/t to 400 per month . Terrible . Managers are always changing and now so do the employees. Used to have to have min 2 years exp. to be a server. Standards have dropped to no exp, no brain, a nice rack = hired! Benefits suck and incentives like co. Picnic are no longer! They do 1 Christmas breakfast with Santa that most employees dont go to. Ut does not focus on employees, rather the dishwashers uncle cousins great niece on the step moms sides 7 children. It's a joke!
Customer Service and Food Services (Former Employee) – Provo, UT – January 16, 2019
The Managers at Olive Garden were very friendly and relaxed when they could be, but were direct when necessary. The work environment was fast paced and fun. Often there would be music playing in the kitchen to keep morale high. overall a great experience working there.
Server (Former Employee) – Reno, NV – January 16, 2019
I learned how to run food quickly, and interact with guests. The hardest part is being attentive to all your tables when it gets busy. The most enjoyable part is interacting with people and being friendly.
Server & Food Runner (Current Employee) – Dallas, TX 75211 – January 15, 2019
I developed my upselling and efficiency skills along with customer service tactics that have helped me be able to communicate better with the people that I cater for, I learned that the guest must be satisfied and I also learned how to prioritize.
Server/Trainer (Former Employee) – Corpus Christi, TX 78411 – January 15, 2019
It wasn't bad when I first began several years ago. There were the staple lunch specials including unlimited this-and-that for a low price which tends to attract high-maintenance, low-tipping clientele. Dinners and weekends were much better until the ever-dreaded Never-Ending-Pasta-Bowl promotion, which thankfully was only for a few weeks annually. As time went on, more promotions provided more for free at lower prices with little change to the set-up to accommodate the extra tasks.
It was common for any complaint, no matter how small or large, to be met by management with a free meal and a gift card practically begging them to return. It all seemed very desperate and most were very unsympathetic to how the practices impacted our income. It's hard to blame management, however, because it was known and clear that they had many more superiors to answer to regarding numbers and visitors. It seemed like everyone's job was on the line at any given time.
I've heard that some positive changes have been made, however, it may also be by a location-by-location basis.
Easy side work and running duties, meal discounts, advancement opportunities
Generally low pay, inconsistent clientele, food dies quickly, easy to get "free food"
The only thing that made serving worth it was not having sidework/silverware
Server (Former Employee) – Mobile, AL – January 15, 2019
The thing I did enjoy were the co-workers and $1 unlimited soup/salad for employees.
The managers acted like they were running a 4 star restaurant with a fast food mentality. The turnover rate in employees was astounding.
The customers were just as bad. It didn't matter how terrible the guests were or how in the wrong they were, the managers ALWAYS comped whatever food was on the ticket and never backed up the servers when you were just trying to do your job. It got around all you had to do was complain you would get food for free. Not having to stay and do a ton of housekeeping duties as far as cleaning and be checked was the only aspect of justifying the bad money for the work. I've worked quite a few serving jobs and this one was unfortunately one of the worst ones.
cheap food, less cleaning
lazy management, lack of care for long ticket times
SERVER (Current Employee) – Wilmington, NC – January 15, 2019
Olive Garden is a very nice place to work. Everyone truly works as a team, the managers are very flexible with your schedule, and you can get a shift picked up almost any time. The hours are not crazy, and if you are a double you will get a break.