Darden

www.darden.com

Darden Reviews

Updated January 15, 2015
Updated January 15, 2015
821 Reviews
3.5
821 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis Jr.
Clarence Otis Jr.
388 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible schedule and the ability to walk with cash in hand are the best perks of this job (in 52 reviews)

  • flexible hours and availability to trade shifts with other servers (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • Very long hours that are not equivalent to the compensation package (in 29 reviews)

  • Current environment is hard on work/life balance (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

104 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Unstable work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Hostess in Elmhurst, NY
    Current Employee - Hostess in Elmhurst, NY

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    flexible hours, fun atmosphere, perks

    Cons

    hours get cut every week, job is not guranteed

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Stressful, but couldn't leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server
    Former Employee - Server

    I worked at Darden part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Loved the atmosphere and money, which is why I was with the company for so long

    Cons

    Felt to a certain extent they didn't allow too much personality. It also seemed the less integrity and moral you consisted of the quicker you would get promoted. Darden seems to thrive off of crappy managers and general managers and quick, dependable servants.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on your FOH and BOH needs and desires. Most of the time they really aren't asking for too much.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Alright

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    Great employees,money was decent,decent location

    Cons

    Difficult customers hard to keep working

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management sucks

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Autonomous

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Darden

    Pros

    Fellow Team Members, the regular clientele you establish.

    Cons

    Hours and there tax codes do not represent the state you may reside in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    A Sad Story

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources
    Current Employee - Human Resources

    I have been working at Darden full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, great human resource policies, has a great history, was founded by a fantastic man - Bill Darden, has had many great leaders, employees in the restaurant have built the company. Has had a great history of loyal employees and people who have cared about the company.

    Cons

    Has lost it's way in the last few years. Being the largest Dinner house company has become the most important driver. The recently retired CEO damaged the company severely. Hundreds of the founding leaders of the company have left or been retired/laid off. Many of the new leaders at all levels have no depth of the history of the company and what it was that made it great. Many of these leaders have become self consumed, and driven by personal gain unfortunately. Those who are left from the past are still loyal and can be trusted. New leadership at all levels has come from acquired companies and has no loyalty to the company or it's long time employees. A sad story.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find out what made the company great, learn from the past leaders, sincerely care about the employees and return to your roots.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Ok...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Host in Coralville, IA
    Current Employee - Host in Coralville, IA

    I have been working at Darden full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They gave me a job fast, when I needed it and I was able to raise up the the ranks of the company fast

    Cons

    The managers played heavy favorites and it interfered with promotions and good scheduling

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop playing favorites

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    bigger is always better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager

    I have been working at Darden full-time

    Pros

    not much I would pro

    Cons

    the kind of place you dread to go to

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    No room for real growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Olive Garden Host in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Olive Garden Host in Boston, MA

    I worked at Darden full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    It was a great atmosphere usually with the other employees and the guest that come are great.

    Cons

    You are truly overlooked and won't be able to move up the totem pole. They usually bring in new management from someplace else when a position is open rather than filling it with a veteran employee who knows the normal clientele. They also do not care if you have classes, if you are on their payroll you give them your soul.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire from within! The hostess and servers are the ones who REALLY know what goes on in your restaurant. Listen to them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    When you're here, you're family?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Pooler, GA
    Former Employee - Server in Pooler, GA

    I worked at Darden full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Darden offers a lot of benefits

    Cons

    The management needs improvement
    They treat the employees like they are irrelevant
    The guests always come first, even when they are clearly wrong
    They do not pay you like they should

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees correctly and be less aggressive

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    No Country for Old Men

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Generalist in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Generalist in Orlando, FL

    I worked at Darden full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Facilities are clean and attractive; view of lake is pleasant. Peer level co-workers are generally fun and easy to work with. Cafe is on the premises. Daily fruit, nuts, snacks provided, along with unlimited soda, tea, coffee. Clinic on premises and some advantages due to that. Parking garage available. Occasional events on holidays with food provided. Company discounts for Darden concepts. Benefits reasonable but not amazing. Wi-fi available.

    Cons

    Company culture steadily deteriorating since the early 2000's. Long term employees with benefits being eliminated. Diversity preached every working hour. Non-minority men over 45 an endangered species here, unless in a white collar position. Women definitely favored over men in lower level roles to balance white collar numbers. Cliques is an understatement; the arrogance at this place seemed palpable. Morale was sub-par, and there are fraternization rules to eliminate the appearance of "favoritism". Such policies instilled a resultant "chilling" effect, drastically negatively affecting friendliness between management and lower level RSC staff. This helped to make management oblivious and unresponsive to underlings serious concerns. Office cubicles are small. Cafe food was not a bargain; if it's company subsidized, it was not noticeable. Gym not free. Size of the campus is a challenge, as is leaving the building for any period of time because immense parking lot distances and complex traffic situation; better to take the day off. Company computers were made available to management leaving, but not to general workers let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is the prototypical corporation that has long forgotten its roots, steadily filtering out those with wisdom and maturity that could help them weather the storms of this sorry economy. Its stock flounders because of poor decision making, resulting in weakening sales, and it strives hardest to simply curry favor by constantly being PC in the worst sense of the word. They don't solicit advice and would reject any offered, most of all from a lower level employee, whose station they, at best, express ambivalence toward. At RSC, my employee experience was that Open Door was just an HR buzzword. Upon leaving, constructive input was not evoked, welcomed, nor appreciated, especially from those once, ironically, considered the backbone of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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