Red Lobster Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
507 Reviews
3.4
507 Reviews
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Red Lobster President Kim Lopdrup
Kim Lopdrup
171 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible schedule, it's usually easy to pick up extra shifts or to give shifts away (in 35 reviews)

  • friends for life, Benefits ,401K, opportunities for advancement (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • If you want money you have to work long hours (in 24 reviews)

  • 4 table stations to ensure guests get what they want then 1 year later changing back to 3 table stations (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

75 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Never caring

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Host/Hostess, Cashier, Take-out Specialist
    Former Employee - Host/Hostess, Cashier, Take-out Specialist

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Discounts on food, free Cheddar Bay biscuits, great friends, extremely nice customers

    Cons

    Management in multiple stores, the unwillingness of co-workers to help you out, not at all flexible with hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management doesn't understand how stressful it can be going to school full-time, handling a job and trying to take care of your great grandparents, while your parents are splitting up and you have to take care of siblings. Obviously, that's not everyone's case. I think the management should be more understanding when it comes to advance day-off requests, once in a blue moon call-offs and exhaustion after working 36 hours in four days. Communication throughout the restaurants is nothing. When I quit, at least 4 other people quit at the same time.

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

    Hostess Position

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

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Red Lobster pays above average compared to other restaurants. The employees are paid weekly and they are flexible with the hours you can work. This is a great job for someone in high school or college.

    Cons

    It seemed a bit unorganized. I came to work one day and there were about 5 Hostess' standing at the front. This was a day during the week so there weren't very many customers. I'm not sure why someone would schedule that many Hostess' for a slow day during the week. Also, the seating is very hard to understand and the system is not very easy to learn. I feel as though the training that I went through didn't really explain the system very well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in a better training program for all of your restaurant staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Worst job I've ever had

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hostess  in  Traverse City, MI
    Former Employee - Hostess in Traverse City, MI

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Overall it seems as if Darden cares about its employees. It offers a variety of programs that help the employees, including health insurance & help with any financial hardships that may occur.

    Cons

    The management team spoke to me as if I was an idiot, when I asked about the possibility of training to be a server, they did not even consider it and basically just shut me down right on the spot. however, when i applied and interviewed for the job the original manager said to me that there was potential to move into a serving position. Asking for time off is a hassle, and never expect holidays off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Terrible Management Team

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

    I have been working at Red Lobster part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The Pay was decent , discounts on meals

    Cons

    Terrible Management Team
    Awful Employees
    Extremely rude guests , and company doesn't even try to vouch for you .When it comes to rude guests , but thats mostly expected .
    Unorganized
    Not understanding to the needs of Team Members
    Not considerate of others schedule meaning the schedule of there team members

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and take constructive criticism
    As well as actually DO YOUR JOB !

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Stay away... until a new management change

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

    I have been working at Red Lobster full-time

    Pros

    Work-life balance is a plus.

    Cons

    One person show - if you go against the flow, you will be put aside - even if you have good intention to turnaround the business. Lack of trust and empowerment - senior management wants to know everything, but does not have time to understand everything. Failure to act on root cause - no interest in addressing the real issues behind the business decline.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the root causes instead of masking them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    After 2 years (as a bartender) heres what I have to say..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bartender  in  Woodbridge, NJ
    Former Employee - Bartender in Woodbridge, NJ

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    High Volume, Fast Paced, as a server/bartender you are in control of the money you make. Higher check averages versus other Corporate Family restaurants. Offered employees a program when owned by Darden called "Darden Dimes" that financially helped their employees in case of emergencies. This restaurant will put you through the "gauntlet" so its a Pro as it prepares you for your next restaurant experience.

    Cons

    The wait staff is responsible for too much labor. In addition to prepping biscuits for the guest(s) the server/bartender must prepare each salad at a salad bar inside the kitchen from scratch (side/lunch and dinner sizes). On a Friday night every person on the floor staff has dipped their dirty hands in your lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and croutons just to make 2-15 salads quick enough to do other duties and get to the next table. The management is subpar because they move around frequently ,whilst the good ones struggle to uphold the restaurant. Labor cost is number one priority. They will overstaff the schedule and make severe cuts on the wait staff and kitchen, in result the restaurant would crash during busy hours. Careered Servers/Bartenders with 10+ years invested in the company were given shorter hours and less days as they constantly hired new waves of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please take care of your hourly employees, especially the long-term employees. They are your biggest asset and they deserve a level of seniority in their position. I was forced to find a new job while I was working there, when I used to love my job so much. You lost a strong player, maybe you should really figure out what your doing wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    server

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

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    All the people I had the opportunity to work with, could easily switch shifts (if someone was willing to pick up) at the last minute without penalty.

    Cons

    Management played favorites, got stuck with the same tables every shift, depending on availability you could be scheduled to close every shift

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rotate the closing shifts among everyone on the team and switch up everyone's stations so they have the ability to earn a little bit more money

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    management was petty, growth opportunities non-existent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server  in  Elyria, OH
    Current Employee - Server in Elyria, OH

    I have been working at Red Lobster part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    flexible hours for school and other associations. short hours

    Cons

    petty management, lack of hours, construction near property causing horrible guest counts, low tipping area

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow people to have second jobs! don't threaten your employees and leave home problems at home.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Strict work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Server  in  Plano, TX
    Former Employee - Server in Plano, TX

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Everyone that worked here was a family
    Easy to take time off due to large number of waitstaff

    Cons

    Due to clientele, pay was terrible 90% of the time
    Small three table sections
    Strict rules enforced, such as requirements for long introduction, explaining all menus, etc. This would always start a table off in a bad mood due to the length of this spiel that they did not want to hear
    High turnover rate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the rules here were beyond strict and ridiculous. There was no leeway and many servers who had worked there for decades were getting fired over silly reasons. Many believed this was done to help shave off expenses such as their paid vacations, etc. This was not a fun place to work, and the serious work environment did not fit the restaurant. This is not a Michelin restaurant. It's RED LOBSTER. Maybe that's why the company isn't doing so well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    For high school students, no mobility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Host  in  Cool Springs, TN
    Former Employee - Host in Cool Springs, TN

    I worked at Red Lobster part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good for high school students

    Cons

    not a real job, not good tips or management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a better job. This one treats managers like slaves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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