Brinker
3.3 of 5 81 reviews
www.brinker.com Dallas, TX 5000+ Employees

Brinker Reviews

Updated Jul 6, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 81 reviews

                             

74% Approve of the CEO

Brinker Chairman, President, and CEO Doug Brooks

Doug Brooks

(42 ratings)

70% of employees recommend this company to a friend
81 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Flexible hours during down times"
    in 5 reviews
  • "Compensation, structure, ability to move up and be promoted from within"
    in 3 reviews
Cons:

Reviews

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Treat you right

    Managing Partner (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat People and Culture. In a down economy, the company is staying positive and trying new things. Great opportunity to come out a winner.

    ConsAs with any company, when the money is not flowing to the bottom lne, things need to be cut. You can only cut so much before it has to come from the team.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep trying new things, don't be afraid to fail. The people who work for you will not let that happen. Variable compensation is good to drive sales. If you take it away, it demotivates

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good job while in college

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Grandville, MI

    Prosflexible hours, most money you'll probably make while going to school. great training system. if you need a day off, there are people there that can take em.

    Constraining takes about a month, can get very stressful. management are sticklers because it is a corporate company. not bad though

    Advice to Senior Managementthere seemed to be a lot of favoritism, but if I were a manager, I would do the same thing.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Fun place to wait tables

    Waiter (Former Employee)

    ProsYou get to write your name upside down with crayons on their paper table cloths, where goofy ties, and break out into spontaneous italian songs.

    ConsIts a corporate restaurant so they give you three table sections to which you make mediocre pay compared to some private restaurants which give you as many tables as you can handle.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPerformed competently but seemed to switch management a lot. Careful of the line between boss and friends, and don't play favorites.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Need to evaluate the model to ensure the constant change from buying/selling/franchising companies is really necessary.

    Human Resources (Former Employee)

    ProsThe people are wonderful. I know a lot of people would say that, but for this company it was so far beyond what I expected that at first I was a little suspicious. Never have I had bosses and coworkers who cared as much about me as a person as they did about me as a professional. That sort of culture is contagious, and I think Brinker has continued to bring in great people. I can also say that I never once saw a decision that was made that was without the best of intentions. While no leadership team ever makes all the right decisions, they always acted in the best interest of the company and were quick to change their path as soon as the result weren't headed in the right direction.

    ConsThe restaurant industry is a tough one to be a part of right now and has been for a few years. It's hard to have to say goodbye to friends and coworkers when the results force restaurants to close and people to be laid off. This is not unique to Brinker or even the restaurant industry, and I must say, I felt the employees were treated fairly in each case. Other challenges just include the nature of the industry itself - weekends are the busiest times, few holidays, long hours, etc. But, for those of us who love the industry, I think we thrive on that kind of schedule!

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would advice Sr. Mgmt that although there have been a ton of changes, they should stay true to who they are and remember their values as they go into new roles, perhaps supporting different concepts and working for new leaders. Brinker is special because of it's history. No company I have worked for had a stronger sense of that history and how it makes them unique. My fear is that in all of the upheaval, this could be lost or forgotten. While I think the leaders who were in place when I left would never forget that family like culture, where it's okay to have fun, because we should have fun taking care of the guests, it can be easy to lose that when too many leadership roles are replaced.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Chili's - a stable job, but not a ton of growth.

    Managing Partner (Current Employee)
    San Jose, CA

    Pros1. Balanced Scheduling, which is hard to find in the industry.
    2. Committment to Quality of Life throughout the company.
    3. Fair salaries.
    4. Well-known concept, popular within the community.
    5. They give back to the communities that they are in through donations, fundraisers, etc.

    Cons1. A slow down in growth has caused there to be very few opportunities in all departments.
    2. Lack of continuity from store to store, region to region.
    3. Lots of shifts in what is important, they have a tendency not to stick to their guns.
    4. Very bottom line focused currently.
    5. Poorly trained learning managers - no ongoing development.

    Advice to Senior Management1. More focus on creating top line sales.
    2. Raises based on actual performance of the individual - everyone got the same raises last year!
    3. Create better training programs and ongoing training for managers!! Soon!!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A bittersweet experience

    Host (Former Employee)
    Gonzales, LA

    ProsI love working with the people. Really, my co-workers were awesome. Chili's is a very laid back place as long as you do your job. I had a great time with other FOH staff and guests.

    ConsLong hours. Management did not keep their promises to me. No chance for advancement within the company. After three years with them as a host not one raise. Not one. I asked multiple times to be trained in multiple roles and all I got were empty promises.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep your promises. Help balance work-life better. Managers blocked out EVERY holiday, festival, etc so no one could have time off to enjoy special events with families. I worked 3 Easters in a row.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    manager

    Managrr (Former Employee)
    Clark, NJ

    Prosgood base pay, fun work environment

    Conslong hours, high turnover, could use more support

    Advice to Senior Managementmore money to managers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick

    Prep Cook (Former Employee)
    Sandy, UT

    Pros- The people you work with become family. Sure, there may be people that you don't especially get along with or even like working with, but you still like and respect them as a person.
    - The lower and mid-management staff are very personable and reasonable. They'll work with you to resolve issues whether it be your schedule, rate of pay, or the relationship with another employee.
    - The overall standard for food quality and cleanliness is high.
    - Extra-curricular activities like the annual softball tournament, dodgeball, and volleyball outings help in building trust, respect, and teamwork among the employees, but can also create rifts between people and help nurture social cliques within a particular store.

    Cons- Work-Life balance is nonexistent. When I transferred to Utah, I was a full-time student used to working 36 hours going to 55 hours for several weeks in a row. Several times I voiced my concern about the negative impact work was having on my studies and, despite how many times I was told there would be a remedy, there never was.
    - Constantly under-staffed. We never had enough people in the kitchen so overtime was a common thing. I expected to work 45+ hours each week simply because we didn't have the manpower.
    - Willful ignorance. There were several instances where I got to meet mid and high-level managers in the Utah market and voice my concerns, the biggest being the language barrier between English and Spanish. Rather than taking action to bridge the gap like offering ESL or SSL classes, their proposed solutions were along the lines of "make sure there is a bilingual team member on staff," or "use the translator app on your phone."
    - All talk and no walk. There's a difference between forgetting to address an issue and hoping a solution presents itself. There were several occasions where I would address issues to management about waste or quality that would seem to never go any further than that. When a team member consistently and constantly goes against health code and company policy without changing their habits, one can only assume that they are never punished for it. Also, If you form a committee with representatives from each department maybe there should be at least one meeting. Lastly, why go through all the trouble to create training modules and training people to train new hires based on these modules when we just throw them to the wolves without ever referring to the modules?
    - Little room to move up. In almost every instance where I got to meet and talk with mid or high-level managers, my studies were brought up as well as my desire to move up into the corporate structure. Every one of those discussions ended on a positive note but, despite applying to several positions and having a formal interview over the phone I never heard anything back from the talent acquisition department. The CEO told me to my face that the company needed more people like me but they let me slip through their fingers.

    Advice to Senior Management- Listen to your employees more. If they say that a particular job is becoming overwhelming, find a way to help them cope with it better instead of just comparing them to another store - belittling a person rarely motivates them to do a better job. If a person is in a bad mood and visibly displaying it, ask them about it rather than yelling at them about it. Putting them on the immediate defensive usually ends with disciplinary action.
    - Ask your employees to do things, don't tell them to. The phrase "I need..." is one of the most common ones I've ever heard in the food industry and, for an industry based around the guest, is an exceptionally greedy phrase. Eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary and your employees will respect you more.
    - Assign managers to departments in which they have knowledge. I know this is tough because 90% of managers that moved up in the company came from the FOH but it's extremely tough to respect a kitchen manager that doesn't even know at which temperature (in F or C) water boils. The 3 days per station that managers in training receive is not enough for them to gain an understanding for that station or how to properly operate or organize it.
    - Involve the HOH more in team-building exercises and games. The FOH get games every day and night to help boost their sales and their confidence, but there are rarely any of those types of opportunities offered to the HOH. The closest I've ever seen was "Safety Bingo" and the HOH wasn't even told about it until a week or so into the game.
    - Enforce the channels of communication. If the QA is supposed to serve as a liaison between the FOH and the HOH, then it should be enforced that all communication goes through that channel. Servers and To-Go personnel coming around to the back of the line to ask for a side or to explain a ticket is distracting and unsafe. Servers taking food out of the window and not informing the QA usually leads to it going to the wrong table and screws up somebody else's order.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great learning experience

    Server (Former Employee)
    Danbury, CT

    ProsTeaches great fundamentals on how to be a good server and operate in a fast paced environment

    ConsNot a really great chance to make great money as a server, management will always take away tables on the best shifts

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    General Manager

    Managing Partner/General Manager (Current Employee)
    Fort Worth, TX

    ProsMoney was great after many years with the company. great leadership training

    ConsExpectations of performance outcomes were unattainable. It was always stated it was as simple as serving burgers and beer but that was 30 years ago. The dynamics of the company became very complex with entirely too many plates spinning at one time

    Advice to Senior Managementvery stressful physically and mentally. Very difficult to balance quality of life

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Brinker reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Brinker CEO Doug Brooks. All 81 reviews posted anonymously by Brinker employees.