Brinker Reviews

Updated August 19, 2014
Updated August 19, 2014
83 Reviews

3.4
83 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Brinker Chairman, President, and CEO Doug Brooks
Doug Brooks
43 Ratings

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
  • long hours management can treat you like a child (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Fun place to wait tables

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Waiter
    Former Employee - Waiter

    I worked at Brinker

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Its 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
  2.  

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

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

    I worked at Brinker

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    I 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.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Another waiting job that, well, is waiting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server
    Current Employee - Server

    I have been working at Brinker

    Pros

    Flexibility and quick money. Not bad for a part-time worker, full-time college student.

    Cons

    Customers are demanding since its a chain restaurant. There is a significantly high amount of turnover. Its a rather dirty industry as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer more hourly since the economy has crushed tips.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5.  

    Macaroni Grill is not a terrible restaurant to work at.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server Assistant  in  Mandeville, LA
    Current Employee - Server Assistant in Mandeville, LA

    I have been working at Brinker

    Pros

    It is very easy once you learn the menu, policies, and procedures. The money is not the most you could make working in a restaurant but for the amount of work you have to do it is adequate. Managers are very receptive to time off needs.

    Cons

    Some of the managers are not very good with people skills. Upper management has completely lost touch with the day to day operations of the stores. The quality of your co-workers can vary from excellent to terrible or creepy. Hourly pay for now back of the house work is always below minimum wage and you will not get a raise no matter what.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work in every position for the rate of pay each position receives for a month.

    Recommends
  6.  

    Brinker satisfies it's reputation as an "ok" place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - General Manager  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - General Manager in Denver, CO

    I worked at Brinker

    Pros

    Large company with many locations. There is a significant feeling of "family" with the area you work in. With the large number of locations, it is easy to move or transfer to a different area if your personal situation requires it. You can get experience in a variety of different environments and with a number of different managements styles. Each location has it's own feel.

    Cons

    Too much competition for too few jobs. If you are not in a large area and near the leadership team, it is very difficult to be recognized and noticed. Often times they will loose good management to "burnout", simply from being left in the same role without any recognition for such a long time. There is definitely a bit of an "inside" group that you have to fit into to get ahead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some time in the restaurants. Spend less time "knee-jerking". Spend more time planning and less time reacting.

    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Partner  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Managing Partner in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Brinker

    Pros

    1. 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.

    Cons

    1. 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 ManagementAdvice

    1. 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!!

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Learn and Leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Restaurant Manager  in  Concord, CA
    Former Employee - Restaurant Manager in Concord, CA

    I worked at Brinker

    Pros

    It was a great place to learn the fundamentals. At times the company was very organized and planned ahead. Some of the policies were strict and easy to follow.

    Cons

    Very little regard for amount of hours worked by salaried employees. I worked 100 hour weeks and was never given any additional time off.

    When new standards or policies were introduced there were few tools available to institute them. One year Catering was made a critical component of our job but no catering training or supplies were offered.

     In the last few years of my employment they began making rash decisions with little forethought other than, "We must do this because our competitor is doing it."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Area Directors can be good or bad but Brinker had several poor Area Directors who were responsible for many of the better people leaving. These same Area Directors OFTEN broke the very rules they maintained (such as fraternization) and showed poor leadership. Who is managing the mid-managers?

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Praise the managers for a job well done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at Brinker

    Pros

    Large company with good ideals. Service is a key component that drives every aspect of the industry

    Cons

    They don't reward there managers for a job well done but they expect the managers to reward the employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate on the positive feedback, Don't use scare tactics to drive managers.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dallas treats their managers like numbers not people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager  in  Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Brinker

    Pros

    Family life, holidays closed and Salary

    Cons

    When it comes down to it, Dallas does not take care of the managers that devote more time to them than their families. It used to be a situation where it was fun to go to work. It was awesome to work at Chili's. In the past 4 years it has turned from a place where you felt appreciated to a place you do not want to be. Bonuses used to be designed to reward their management but have now became a joke. They are not even 30% of what they used to be. Also if you get sick or go on medical leave they will try to find any reason to get you out the door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know what your area managers are doing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Working for the Brinker company has been good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server  in  Saskatoon, SK (Canada)
    Current Employee - Server in Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    I have been working at Brinker part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The job atmosphere at the Brinker position is great. Friendly co workers and good site set up. Pay average for the industry.

    Cons

    Some of the customers can be unpleasant at times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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