Darden

  www.darden.com
  www.darden.com

Darden Reviews

Updated November 16, 2014
Updated November 16, 2014
775 Reviews
3.5
775 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis Jr.
Clarence Otis Jr.
365 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)

  • Work/Life balance can suffer for those who are truly committed to advancing their career with Darden (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great company to work for

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Culture of teamwork and hospitality; compensation is equal to or better than the competition

    Cons

    Current environment is hard on work/life balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great Place To Work

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

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

    Pros

    Great training, effective management, steady clientelle.

    Cons

    Prices are going down, you are limited to 3 tables at a time, concept is going in a direction that leads to less money made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to keep very capable servers as part of your staff, if their income is declining, try to do something about that. Because the money is ALL that matters when it comes to a job. No matter how loyal I am if my pay rate goes down I'm out. Just fyi. As your clientelle becomes of a more middle and lower class type and as your deals get cheaper and cheaper and more and more frequent, I, one of your best servers, has to leave because I can't afford to stay.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Very well structured corporate restaurant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Line Cook in Mount Pleasant, MI
    Current Employee - Line Cook in Mount Pleasant, MI

    I have been working at Darden part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    They are good at training, offer reviews. Promote from within.

    Cons

    They are open almost all holidays. Tough to get time off during holidays.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    I worked at Darden

    Pros

    Fairly easy.. Nice people. A lot of different kinds of people.

    Cons

    Hours where very limited, they will send u home after only working a hr or 2 due to business.

  6.  

    The Company as a whole is great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server and Certified Trainer in Norfolk, VA
    Former Employee - Server and Certified Trainer in Norfolk, VA

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

    Pros

    great training with awesome standard for the company. great culture and awesome people you meet to work with. if you are lucky enough to have great managers it makes you want to always be there. easy job

    Cons

    dealing with people who act like its rocket science, its not life or death, we aren't changing the world. sometimes management can be contradictory and you will hate every second being there. if you are not a favorite, you will never move up in the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    drug test your managers at random and make sure they are not having special relationships with their subordinates

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person 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
  8.  

    Decent Place to Work, Highly Political, going through massive changes

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

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

    Pros

    People are enthusiastic about the future. Darden offers a world class atmosphere and promotes the strengths of their employees. Darden offers a diverse employee base and encourages growth in my department. We work on some of the most iconic global brand, utilizing cutting edge technology to reach and interact with our customers makes everyday worth while.

    I would recommend working here, however be ready to enter an environment that undergoing massive changes.

    Cons

    Massive changes, layoffs, team restructuring, highly political are some of the major current stress points, Did I mention our entire board was just replaced!

     People are running around stabbing each other in the back, stealing ideas, trying to sell them to senior leaders as there own. Wages are stagnant, even for top performers - the blanket response is "business is bad". Departments are heavily staffed in non critical areas or areas that grew to be fat during the glory days of Olive Garden.

    No room for growth, within my group we haven't hired a FTE in over a year, we do keep hiring contractors, that seems to be the way of the future for Darden within my group.

    When new hires are brought on for a specific role, often times you wonder who interviewed them and how are they qualified for the position they are in? At times there isn't a match of talent for the position which creates resentment among business groups. Darden needs to re-evaluate there talent acquisition plan, and evaluate how they compensate their employees.

    401k plan is one of the worst 401k plans of the fortune 500 companies.

    Company perks such as tuition reimbursement is very low. vacation time offered is standard

    The companies reliance on offshore lease labor is another large frustrating pain point, this causes competing voices between Darden employees and out-sourced labor working on the same projects

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to your employees concerns, pay your employees fairly and be sure to be transparent as possible. Using "business is bad" to justify stagnant wages is insulting to the people who actually want to stay and work here under the current climate. Watching wave of layoff after another ,Retention is key to the successes of the new Darden. Under all the stresses that come with layoffs and senior leadership changes, retaining talent is key and compensation is a determining factor for employees to stay the course.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    it was good

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

    I have been working at Darden full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    the people are usually nice

    Cons

    the management is pretty unorganized

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    organize everything and make sure your trainees are actually being trained

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

    Made good money..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bartender/Server/To-go Specialist in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Bartender/Server/To-go Specialist in Kansas City, MO

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

    Pros

    You can make great money here, this job got me through alot of tough times financially. You have to be willing to put in the time but the money at the end of the week is usually worth it. I stayed at the job a long time with hopes of a career opportunity, they do have them and they sound really nice.

    Cons

    I worked such long and hard hours with so many different people talking to me about managment and moving up but the more I did for the company, the mor they turned and used it against me, used it to their advantage instead of mine. They told me i needed to train in all aspect of the resturant, in order to move up, which I did and in turn i would get stuck doing a certain postion because they didnt have anyone else to do it. They knew I would do it, they knew if they called me on my day off I would come in, no matter what. They took advantage of me and my eagerness to be something bigger in this company. I have 2 daughters at home and a husband that got upset that they never saw me and when they did, I was upset because I felt as if I was stuck and going no where.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice is not to offer an opportunity to someone unless they are 100% ready to get them there.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    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 an 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

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