Darden Reviews

Updated March 28, 2015
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3.5
881 Reviews
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Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis Jr.
Clarence Otis Jr.
409 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Minimum wage job - treated as less than a minimum wage employee.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hostess - Seasons 52 in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Hostess - Seasons 52 in Orlando, FL

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

    Pros

    Scheduling flexibility and opportunity to make more money during the busy season.

    Cons

    In my opinion I noticed that the management picked favorites and did not take my long term goals into consideration.

    I felt as though my opinions never mattered or were simply ignored.

    I always received above average reviews from secret shoppers, but management never once acknowledged me for my good performance.

    I constantly showed interest in advancing as well as learning about other areas in the restaurant (group sales), but didn't receive any feedback.

    Management was well aware that I had full availability and I verbally expressed to them multiple times that I needed more than 10 hours a week, but they continued to schedule me the same, or even less than what I had asked for. When I asked them if this was because they weren't satisfied with my job performance they simply responded with "business is slow," however I noticed that other employees who were hired way after me were getting scheduled more often than me (favoritism).

    There are little to no opportunities for advancement/growth unless you want to become a career server or bartender.
    For example; there is a server who currently works at Seasons 52 and started out as a hostess, but had the position for 4 years before even being asked to be promoted to a serving position. In my opinion that is just unacceptable in the hospitality industry, considering it is a fast-paced growing industry with high turnover rates.

    Overall negative atmosphere, all servers/bartenders/hostesses complained about their job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Acknowledge employees for their efforts and good performance on the job. Avoid favoritism. Also consider practicing positive reinforcement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Worked me to death as a manager with no breaks allowed in 12 hour shifts.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Darden

    Pros

    The Manager Meals were the best.

    Cons

    Almost everything else was a horrible experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well, since you sold the company, I'd say get rid of managers that think you have to Manage by Fear. I was told by my manager that your employees must "Fear" you when you walk in the door.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. The managers do not care about the employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Food Server in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Food Server in Fort Worth, TX

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

    Pros

    Friendly guest's. The food is good. There is alot of teamwork. the server look out for one another. You gain alot of wine knowledge.

    Cons

    Too many servers. The managers don't listen. No breaks. The managers play favorites. The trainers could care less what you learn or when you.learn it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employee's.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Horrible staff moral

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

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

    Pros

    Great community with staff members and excellent perks for low income job.

    Cons

    Management does not train their employees properly but still expects that the staff does things according to corporate expectations. They also do not pay servers properly for time not serving. An example of this is on closing shifts, servers are expected to stay approximately 45 minutes to an hour after the restaurant closed to do side work but still pays them the minimum $2.45 for that hour which results in thousands of dollars per server working below minimum wage without the possibility of tips!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure training is complete and set up a scheduling system where servers are paid at least minimum wage during the hours they are expected to work without the possibility of tips!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. Not that great!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Line Cook in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Line Cook in Philadelphia, PA

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

    Pros

    A great place to learn how to workin a fast paced resturant.

    Cons

    Pay is low with no for advancment. Very overworked and under appreciated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Degrading

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

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

    Pros

    Fast paced and easy to trade shifts

    Cons

    Clientele will leave you with no dignity

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving away free food

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  8. Horrible

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

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

    Pros

    Great days off
    Love people you work with

    Cons

    Horrible managment
    Horrible promotions
    No room for making tips
    Horrible clientele

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train managers better

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Bahama Breeze

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

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

    Pros

    It's a very relaxed job because nobody cares about how hard you work or how lazy you are.

    Cons

    This could go on forever. Poor management is what I'm going to focus on. At this location, guest satisfaction is 65% and it all reflects on the General Manager. Him and the Executive Chef are horrible people who bully their employees. The rest of the managers have no say/power. Management do not uphold the core values that you must memorize before getting the job. They do not know how to be caring, and they do not have respect for their employees or customers. They show favoritism to people who brown nose, and do not know what is good for business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not give a person less hours because of personal reasons. Be fair and be honest. Stop showing favoritism and stop treating your employees very poorly and maybe.. just maybe.. guest satisfaction will increase. You have a very high turnover rate on employees and it's very easy to see it when one starts working here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Horridness

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Darden

    Pros

    Non, what so ever, Do NOT WORK HERE

    Cons

    The company needs to learn how to pay there employees better.

  11. Poor management

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

    I worked at Darden

    Pros

    Great co-workers and the ability to build a relationship with the guests on a daily basis.

    Cons

    Terrible lack of communication between managers. One manager shows favoritism to an employee who lacks performance with her job and no matter how many times she's been written up from the mess up's she's made, she's still employed, gets what she wants, and always gets away with everything.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being rude and bullying the staff that actually do their job correctly and the way you expect them to and stop taking up for the girl who does what she wants, when she wants. Your favoritism shows and it's noticed by everyone. As strict as Darden is with company policy, they sure do have one manager that's constantly breaking the rules and hides it by throwing other managers under the bus.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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