Darden Reviews

Updated July 25, 2015
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3.5
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Recommend to a friend
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Gene Lee
21 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, ability to make quick money (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • Very long hours that are not equivalent to the compensation package (in 29 reviews)

  • Work life balance could improve (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

970 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Minorities particularly Hispanics and Gays Need Not Apply to Darden

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

    I have been working at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company hires some amazing people that are smart and compassionate. There are some great values if only on paper. The company has a committment to many important issues but fails to execute them effectively. There are great policies but they are not effectively managed. There is a real opportunity to leverage the culture but it's left to flounder. The people who do the work are rarely recognized other than in trivial ways. A $5.00 gift card doesn't do anything to benefit the company by having its employees go spend more money at the business. The reasons to work here are so slim and so easy refuted that it was hard to write anything substantive here.

    Cons

    The level of ignorance and intolerance in the company for people of color and sexual orientation is alarming. Although the company leader is African American there is an alarming amount of racism that's disturbing. The people in the organization cluster in their minority groups much like the high school cafeteria. Although departmental activities bring people together the relationships are functional and do not foster real community. Diversity is only tolerated and they have policies that have come from legal issues than out of respect for diversity. The case of firing a gay man in Illinois in 1998 was something the company fought to support. They appealed cases to keep from being held liable for blatant discrimination against gays. They participate in Diversity activities but only for show and not for real cultural evolution. The company is a place that needs it's leaders to stand up and speak out against the discrimination that occurs. This company operates with HR practices that allow discriminatory and ineffective management to flourish.

    Advice to Management

    They should learn to embrace the values at all levels for all people. There is a real divide between actual and expected behaviors. The Senior Management doesn't appear to have visibility to anything but it's top level issues. There is a real disconnect between the people who lead and those who actually get the work done.


  2. Darden's HR Department needs a 50% weight loss.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Manager in Orlando, FL

    I worked at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is in Orlando and is a Fortune 500 company. When Joe Lee was in charge it was fantastic and he listened and mingled among his employees.

    Cons

    Upper management are insulated by HR. HR are so top heavy at Darden, that everything gets bottle-necked through this department. All of the top echelon seem to have HR's complete support regardless, which breeds a very unhealthy working enviroment.

    Advice to Management

    Don't just support upper management with no regard to employees genuine complaints. Listen to the glue that holds the company together. Merely pretending to listen is not the same!


  3. 3 table stations?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Santa Fe, NM
    Former Employee - Server in Santa Fe, NM

    I worked at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Company has a good employee discount and ample employee parking. Training was sufficient and didn't go overboard. That's about it for the pros.

    Cons

    Hiring manager flat out lied about how much money can be made. The give everyone a three table station which makes it virtually impossible to make decent money. One manager berated staff members at every possible moment.

    Advice to Management

    Three table stations are absurd. Don't you want to keep a quality wait staff instead of dealing with constant turnover? Managers should be screened more closely.


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  5. na

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

    I have been working at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    its a growing company. you level of experience increases in a matter of minutes. cross training is a must. the co workers around you are usually smarter then managment

    Cons

    The pay sucks. they try and give you a 15 to 20 cent raise after 6 months and thats even if you get your review on time. they expect you to give up all of you life outside of work. you always on call to come in due to the lack of hiring,

    Advice to Management

    Grow the people that always save your behind. these people die hard for you day in and day out. if you always pick the one negative thing they do you as a person have a one track mind negative and thats know place for such a stressful enviroment


  6. horrible

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

    I have been working at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    quick money, flexible schedule, quick money

    Cons

    soup, salad and breadstix. people dont tip well on that


  7. Robotic

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - Server in Schaumburg, IL

    I worked at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -pleasant customers at my restaurant from Darden, I know it's not true about all though. -clean restaurant -access to your work info and everything else through an online database

    Cons

    -extremely rude managers (only 1 respectful & respected manager that I worked with) -next to NO recognition for hard work -expect all the servers to be complete robots, uniforms have to be EXACTLY the same, very strict dress code, examples: must have specific number of buttons buttoned, must hit on 37 different points at each table during their visit, only give you 3 tables at once in order for you to spend a good amount of time with each table while they eat, however, that's NOT what a lot of tables want, so you either end up being extremely bored or extremely annoying to your table. -are extremely quick to punish you for your score on the customer review surveys, will have private talks with you about the bad ones, but never say a word about the good things customers say, never reward you or compliment you.

    Advice to Management

    Don't talk about or to your team members disrespectfully. During my year there, I walked up on a certain manager talking about me to someone else 6 different times, laughing at me or a question I had asked. Another manager spoke down to me every time I talked to him. Only had one manager that treated everyone equally and with respect. She should be running the place. The other two need to learn how to respect the employees that run their restaurant. Let your servers personalities show through a little more by allowing them to actually say what they feel is necessary for each table, rather than forcing them to describe two drinks, two appetizers, two dinners, two desserts, etc....to every table. One of the Darden rules is to read your table and pick up on their body language and cues...but what does that matter if you're forced to do the same exact thing for each one of them? It's a very, very stifling environment. Be self aware. Read reviews on other websites. LOTS of people review restaurants after they go there. Check out other sites and see what they think of your restaurant. I've seen bad things written about specific managers, I've seen people laugh at the decorations and call everything in the restaurant corny. But certain Darden restaurants think they are top notch, 5 star places, when in fact people think they're fun but corny. My Darden restaurant was very snotty, as far as two of the managers go.


  8. Professionally unsatisfying with little opportunity for advancement.

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

    I have been working at Darden

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The job is fine if food service your career choice. The money is good and the job is relatively secure in these tough economic times.

    Cons

    There is little opportunity for advancement. Job satisfaction is low when you feel like you are in a dead end job.

    Advice to Management

    Lighten up on some of the rules regarding breaks, eating, and drinking. Few people really want to be in the food service industry. Taking away some of the perks is bad for moral and may eventually lead to defiance. Even though it is an employers market, turnover is likely to increase.


  9. The Wal-Mart of restaurants

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bartender/Server in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Bartender/Server in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Restaurant gets more business than others in the area. Food is excellent.

    Cons

    Managers are demeaning and prefer their favorites (other guys who like the same sports teams), give them the best shifts, do not punish them for mistakes, and give them giftcards worth money. Do not honor requests for family time or school - only when it is convenient to the management team. Favors are not recognized or thanked for. Because of the sudden growth in the company, they have hired a boatload of new managers who are completely incompetent. Half of the server staff are on drugs or drunk at work. Since Darden bought Longhorn, the menu items have become cheaper because they have a quantity over quality perspective. The clientele has gotten trashy, even in a decent part of town.

    Advice to Management

    Stop turning your restaurants into fast food joints. This company used to be high-quality and classy, now it's filled with gimmicky commercials and coupons.


  10. Helpful (1)

    I hate working for Darden

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

    I have been working at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The schedule is pretty flexible, it is usually pretty easy to get shifts covered if something comes up, fun teammates

    Cons

    The management looks down on anyone who works beneath them, the rudest employers I have had in my work experience

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better, they will work better for you. Respect earned, not enforced by fear or misuse of power


  11. Helpful (1)

    It was meh.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Line Cook in Murfreesboro, TN
    Former Employee - Line Cook in Murfreesboro, TN

    I worked at Darden

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They'll give anyone a job.

    Cons

    It is stressful. You work with lazy people.

    Advice to Management

    Give people opportunities to advance.



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