BJ's Restaurants

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A happy mess

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Austin, TX

ProsIf you want to move up, they have VERY well laid out steps to take to enter management from a Team Member. Our store is a family, and while it's super stressful most of the time, we run like a well oiled machine that only comes with time, practice, and relationship. All I've ever had to do is speak up and ask (on occasion, more than once) and doors start opening. There is space and MONEY for team members to cross train, pick up bookkeeping in the office if that's your thing (read: real career, looks-good-on-a-resume, not-"hey-I'm-a-server" experience) WHILE still making daily money on the floor. Also, if a guest orders soup and salad, you don't have to make it yourself. All ex-olive garden employees are leaping for joy, so I hear.

ConsAll of this to prepare you for what is sure to be a wonderful experience should you apply to work at bj's:

The POSI system is a Micros based software specific to BJ's. If you're coming from an Aloha background, prepare for frustration. And if you're coming from a Micros background, prepare for frustration. Luckily, there are little tricky ways around the most common hang ups (like you can't reprint or send orders after a check has been separated.) Find an experienced server, and ask them their tricks, because when you've got 6 tables one lunch or dinner, you're GOING to need them.

(Answer: separate an extra ticket with ONLY a "no bev" on it, process the payment for that one needy has-to-leave-earlier or do-mine-now-anyway guest, close it out, and recombine. The extra no-bev ticket will prevent you from being locked out if you get down to only one ticket and they now want another drink, and having the option to recombine everything means you don't need a manager for every last order.)

It is SO HARD to serve at BJ's compared to other restaurants, and sometimes the money doesn't reflect how much extra work it is. Guest orders something with fries? Ketchup not on the table. You have to go get it. Unsweet tea but wants splenda? Sweetener not on the table. You have to go get it. Orders the tortilla soup? Doesn't come with a spoon because of the bowl it's served in. You have to drop it on the table before their soup comes out. These very common items suck up a LOT of time when you're triple sat and need to close out another check, and that guest needs "more ray-anch."

Every server is scheduled weekly for a food running shift. No exceptions. You get tipped out, but you get paid server wage. Most people dread it. It's a LOT of work, but a great food runner makes a much smoother shift. Lazy food runners can make it all crash and burn. Many of us tip out extra, but that would depend on the culture in your restaurant, really.

White button down shirts. They want us to look like fine dining. But we're not fine dining. We're a sports bar and brewhouse shaped like a restaurant. We used to have black shirts. By the end of the shift with the white shirts, I look like a SLOB. Because of the number of extra trips we have to make at this restaurant, consolidation is key, so when I stack plates from my belly button to my nose to haul them back to dish, I end up with spots of food all over me.. and there's no getting rid of it until I get home. EVERYONE leaves looking like they rolled around on the kitchen floor. Spill tea on yourself? Instand wet t-shirt contest. Girls come in in a non-neutral underclothes color? sent home. (granted, that would be THEIR fault. Sillies.) Any wrinkle? Magnified. This shirt issue is the worst part of my job, I honestly feel. Also, I wear little boy size large because white, button down shirts for women are 20-30 bucks plus. And I refuse to spill food on a shirt that nice shirt. I don't even react when I spill food on my shirt if I'm out on a date anymore. I'm like, "Oh, look. That again. Well, it's about time, this shirt looked great for an hour. Can't hope for more than that."

My white shirt makes me channel Eeyore. Depression, rejection, and a poor self esteem. And, nobody did remember my birthday, after all, but I digress.

Advice to Senior ManagementBring back the black shirts. Your employees HATE the white ones (I promise you, it's what we complain about in that back bev station more than anything else.) "But the white shirts look nicer!" Lies. Please oh please oh please.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great

    Manager (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at BJ's Restaurants full-time for more than 5 years


    Pros: Lot's of room for growth Cons: Work life balance could be better Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Server/Bartender

    Server/Bartender (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    I worked at BJ's Restaurants full-time for more than a year


    Pros: Loved the people I worked with... Cons: Management was scatter brained. Not to mention the amount of managers we… Advice to Senior Management: acknowledge your employees...we're not just numbers. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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