BJ's Restaurants

  www.bjsrestaurants.com
  www.bjsrestaurants.com
There are newer employer reviews for BJ's Restaurants

 

It was a 5+ year old love and hate relationship

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

I worked at BJ's Restaurants part-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

- good money for students
- lots of work for those that desired it

Cons

- high manager turnover at my particular location
- transitioned into a monotone company that required servers to have a dry interaction with customers
- managers made exceptions to policy when customers would complain so you're on your own

Recommends

218 Other Employee Reviews for BJ's Restaurants (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Good money, fair to poor management. Too "corporate"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Front of House Server Trainer in Hurst, TX
    Former Employee - Front of House Server Trainer in Hurst, TX

    I worked at BJ's Restaurants full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    My coworkers were like my family. Had a lot of fun at work. Due to the online scheduling you can adjust your schedule to almost always work around your personal life. There was always money to be made, almost every shift, every day. I worked at a very busy location though. I loved the food and was always able to enjoy a good meal before/after a shift. (kinda expensive though). After you learn the menu and what is required of you as a server, the job is fun and easy, because "everyone loves Bj's!" and the people who come in are generally there to have a good time and enjoy good food.

    Cons

    There is a 100 question "personality assessment" you have to pass to get hired. The menu is huge and there is a lot to learn. You have a script to follow and secret shoppers come in to grade you, if you don't say the right things you could be fired. If you are "in the weeds" and need help, good luck, because most servers are overwhelmed themselves, and managers are likely not paying attention (unless it's a peak volume time- weekends). Also, any complaint from a guest is ALWAYS your fault. Management doesn't seem to understand that servers are human and can make simple mistakes. It's always the guest's word over yours. And that sucks. The reason I got fired was because I was in the weeds and I failed to fill up a guest's water. The man claimed I "didn't want to wait on him" when in reality I was overwhelmed with tables because the manager cut most of the servers (to save labor cost) and I couldn't keep up with all the tasks at hand. Of course, there was no one around to help me at that time. The white shirts you wear are a pain to keep clean as well. But a lot of restaurants have that uniform so no big deal. You are required to always run food, and this can hinder your ability to wait on your tables in a timely manner. If you like to hustle and work hard, this is a great job for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to worry less about saving labor costs, and more about helping out the servers and cooks. The kitchen was always behind and/or unable to keep up with the demands of a large restaurant. Also, the script you are required to say at the first visit to a table overwhelms the customers (along with the 20 page menu!) and I think it makes many people feel rushed or annoyed by all the "selling".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A happy mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I have been working at BJ's Restaurants part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If 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.

    Cons

    All 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 ManagementAdvice

    Bring 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for BJ's Restaurants

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