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Stepping stone server

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

I worked at Chili's full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

As long as you can be trained properly, the team atmosphere works great.

Cons

Training and accountability is not quite up to the standards they promote

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Better team building between FOH and HOH

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

534 Other Employee Reviews for Chili's (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Under-staffed, unclean, and complete disregard for employee morale

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

    I have been working at Chili's full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Due to being under-staffed you would get many tables every night and if you didn't end up in the weeds from having to bus your tables, run food, take orders, refill beverages, make sure the cooks haven't forgot about your food, make sure the QA isn't struggling, make sure the host isn't in a jam, or etc. then you can make some good money.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Under-staffed. I was at the busiest location in our area. We had no bussers, no food runners, 2 servers to a 10 table zone, and were required to run food, bus our own tables and others that we passed in route to the kitchen, and 1-2 hosts. They need 2 hosts yet no bussers?

    Now, I don't like using the phrase 'poor management', but I am a business owner myself and common sense is not that hard to grasp. Yet, at the Chili's in Oxnard it seemed like it was. For instance, because our store was the busiest we ended up having the most comps every night. Over $100 in compensations on average, sometimes worse. Now if we would have had a busser on for, say 4 hrs, that would have been $32 in hourly wage. If the servers were not running around with their heads cut off, MAYBE the food compensations wouldn't have been near as high. Just some advice.

    Here is the other instance, and I tried to collaborate with management to fix this issue and didn't receive any support. On weekdays there were 7-8 servers on. From left to the right side of the store there were 3 zones. We'll just number them from left to right 1-3. So in zone 1 there were 3 servers, zone 2 there were 2 severs, and in zone 3 there were 3 servers.

    ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3
    1 2 3 1 2 1 2 3

    As you can see I have showed the zones with the # of servers in each zone. Now at EVERY other restaurant I've worked for you would give each server in Zone 1 a table then move to zone 2. Then seat every server in zone 2 with a table and move to zone 3. Then sit every server in zone 3 with a table and move back to zone 1. Simple right?

    Well, not at Chili's in Oxnard. For some reason they felt the need to complicate this easy system that even the Chili's I worked for in Michigan used.

    How did the Chili's in Oxnard do it? They decided to train their host to sit the zone with one table and then move to the next. So they would seat 1 server in zone 1 and move to zone 2. Then seat 1 server in Zone 2 and move to zone 3. Then seat one server in zone 3 and move back to zone 1.

    Now using the chart the way I have it set up above, use that rotation. Mark an X for server 1 under zone 1 then move to 2 and put an X under server 1 and move to zone 3 and put an X under server 1 and then move back to zone 1 and put an X under server 2 then to zone 2 and put an x under server 2 then............ you get it, just continue on. As you get further down the rotation you will see that zone 2 with only 2 servers ends up having 5-6 tables per server and zone 1 and 3 only have 3-4 tables a server. This system would only work if there were an equal amount of servers in every zone.

    This jams the kitchen and it jams the entire restaurant up. If zone 1 is getting tables that quickly, they're running back and forth to the computer sending orders back. Then their zone fills up quickly and after they put all the food in they are pretty much assisting a ton of guests at their tables. The entire time zones 1 and 2 are looking at zone 1 saying, "Why are you guys so busy? We only have a few tables. Then they get slammed because all of our tables are full.

    It just doesn't work and I tried to consul management about it. Offered resolution. You would think management would appreciate someone who cares so much. NO! Instead they took offence to it and I was fired the next day for a customer complaint. I had never had a customer complain before (2+ years) and was just "let go". The same manager I discussed my thought on the seating rotation with, is the same who terminated my employment. Coincidence? Either way, the reason was illegitimate and I ended up collecting unemployment for the next 7 months because of it.

    Which brings me to the way the company handles employee relations. TERRIBLE. I told them exactly what happened. They confirmed that managements story matched mine. Yet still, after 2+ years of getting commended by guests (all documented through the online GEM survey system) repeatedly and leading the store in GEM, being on time 100%, NEVER calling off, and going above and beyond for the store, I was still terminated. All I got as a response from the HR department was "We can't have guests complaining."

    Now me, as an employer myself, would use my common sense and would definitely give the person that's worked for me for the last 2 years without any issues, the benefit of the doubt. I didn't get that. So in my experience the company cares more about guests, whose intention before they walked in the door was to be rude and start problems (there are people like this). Obviously if this had been a repeated issue then step should have been taken in the termination process. BUT, it was the 1st time in 2 years.

    All in all I hope Chili's in Oxnard get there act together. I liked working at the Chili's in Troy, MI and was very shocked when I arrived at the Chili's in Oxnard. The CEO should seriously look at how many employees are cycled in and out of that restaurant. Then evaluate the "numbers", like profits compared to food compensations. Something is VERY wrong with this location.

    I think Chili's can have a bright future IF they start valuing their employees. I like the brand and I felt proud to represent it. It's a shame the corporation doesn't look at valuable employees the same way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Begin to treat your employees like they matter. They are the backbone of your company. I guess servers are a dime a dozen, so we can be treated however you want to treat us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Fun environment, good food, great teamwork.

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

    I worked at Chili's part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Fun environment, good food, great teamwork.

    Cons

    Micromanagement, hovering managers, managers too close.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Help your employees when they struggle

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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