Famous Dave's

  www.famousdaves.com
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Famous Dave's Reviews

Updated August 13, 2014
Updated August 13, 2014
78 Reviews

2.6
78 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Ed Rensi
5 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Family Oriented and fun to work at (in 4 reviews)

  • Being "Famous", working in a great team environment, fun atmosphere (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Franchise versus corporate mentality seems detrimental to positive results (in 4 reviews)

  • Watch as he and his buddies, on the board put it up for sale (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I had a good time working there

    Former Employee - Server  in  Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Server in Minneapolis, MN

    Pros

    It's a decent place to make friends with other employees, and doesn't feel too competitive. I worked at one of the first Dave's though so it was a bit different in how we handled the restaurant. It was a laid back environment.

    Cons

    Learning everything right away is hard because the menu is quite big and people can be picky but I think that comes with working at any restaurant. Didn't really have problems with my boss.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate employees a little more, that's about it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    I loved working here

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

    Pros

    It was a very fun atmosphere, all of the employees where so welcoming and helpful.

    Cons

    like any resturant customers can be a pain.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Used to be a great company with wonderful culture and values

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

    Pros

    It used to be a fun company with a great work life environment. The culture was based on employee input and creative decision making to put out the best product out there. Or at least it used to be...

    Cons

    The current CEO, Ed Rensi, is ruining the brand. He had fired almost all of the executive team as well as Famous Dave, himself. He runs the place like a tyrant and everyone that works at corporate is looking over their shoulders and worried about their jobs. Wouldn't be surprised if him and the other rich old men running the board put the company up for sale soon. Such a shame. If I were a franchiser or investor I would be VERY worried.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Ed Rensi is destroying a fantastic brand and company

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

    Pros

    I have loved my job and was proud of the brand I sold. Use to have great bonus and felt secure with this company. Sales were great and the rewards and security was amazing. Notice I say "was!"

    Cons

    The new CEO Ed Resni has forced 90% of the corporate staff who have been with this company over 15 years out, Director of operations fired, COO forced to resign after 16 years with the company, forced area directors and even Dave Anderson himself our of the company. He rearranged the bonus plan making it almost impossible to bonus forcing many managers to quit because our salaries are lower based on the old bonus plan. Without that we are struggling. He is taking away everything that has made Famous Dave's Famous. Sales all across the company have dropped. Stocks have fallen. He has destroyed morale and considering this company's average manager has 10 or more years with Dave's, this is devastating to this company. He wants to take slow smoked BBQ and turn it into an assembly line. He wants this company to be like a Chipolte rather than a family friendly casual dining restaurant. This use to be a company who cared about their employees, but no more. Based out of Minnesota, he is slowly changing and basing the company out of Chicago, recruiting all yes men who are afraid to speak up and firing anyone who has an opinion different than his. Not exactly the company you want to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The investors need to open their eyes and say enough is enough. What this man is planning on doing will completely destroy this company. Catering sales, dine in sales all down. What is wants to do will cost millions and will destroy the fan base that we have established over the years. You are losing some of the most hardworking and dedicated managers and staff out there. Please boot this fool before it is too late! This is not McDonalds. Any CEO who calls all his area directors from across the country to a company meeting and spends two hours talking about how to clean a bathroom and what brooms to use has some serious issues. He throws 101 ideas out and acts without thinking any of them through. For anyone thinking of opening a franchise, becoming a manager or even being a server, I would strongly suggest against it due to Mr. Rensi tyrant way of running this corporation. It is really sad and heart breaking what he has done to this company in just a few months.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Wouldn't recommend to hourly or management

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

    Pros

    None anymore, Ed Rensi has destroyed the brand and morale in less than a year in his command. Imagine what's to come, can you say Applebee's food with a Buffalo Wild Wings design.

    Cons

    Our CEO. Old CEO John Gilbert is the one that set the stocks climbing. Rensi is just riding on those coat tails. Watch as he and his buddies, on the board put it up for sale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update the resume.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Place to be

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Nice Pay, not busy. The staff is very nice and can act as family sometimes. They are very welcoming and there is not steep learning curve.

    Cons

    Staff may have a lot of problems. Management was pretty good. They are lenient and try to hep you get the schedule you want.

  8.  

    Corporate Experiencing Significant Change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing  in  Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Marketing in Minneapolis, MN

    Pros

    There are smart, talented people working at Famous Dave's. They are constantly looking for ways to re-invent themselves and therefore moving at a very fast pace to upgrade technology and the dining experience (or are really catching up with where the fast casual biz has gone). Free beverages offered in the break room and sometimes free food. The main chefs work on-site on new menu items, so it's fun to learn about what they are working on.

    Cons

    This company is experiencing significant change in leadership and is moving at a very fast pace. Some people work hard and long hours. There is often a lack of clarity on decisions and direction, which can contribute to the feeling of a chaotic environment. It's not really a team environment; there is minimal collaboration with cross-functional teams. It has a flat org structure with little room for advancement. Overall, there are ongoing high expectations and demands to grow business wherever possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build an infrastructure to support the workload you expect the employees to execute, and be more realistic with timelines and deliverables. Work on creating a more people-oriented culture, not just a performance-driven one. Work more in partnership with restaurants and franchises to build support for where the brand can and will go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Host/ToGo and Dining Room Attendant  in  Gainesville, VA
    Former Employee - Host/ToGo and Dining Room Attendant in Gainesville, VA

    Pros

    Discount on all foods, cool employees that made it tolerable to work there.

    Cons

    Terrible management, Very sexist managers as well. Did work not in my job description and never got a raise or extra pay for it. If you wanna suffer, work there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop checking up on the host every 2 minutes, and also hire dining room attendants so the host can keep the stand steady and not worry about servers not cleaning there tables

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Horrible place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Tukwila, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tukwila, WA

    Pros

    It's a job that brings in income.

    Cons

    -Unprofessional
    -Management can not handle a stressful environment
    -Management will make you clock in after your scheduled time if it's not busy enough for you to work.
    -If it's too busy, you can not take a break and everyday there's always someone that can not take a break.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to stop breaking the law.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Very unfair

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

    Pros

    Close to house in Oxnard

    Cons

    Bad Management and bad values

    Doesn't Recommend

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