Hillstone Restaurant Group

  www.hillstone.com
  www.hillstone.com
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Hillstone Restaurant Group Reviews

Updated September 13, 2014
Updated September 13, 2014
86 Reviews
3.4
86 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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George Williams Biel
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • good money, consistent, can pick up as much as you want, good benefits (in 6 reviews)

  • Great money whether you are a server, bartender, manager, etc (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Very high-stress work environment (in 4 reviews)

  • Very high stress atmosphere--not for the person lacking confidence (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    An amazing place to work...unless you have a manager you don't like...but don't worry, that won't last forever.

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -The application and hiring process can seem a bit rigorous for a serving position (you interview with a store manager, take an IQ test, then take a personality test, then interview with the general manager), but it ensures you work (mostly) with capable, hard-working, intelligent peers.
    -The style of service is very team oriented and helps guarantee that your guests are always taken care of--even when you're busy doing other things in the store.
    -The simplicity of the menu makes it easy to learn and the off menu items are fairly consistent, so you can always answer your guest's questions with ease.
    -From the ambiance to the guests, there is a casual air of sophistication. It's upscale, but not stuffy by any means.
    -Shifts are made consistent for months at a time, so there is predictability in time obligations and financial outcomes. In addition, getting shifts covered is always relatively easy since everyone has set schedules and most people are hard working and want to pick up extra shifts.

    Cons

    -Store managers tend to get shuffles around often. This is to "bring a fresh perspective" into the store. When you have a manager that you really like, it can be rather disappointing when they are forced to leave. Sometimes, they're replaced with another manager who is not so pleasant, which can add further agitation to the situation. The good thing is, that new manager that you don't like as much as your old manager will probably only be working there for 3-9 months.
    -To ensure high quality of service, server are only granted a 3 table section (unless closing a shift and other servers have left already). During lunchtime, this can be especially frustrating--especially if you have smaller tables and they casually dine for a long time. Getting one round of (small) tables before the lunch crowd dies down and you get cut is no fun. However, if you work hard and get put in better sections, the money is consistently better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Servers and Bartenders get reviewed yearly by store management. It would be nice if managers were reviewed by serving staff as well (After all, you did take every measure possible to guarantee the servers you hired were intelligent, thoughtful, agreeable people, right? Why not give them the opportunity to weigh in on how the store social and technical dynamics function. They're all in the thick of it too.). Having a cohesive team facilitates a smooth operation. Technical proficiency can get you far, but social dynamics can make or break how a team functions technically. Working for someone you respect can make all the difference in how one feels about their work and how much they're willing to go above and beyond for their manager. Nobody is perfect, but making sure the management and serving staff work well together can allow a team--and a store, as a result--to thrive. Isn't that what we all want?

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Company

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A restaurant that runs a very "business like" atmosphere. The training is impeccable and allows you to perform your job to the best ability - ultimately leading to great earnings from your tips.

    Cons

    It is hard work, you have to be committed to the company and the restaurant. They do have high expectations of their service staff - but this is all communicated from the start. There shouldn't be any surprises.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Wine-focused with an emphasis on drinking The Kool-Aid

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Hillstone is an excellent company to work for to make money and work your way up, but there are several prices that must be paid. They offer excellent benefits as well as a uniform allowance. Hillstone focuses on team-based serving, so there are no bussers, no server assistants, and no food runners, which means fewer people to tip out. They do require transfer tips though, and sometimes that can make or break your night. Hillstone puts their employees through a number of tests prior to hiring and hires from the top percentile, which means the competence of your coworkers is more so than at most other restaurants. They feed you well.

    Cons

    Hillstone 'ranks' their servers and assigns sections accordingly. Given that you are only allowed three tables at a time, this can drastically affect what you make for the night as it usually limits your number of covers and desirability within your section. Managers are coached to hire people who fit a certain profile, and at one time prior to an interview I was told to select males who 'are attractive but don't come across as gay'. Hiring and firing practices tend to be ageist and individuality of any kind is met with passive aggressive (not to mention arbitrary) disciplinary action.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't think that Hillstone is interested in any of my advice.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company that really has it figured out when it comes to customer service.

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group

    Pros

    This is one of the highest paying Restaurant Groups out there for managers.

    Cons

    You must be willing to relocate at a moment's notice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is the best company in which to learn the basics of hospitality and restaurant management. You can grow quickly and earn an amazing income if you are flexible with relocation.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Super educational, structured, and valued internship. Positive Mental Attitude.

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great team environment, room to grow with the company, always busy, amazing food. Pay well and if they see potential will move you up in the company.

    Cons

    High turnover in management, move people around in the company a lot too. Very serious and intense work environment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Former Server Midtown NYC

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you can work at Hillstone, you can work at any restaurant. They demand excellent service and offer good training to prepare you to juggle many responsibilities at the same time.

    Cons

    The company does smell of corporate greed. They clearly try to drain the most out of every employee...and they are not interested in you personally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider investing in your employees. Bonuses for years of service, for example, would motivate your employees to stay longer and make them feel appreciated.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great money, harsh environment.

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great money whether you are a server, bartender, manager, etc. Benefits for hourly employees. Successful restaurants that are always busy. Lots of great people to work with. Most efficient, systematic, and consistent restaurants I've even worked for.

    Cons

    Very harsh and at times disrespectful work environment. If you don't have thick skin, you won't make it. At my location, the management was so rude at times that the only reason I stayed was that I couldn't afford to leave financially.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to effectively manage without being condescending and rude.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    WP Orlando

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Beautiful location, on the lake sunset is amazing every night. Insane money to be made, enjoyable staff (most of the time), great food with 50% off for employees.

    Cons

    Lack of communication from management down to team. Too corporate, if a guest wants their pork chop cooked MW we should be able to accommodate that. There become a loss of focus on hospitality and more of a focus to follow corporate protocol, that's not what this industry is about. No opportunity to request days off, must get your shift swapped (which depending on the day could be next to impossible). Very minimal control over your schedule, they pretty much out you on whenever they need you. Management doesn't know when to cut employees when we're slow so there is labor hours being wasted all the time. No room for growth, unless you just want to be a high ranked server for the rest of your life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing in corporate, let's get back to the basics of why we're in the hospitality industry. You've lost a lot of regulars and employees and it's only going to continue.

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

    Great Ideas, Terrible execution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Memphis, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Memphis, TN

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great money and training. Good experience on how a polished restaurant should run. Consistently high quality product. Benefits are okay, although not always delivered as promised. Great coworkers. Career opportunities available if you're a "golden child" employee or begin in management.

    Cons

    Very stressful work environment. Management is mercurial when left to their own devices, and turn in to sycophants whenever Corporate pops their head in. Management, while competent, is terrible to employees. They expect complete dedication to the store, so forget about the request to take a night off to study for a final, or if you call in sick, bring a doctor's note. Management will even send employees outside to do push ups in the parking lot as a "morale builder." Very high turnover rate in the front of house, as many competent, if not skilled servers will be driven away by the management, which then wonders why they have a hard time retaining staff. Also, do not expect to be thanked for going above and beyond your job description. The words "Good Job" and "Thank you" will never be uttered to an employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with the same respect you demand from them. Hold yourself as accountable as you expect from your employees. Empower your employees to make decisions in real time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Train managers on how to treat employees well.

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

    I worked at Hillstone Restaurant Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Money and training are the only good things about Hillstone.

    Cons

    Kids coming out of school with no restaurant experience managing people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat us better and we will work harder!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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