I worked at Cypress Inn full-time (More than 5 years)
Great food; decent discounts; camaraderie among staff; opportunities to work catering events; generally friendly customers; the chefs are usually highly talented and creative; lots of regulars; beautiful location (even if you can't really enjoy it while you're working); kitchen staff is great; you have the opportunity to ask for time off months ahead of time (Mothers' Day fills up quickly); great reputation in the area
High stress; mandatory Sunday lunch shifts; feast or famine with tipping standards; mandatory shifts on game days (University of Alabama); natural issues that come with being located next to a river; the owner can be overbearing and tends to micromanage;
If the manager knows what s/he is doing, it's a great job. However, this restaurant has had a history of high management turnover in recent years (2004-2012). Many of those managers were immature, some were outright abusive to staff, and most brought personal drama to work with them. The owner is overbearing: more of a charmer than a leader. He alienates people at all levels--he once hired a chef who then moved his family across the state for the sole purpose of the Cypress job; this chef re-vamped the menu, adding many new dishes and several specials; Drew then fired him within a month. He hired the man to gain access to recipes, then kept the recipes and replaced the man with the kitchen manager who worked for much less money.
Advice to Management
The current managers at Cypress are great from what I've seen and heard: all worked on the floor at one point. The general manager has always been wonderful. Don't let Drew micromanage. Don't abuse your power. Bring back the Sunday morning staff breakfasts--great for morale.
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