First Watch Reviews | Glassdoor

First Watch Reviews

Updated October 17, 2017
108 reviews

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3.5
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Ken Pendery
56 Ratings

108 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Hours are great and management is good about giving requested days off (in 10 reviews)

  • If you're at a good location you're able to work good hours, make good money, and are given money for going to school if you're a college student (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • All upper management tends to lean on the authoritarian side, not allowing too much room for expression (in 7 reviews)

  • The "steps of service" sometimes can seem a little pushy for customers to leave and if is a complaint a lot of us servers receive (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Nice place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Nice tips and customer regulars

    Cons

    You have to work a host shift for virtually free


  2. "Working harder not smarter?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Server
    Current Employee - Server

    I have been working at First Watch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This company works hard to create consistency across their many stores. So if you've worked at one, you know how things are supposed to run at any other store. Its easy to jump in from store to store. Food is well made, and on the healthier side of things.

    Cons

    Can you say Micro manage? I have worked a couple different restaurants as a server. Every server learns tricks to keep up when things get super busy, but First Watch worries more about doing things exactly the same that they often over manage. Too often we aren't allowed to work smarter, but instead work harder, just to follow this model of "everyone does it the same". Depending on the particular manager at that particular store, it can get overly stressful to keep them happy when all you're trying to do is your job well.

    Advice to Management

    Allow room for personal modification of tasks. Let us work smarter not harder and stop trying to micro-manage every step we take.

  3. "Boss was a jerk."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Server in Tampa, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First Watch part-time

    Pros

    Good hours, fairly busy. Very busy in winter (FL)

    Cons

    Stressful environment. I'd served two years before serving there and found it hard to catch on. The ordering system is way too particular (orders had to be written with specific abreviations-perfectly).

    Advice to Management

    Allow for learning curve. Don't expect perfection after a week. But honest about hours.


  4. "Great company to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server/Waitress in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Server/Waitress in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Watch full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The training is very detailed and leaves you with few to no issues in transition to serving tables. Both pro but sometimes con is the teamwork aspect of this company everyone helps everyone no matter what in order to give the best experience possible to our guests.

    Cons

    The "steps of service" sometimes can seem a little pushy for customers to leave and if is a complaint a lot of us servers receive. The teamwork aspect can also hurt the harder working employees, giving full service to a table so another server receives the tip is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.

    Advice to Management

    Paying more attention to the servers, bussers, dishwashers, and cooks who do little things like pre bus tables, run food, help seat, good attitude, and overall teamwork attitude and then showing the appreciation for those employees with schedule or sections over seniority would encourage an overall improvement in service for guests and teamwork because there is a reason to work that hard (better shifts=more money) But you can't achieve that without hard work.


  5. "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Waiter in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Waiter in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Watch part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good money, great benefits, they really care about they employees, fun environment to work in, being corporate kinda sucks though

    Cons

    It's corporate, so you have to deal with stupid change, the service industry is a possibility and it's super busy so it's hard work

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, make the eggs school Progam function more quickly. Pay bussers more money and dish washers


  6. ""You First" Works!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Server in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Watch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Can't beat working in a place that is open from 7am-2:30pm every day - your evenings are always free!
    From my experience, store management all the way up to corporate management cares about the employees and the customers.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for growth - however, I am a server, and that is kind of a given

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good vibes and the caring culture! Employees feel the effects of everything you do.


  7. "It was okay if you like working all the time and never getting your approved days off"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Clayton, MO
    Former Employee - Server in Clayton, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First Watch part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good tips after you have been there awhile.

    Cons

    Manager is on a power trip. Approved requested days off they schedule you, every time. if you do need a day off good luck finding someone to cover you.

  8. "General Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - General Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at First Watch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The food is absolutely unbelievable!

    Cons

    You literally work 60 hours a week. Inventory every other week. No room for vacation, family or heaven forbid you get sick. Forget managing, they can't keep cooks or dishwashers. Your shift is on the line or washing dishing and not being able to attend to manager duties. There is no quality of life because you're so exhausted after working a 12 hours day. District mangers are not supportive and throw it back on you because the store can't get back of the house staff. When they won't approve a competitive wage. They will literally hire anyone with a pulse to be a manager in training because at least they know with the "promise" of becoming a general manager right after the 10 week training... they have their back of the house cook/dishwasher help for the next 3 months and have no intention of moving the candidate forward. They hire managers/general managers who have NO CLUE about the First Watch way. These mangers bring their styles and rhetoric into their restaurants which absolutely conflicts with the FW 5 steps of service, and district turns a blind eye. The pay is absolutely ridiculous.

    Advice to Management

    It doesn't matter


  9. "Server"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server in Tucson, AZ
    Current Employee - Server in Tucson, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First Watch full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, high standard of service, and good shift hours.

    Cons

    For management: Bad work-life balance.


  10. "It's Alright"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Watch full-time

    Pros

    Easy, team driven, good food, good hours

    Cons

    management is the worst, they make you host

    Advice to Management

    Please have fair practices, there is too much politics


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