Houlihan's Reviews | Glassdoor

Houlihan's Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
174 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.1
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Mike Archer
6 Ratings

174 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good Money most of the time, scheduling is flexible (in 11 reviews)

  • Great money, works with your schedule, good food (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours, inconsistent schedules, lack of staff, inconsistencies with management (in 11 reviews)

  • Management with poor management skills (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Corporate Bar Trainer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Bar Trainer in Fairway, KS
    Former Employee - Corporate Bar Trainer in Fairway, KS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Houlihan's full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Such a great place to work. Great BOH, great section management, management was confident in service abilities so there was appropriate cuts and section placement, great food, pretty decent money, great opportunities for advancement. I just loved working here so much

    Cons

    The hostesses were incompetent many times, sometimes to the point where it would affect people's money making ability. Had one manager who disliked me, so he would mess with my schedule. The same manager then told me my panic attacks didn't matter and I needed to suck it up. He no longer works there though.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Great job. Best company I've ever worked for.


  2. "Not Bad for Beginners"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Kansas City, KS
    Former Employee - Server in Kansas City, KS
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houlihan's full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Casual. Fun and can be "THE" spot some nights. Very easy to learn and grow

    Cons

    Section too small for senior or experienced staff. Small plate menu is too inexpensive for a person truly trying to make a living here. And it's the big seller items

    Advice to Management

    Upscale just a little. Tack on a dollar. Darden does 3 table dinner service...that's in line there. Not here.


  3. "Not Equipped to Win"

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

    I have been working at Houlihan's part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The money is great for serving. We are one of the highest volume restaurants in town, so we get a ton of business. Our managers are very flexible with us on scheduling, which I greatly appreciate and is the biggest reason I've stayed at this job. Employees all get along great--most have become close friends and hang out together outside of work. We have a good quality product and a good brand, which sells itself.

    Cons

    Side work side work side work. Sometimes, it takes up to 2 hours (at least) after you are "cut" and done taking tables for you to complete all of your extra work. During this time, you are not making tips, you are cleaning-- so think of this as making $2-3 an hour for some pretty intensive cleaning. I've heard from other servers in town that we have the most side work they've ever seen. I almost feel like during busy shifts, another person needs to be hired just to maintain side work. In addition, my biggest complaint is that we often aren't adequately equipped to do this extra work to the level that they want us to. For example, there have been months where we have had no vacuums and were still expected to have a spotless carpet. The lemon cutting machine has been broken for months and we still cut lemons with it by hand (somewhat sketchy and dangerous). We get in trouble for running out of glasses and then breaking the "hot" glasses that came from the dishwasher on busy nights because they are far too hot to serve without being cooled off--but they won't buy us more glasses because it's "too expensive". We are a restaurant; having enough glasses for bar, patio, and dining room is the cost of doing business. These are just small examples and we have things that are like this regularly. This is where I feel that the owner, Tim O'Reilly, might be a nice guy, but is completely out of touch with what his most important ground level employees actually go through. Lastly, there is the issue of "cutting" and it drives all of us insane. There are certain managers (not all) that use no common sense when making cuts. They will keep 15 of us on the floor to stand around for hours at a time when it's raining out and we are slow (making no money and wasting valuable time), but they will cut recklessly on nights we are slammed and actually need people to stick around and help. Again, makes ZERO sense. I like the GM at this location and don't think these issues fall on him. He is GREAT and genuinely cares about his employees. It's too easy for senior managers to blame their GM's instead of taking personal responsibility for demands and processes they have put in place. I would actually say things need to be fixed and held accountable at a higher level.

    Advice to Management

    I have a love/hate with this place. I love some of the opportunities that it has provided me and will forever be grateful for those. I think our product is great and our servers are actually great. I won't even point my finger and blame management for some of the issues because I think they work hard and do good things as well. However, I will say that I think we are selling ourselves short and could be doing THAT much better if we could fix some of our current business processes. There are things required of servers that are NOT setting Houlihan's up for success because we often don't have what we need to get the job done, and then it breeds a culture of resentment and frustration. I would definitely say that our employees at this location are not empowered, but rather feel like they just stay and fight with the system until they can afford to get out and find something better. This is not the kind of work culture or environment any company should want to foster; especially one that has great food and a great concept like Houlihan's. I love Houlihan's, but you could do so much better.


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  5. "Food you could be proud to serve"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server Trainer/Bartender in Grand Rapids, MI
    Former Employee - Server Trainer/Bartender in Grand Rapids, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Houlihan's full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I liked the clientele i served. I loved that we made all the food from scratch.

    Cons

    The uniform is terrible... I had to work the patio in those long sleeve black t-shirts and the bistro aprons and thought I was going to die of heat stroke.

    Advice to Management

    Empowerment really does do a lot for the staff morale.


  6. "Houlihan's Server & Bartender"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Server/Bartender in Bridgewater, NJ
    Former Employee - Server/Bartender in Bridgewater, NJ

    I worked at Houlihan's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good money for the area. Structured shift scheduling and management communication. Fair management.

    Cons

    Somewhat unreasonable policies created by the CEO's that did not necessarily work on the ground level.

    Advice to Management

    Consider "managing up" to make sure that policies clearly work at the restaurant level (not just make sense in terms of financial overhead").


  7. "Accommodating with schedule, frequent manager turnover leads to chaos"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server/Waiter in Geneva, IL
    Current Employee - Server/Waiter in Geneva, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Houlihan's (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Food quality and pricing is higher than similar chain restaurants like Chili's and TGI Friday's, and frequently changing menu keeps things interesting. Serving staff at Geneva, IL location is the best part of this job. There is opportunity to move up if you work hard and want to become a bartender, shift supervisor or manager. Corporate oversight can have a positive influence on functioning of restaurant when rules/expectations are clear and enforced. It can be a really fun and fast-paced environment at times. Great job for younger workers in school.

    Cons

    Tips vary widely based on the season. Can be a high stress environment, especially when kitchen staff cannot always handle high volume. Far too many coupons. Most of the staff is young, so they may need more training; also might just blow off shifts and leave other workers to pick up the slack. Biggest problem is HIGH manager turnover, which results in inconsistency, poor communication between managers and staff, inconsistent rules and enforcement, and sometimes poor training. Significant responsibility for day-to-day operations falls on lower level staff. GM can be difficult to work with, and is likely responsible for high manager turnover. Overstaffing frequently results in lower pay for servers and remains unaddressed by management; this location is not as busy as other stores.

    Advice to Management

    Retain mid-level managers to ensure the consistency of food quality and logistical tasks like scheduling, food & liquor orders, and building maintenance. Dining room supervisors should only be treated as managers if their pay is comparable. Focus on quality training for front of house staff and regular reviews to weed out lazy/poor performers. And for the love of god, stop with all the sexual innuendos in the ad campaigns, they are incredibly tacky.


  8. "Bartender"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Springfield, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Springfield, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Houlihan's full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They work with my schedule, provide benefit packages and are pretty easy going

    Cons

    Bad reviews literally ruin the vibe for the entire month in this retaurant

    Advice to Management

    Back your employees a little more. You hired us so you didn't have to do the job yourself


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Nice atmosphere, until you add the managers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Algonquin, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Algonquin, IL
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Houlihan's part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible Hours
    Easy to pick up hours
    Company has an overall nice feel
    Employee discount

    Cons

    Lack of management communication
    Long hours
    Hard to find reliable people (at least for dishwashing)

    Advice to Management

    When we get busy, you need to remain calm. Yelling at us doesn't help and if anything, it makes everything worse by lowering morale, we've had people quit because you can't control your stress better.
    Don't pull us away when we are already short staffed, it causes us to stay later.
    You people need to coordinate or something because it's rare for any of them to be on the same page. It's annoying being told to do the same thing 3 different times because no one knows what's going on.
    When you have a problem with someone, don't just complain about it to other employees, it shows a real lack of professionalism.


  10. "Enjoyed the ride."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Server in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Server in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houlihan's full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly staff, okay wages, some room for growth.

    Cons

    Inconsistent Management lead to a negative effect.

    Advice to Management

    Allow employees to express themselves to guests giving them a more personal experience.


  11. "Downhill Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server in Park Ridge, IL
    Current Employee - Server in Park Ridge, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Houlihan's full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good Money most of the time, scheduling is flexible.

    Cons

    Management has stopped caring about their employees and visibly have no motivation towards their job. Business is spotty, one day you will make decent tips, the next you leave with spare change.


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