National Restaurant Association Reviews | Glassdoor

National Restaurant Association Reviews

Updated May 16, 2017
48 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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National Restaurant Association President & CEO Dawn Sweeney
Dawn Sweeney
35 Ratings

48 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Competitive pay and great benefits (in 11 reviews)

  • Beautiful office space, free snacks, cool employee events, growth opportunity, AWESOME benefits, OK pay (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • There is little to no room for advancement and some of the hardest workers are getting ignored for promotions/raises (in 4 reviews)

  • Because there's a lack of communication, particularly from the top, rumors fly and resentment breeds (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (14)

    "Enough, Already!"

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

    I have been working at National Restaurant Association full-time

    Pros

    The Association provides excellent benefits and professional development opportunities across the board. The DC office space is wonderful. There are a number of staff who are celebrating 30 years of service and, at the same time, new hires are joining our ranks and finding lots of opportunities to play a meaningful role in our work.

    I enjoy coming to work, I genuinely like my colleagues, and I have a great time at this job. Not only is the work interesting and rewarding, but we also have volunteer opportunities, happy hours, and fun along with the hard work we do.

    This is a great time for the hospitality industry, and the CEO should make good on her commitment to the "What" and the "How" of the work we are doing.

    Cons

    I am bewildered by the recent negative reviews, particularly those focused on the CAO. Enough, already!

    I have worked with the CAO and, since her arrival, she has demonstrated fairness and dedication to all employees, not just those on her staff. She has invited me and others out to coffee to get to know us better, and when I see her at company events, she is friendly and attracts others to her with her vibrant sense of humor. Professional development opportunities have increased for many of us since she arrived.

    Sadly, some employees seem to have a great sense of entitlement. Employees who regularly come in at 10 AM or later, who leave before they have put in an 8-hour day, who don't produce deliverables on time and whose work is sloppy should not be the voice of record. The CEO is making a number of changes, and the CAO is responsible for implementing them, which has made the CAO a scapegoat.

    I am also puzzled by the claim that there is no recognition of exceptional effort. We have an awards ceremony every year that recognizes many individuals for their contributions to the Association. Some employees receive thousands of dollars as part of their award. I can only say that if you feel you are not being recognized for your work, you should talk to your manager rather than hiding behind anonymous reviews on Glassdoor.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be confused by posturing and duplicity - they will only serve to keep the Association mired in the past. If you truly want to move forward and grow the Association, hold fast to your commitment to the "What" and the "How," which you have set as an admirable benchmark for all employees.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "great place to work"

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

    I have been working at National Restaurant Association (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great organization with terrific benefits and progressive leaders

    Cons

    sometimes difficult to understand all the competing priorities within the Association


  3. Helpful (16)

    "Once Great, Now Sad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Restaurant Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The staff at the Director level and below are wonderful - some of the most engaged colleagues you'll ever meet and people generally get along really well. These people work hard and are incredibly smart. They made coming into work every day a lot of fun.

    Cons

    Where to start. This organization used to be great but is rotting from the inside out. It seems like every week, someone else puts in notice. And it's no longer the bad apples - they're losing the really good people who get the work done. And the more these folks leave, the more others will follow because they see there's life after NRA.

    Senior management just doesn't care - there's no other way to describe what is going on. Instead of listening to complaints, they're threatening to fire people for insubordination. That doesn't exactly engender positive feelings. There is little to no room for advancement and some of the hardest workers are getting ignored for promotions/raises.

    This was an organization I was proud to work at when I first started. I sincerely hope it can get to that place again but how do you stop the slide?

    Advice to Management

    Please stop squabbling and get to making this a great organization again. Let the board hire an outside consultant to assess the issues (not the CAO because she cannot be trusted, nor can her staff) and take those recommendations to heart. Otherwise, leave so things can be repaired. There is an attitude that the more junior staff can leave because they're replaceable. Newsflash: so are you.


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  5. Helpful (23)

    "Is there a way to give less than one star?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Restaurant Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Offices are really nice and free snacks. CFO is awesome. There are happy pockets of leadership in the organization. Benefits are really exceptional.

    Cons

    Horrible senior level management starting with the grossly overpaid CEO and CAO. Great senior people are gone, some new hires are incompetent, clique culture among upper management that is terrible for morale, some of the old timers that are still there are almost impotent in terms of influence. Lots of ethical issues going on that raise eyebrows. So much unhappiness trickling down. Board seems to not comprehend at all how bad it is. Also technology is terrible.

    Advice to Management

    Quit.


  6. Helpful (34)

    "Low Morale, Poor Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Restaurant Association (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good bens. Great working relationships on manager/director level. Get to work for a diverse industry. Beautiful office in DC.

    Cons

    New management treats anyone who has been there for more than a few years as "old timers". Just because you have been there for 20 years, doesn't mean you are washed up or out of ideas. It means you have dedicated your life to this industry.

    Employees are treated like children. Verbal abuse is rampant and gaslighting is the norm. Everyone sees it, but no one seems to care much about doing anything about it. Lashing out and public beratement are acceptable practices. Roles and positions are intentionally unclear; the only way they can keep people on edge is to never provide direct leadership or goals.

    Praise is minimal. "It's your job." Many teams were in Chicago for the board meeting/Restaurant Show for 8 days straight, working 18 hour days and giving up weekends. When we asked about comp time, the response was we are "acting entitled" and this is an expectation. No comp time was awarded.

    People are fleeing, some without jobs lined up. Interestingly enough, all these "weak links" are landing better. The brain drain and depletion of institutional knowledge has been moving at a rapid clip.

    Advice to Management

    Stop posting fake reviews on glassdoor. Actually admit you have a problem. Wake up. You are ruining what was once a happy, productive place.


  7. Helpful (21)

    "Anonymous Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at National Restaurant Association full-time

    Pros

    The overall look and feel of the DC office, in addition to a commitment to make Chicago office improvements is encouraging

    Cons

    For whatever reason a variety of leaders in the organization have formed alliances and made deliberate, uninformed determinations (and sure as heck don't know people's names or what they do) of others. The group who is advocating for the NRA to "Keep Cleaning House NRA" - is an apparent attempt to create a (weak) battle cry designed to get people to rally around those they deem spineless, lazy, late, transactional, no-good doers of nothing, out of the organization. Because apparently the only ones who care about the NRA are the chosen few who rule by fear and favoritism and quite frankly break rules for others to suffer the consequences. Oh. And the only people who have expressed concerned about the direction of the company and some of the jacked up decisions that have been made - well - has anyone ever thought that maybe some of those you call "malcontents" that you so quickly want to toss aside are indeed some of the best you've got. They embrace change, they remove mountains, who create life changing opportunities, who help members thrive and prosper. Who essentially, care about the people we serve and the livelihoods our industry supports

    The mudslinging taking place on Glass Door is simply childish. Are people using Glass Door because not a dang thing was done with the employee survey? We saw to or three dressed up slides. That's it. And that speaks volumes. People!!! Glass Door impacts, every single day, people both inside and outside of our four walls. Mudslinging is seen by members of industry, job seekers, recruiters, media, state partners, board members and even donors. Bottom line. You're interrupting our groove. I say the Pollyanna "YAY YEAM" and crabby malcontents should find other employment. Go be the change you want see elsewhere and let us do our thing, and do it well, with respect, commitment and without all the noise which just drags us all down.

    Advice to Management

    Come on NRA P.R. Spin Doctors. Address these Glass Door reviews somehow. We know you read them. Does anyone even care? Let's tackle the employee surveys that have been gathering dust and dig into them. It you don't know what's broken, you can't fix it. Now...not wanting to fix what you know is broken is an entirely different animal. The herds will begin to thin themselves, the weak will hang on for as long as they can, eventually running away with a few bags of Sun Chips, whatever warm juice is left in the refrigerator, a half opened pack of a Snack wells cookie, if you're lucky maybe a day old Ramen Noodle. And my stapler. I have to have my stapler.

    National Restaurant Association Response

    Aug 8, 2016 – President & CEO

    Thank you for your extensive feedback. I share your perspective that anonymous comments made on Glassdoor can impact the external perception of our organization as a place to work. It's also ... More


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at National Restaurant Association (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing benefits, beautiful office space, free snacks and beverages. Executive leadership team leads by example and tirelessly works to promote our values and meet goals. Hard work is recognized and rewarded.

    Cons

    A few internally are immature and not used to functioning in a professional environment. The executive leadership is going through a routine transformation and it is stunning how personally some are taking it.

    CEO has a clear vision that she has put forward to the entire organization on several occasions (yet some think that they know better). CAO, who I have witnessed on many occasions defend and advocate for staff, gets wrongfully blamed for every employee grievance.

    Advice to Management

    Address the detractors head-on and speed up any additional changes. Create an environment where the hard working majority does not feel bogged down by a vocal minority.

    National Restaurant Association Response

    Aug 8, 2016 – President & CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I am pleased that you are having a positive experience as a team member. We value a diversity of perspectives and so I welcome feedback from ... More


  9. Helpful (22)

    "Horrible environment to work in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at National Restaurant Association full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, they provide a ton of snacks and drinks free of charge to employees as well. They also have a program that hires persons with disabilities.

    Cons

    The working environment is simply toxic. Everyone walks around on eggshells because of the CAO and her immediate staff (EA and Manager of Operations). They are the most negative and downright condescending people I have ever come across. They have nasty attitudes and are very passive aggressive about the simplest of things. The HR department is either complicit or completely useless because there is no way that they can't see that the staff morale is non-existent. The CAO rules by fear and everyone knows that if she doesn't like you that you are out the door. The sad thing is that she and her immediate staff don't know it all, very far from it and they could stand to learn a thing or two about treating people with respect in the work place. I was passing by and heard the CAO tell a member of staff that she was the person who decided if the member of staff was going to stay or be fired. I don't know of any organization that would still employ a member of staff that treats employees like that. There has been tremendous turnover on all levels since the CAO came on board and there is no sign that things are going to get better any time soon.

    If the CEO claims to not know what is going on in the organization, then they need someone who has a clue instead of the checked out person that currently runs the organization. Just because an organization is doing well financially, it doesn't mean that all is well. If the CEO doesn't care that the employees are happy, then very soon she will be left with a profitable organization run by substandard employees like the CAO.

    Advice to Management

    Get a grip on your organization and start caring about how your employees are being treated. The way that your CAO treats staff is a lawsuit waiting to happen and when it happens you will have no one to blame but yourselves because you stuck your head in the sand when she was running like a headless chicken all over the place. Hire competent staff at high levels that don't get flustered at the drop of a hat and fly off the handle for the smallest things. Poise is everything and your top executives starting with your CAO don't have it.

    National Restaurant Association Response

    Aug 8, 2016 – President & CEO

    I'm sorry to read that your brief experience on our team was so unpleasant. You've chosen an anonymous forum to level very detailed critiques about specific team members. Unfortunately, not knowing ... More


  10. Helpful (16)

    "Downward spiral"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Restaurant Association (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, good PTO, healthy budgets. Get to stay in nice hotels and eat at nice restaurants when traveling.

    Cons

    Senior management is a revolving door, and uncertainty trickles down. CEO / CAO are more interested in their image / paying lip service about fixing flaws than taking action on them.

    There is huge pay and title disparity by gender and between DC and Chicago. Promotions are often given based on personal closeness to an executive. Decisions are made based on whims or gut feelings, versus reflecting actual business needs, and staff have to deal with the ramifications of those whims.

    Departments are deeply siloed and as a result, there's a lot of inefficiency, particularly with technology. Different departments operate with completely different rules -- something that's okay for one team is strictly forbidden in another, like work from home privileges. Because there's a lack of communication, particularly from the top, rumors fly and resentment breeds.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in promoting good people who deserve it, not just men in DC, make sure salaries and perks are equitable between cities and departments, get Chicago better office space, and put some standards in place so that the playing field is even. Stop hiring executives who build a cult of personality around themselves and play favorites.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "administrative"

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

    Pros

    organization in the midst of change;stability needed in leadership ranks and managers should be account

    Cons

    Leadership should model the appropriate behavior

    National Restaurant Association Response

    Aug 8, 2016 – President & CEO

    Thank you for sharing your perspective.


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