Brinker International – Dallas, TX
• Acts with a sense of urgency with regard to project timelines and risk mitigation. Ensures closure of issues while considering a broader… Glassdoor
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Brinker full-time (more than 3 years)Pros
- The people you work with become family. Sure, there may be people that you don't especially get along with or even like working with, but you still like and respect them as a person.
- The lower and mid-management staff are very personable and reasonable. They'll work with you to resolve issues whether it be your schedule, rate of pay, or the relationship with another employee.
- The overall standard for food quality and cleanliness is high.
- Extra-curricular activities like the annual softball tournament, dodgeball, and volleyball outings help in building trust, respect, and teamwork among the employees, but can also create rifts between people and help nurture social cliques within a particular store.Cons
- Work-Life balance is nonexistent. When I transferred to Utah, I was a full-time student used to working 36 hours going to 55 hours for several weeks in a row. Several times I voiced my concern about the negative impact work was having on my studies and, despite how many times I was told there would be a remedy, there never was.
- Constantly under-staffed. We never had enough people in the kitchen so overtime was a common thing. I expected to work 45+ hours each week simply because we didn't have the manpower.
- Willful ignorance. There were several instances where I got to meet mid and high-level managers in the Utah market and voice my concerns, the biggest being the language barrier between English and Spanish. Rather than taking action to bridge the gap like offering ESL or SSL classes, their proposed solutions were along the lines of "make sure there is a bilingual team member on staff," or "use the translator app on your phone."
- All talk and no walk. There's a difference between forgetting to address an issue and hoping a solution presents itself. There were several occasions where I would address issues to management about waste or quality that would seem to never go any further than that. When a team member consistently and constantly goes against health code and company policy without changing their habits, one can only assume that they are never punished for it. Also, If you form a committee with representatives from each department maybe there should be at least one meeting. Lastly, why go through all the trouble to create training modules and training people to train new hires based on these modules when we just throw them to the wolves without ever referring to the modules?
- Little room to move up. In almost every instance where I got to meet and talk with mid or high-level managers, my studies were brought up as well as my desire to move up into the corporate structure. Every one of those discussions ended on a positive note but, despite applying to several positions and having a formal interview over the phone I never heard anything back from the talent acquisition department. The CEO told me to my face that the company needed more people like me but they let me slip through their fingers.Advice to ManagementAdvice
- Listen to your employees more. If they say that a particular job is becoming overwhelming, find a way to help them cope with it better instead of just comparing them to another store - belittling a person rarely motivates them to do a better job. If a person is in a bad mood and visibly displaying it, ask them about it rather than yelling at them about it. Putting them on the immediate defensive usually ends with disciplinary action.
- Ask your employees to do things, don't tell them to. The phrase "I need..." is one of the most common ones I've ever heard in the food industry and, for an industry based around the guest, is an exceptionally greedy phrase. Eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary and your employees will respect you more.
- Assign managers to departments in which they have knowledge. I know this is tough because 90% of managers that moved up in the company came from the FOH but it's extremely tough to respect a kitchen manager that doesn't even know at which temperature (in F or C) water boils. The 3 days per station that managers in training receive is not enough for them to gain an understanding for that station or how to properly operate or organize it.
- Involve the HOH more in team-building exercises and games. The FOH get games every day and night to help boost their sales and their confidence, but there are rarely any of those types of opportunities offered to the HOH. The closest I've ever seen was "Safety Bingo" and the HOH wasn't even told about it until a week or so into the game.
- Enforce the channels of communication. If the QA is supposed to serve as a liaison between the FOH and the HOH, then it should be enforced that all communication goes through that channel. Servers and To-Go personnel coming around to the back of the line to ask for a side or to explain a ticket is distracting and unsafe. Servers taking food out of the window and not informing the QA usually leads to it going to the wrong table and screws up somebody else's order.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO