From Key West, FL — 08/20/2010
I've read a lot of very negative reviews on this website, so I thought I'd share my story of how Outback should be, and how it almost is at my location.
First of all, I transfered from an Outback in MD, I've been at this location for around 10 months, and I am soon to transfer back up to MD. I've been with the company for over a year as a server, server trainer, and headwait.
Briefly, I'll describe my experience at my original outback. It's been a while, and there isn't much I remember other than the fact that the money was disappointing, and I wasn't thrilled with the customer quality, but the restaurant was run professionally, efficiently, and was kept quite clean. I wasn't there long enough to be able to say that advancement opportunities we're possible, but I felt pretty well respected for doing my job very well. The rest of the wait staff we're pretty good, all in all I'd say everyone was pretty darn good.
I won't spend a lot of time on my current Outback here in Key West, whatever negative things I might have to say about the staff and/or management are too meaningless to mention. All I know is that I worked hard, was extremely dependable (was never late, never called out, never refused to pick up a shift when the boss called, etc. etc..) and did my job well and was recognized and rewarded for it. This is one of the only restaurants I've ever worked at (And I have worked at many over the years) where the boss is sincerely passionate about his employees best interests. This Outback is a true anomaly though, pretty much the complete opposite of the anal retentive nature of my old Outback and of many other Outbacks I've heard about. I credit this to the exotic location and the laid back nature of anyone who chooses to live on an island. I feel like our proprietor can get away with a little more leniency because of the laid back vacation feel our whole island gives off.
Bottom line, anyone who has written a negative review regarding their advancement opportunities we're probably not as great at their job as they thought they we're. With the limited number of quality people in our industry in general, management pretty much has to be completely blind to not recognize someone who is going to make things easier and more profitable for them. Either that or you just weren't smart enough to say "Hey, I'm great and you need me, let talk about me doing this new job..".
Yes, the customers can be rude, nasty wastes of flesh. The money can suck, and there are definitely days when you don't understand how you haven't walked out and quit yet. The fact that our prices are so low means two things: You won't be getting a check over a hundred dollars very often, and in our profession that means your tip percentage won't mean much if the check is only $23.45, and your restaurant will most likely be filled with Outbacks target demographic - Lower class, irresponsible idiots who drag their small children in five minutes before you are supposed to close (shouldn't babies be asleep before 11:00 p.m.?) because they know they get a free soda with their Kid Mac and even though they brought 9 people their check won't break a hundred dollars.
So, other than the terribly cheap customers, I can't complain. Considering I didn't go to college and Outback is my only full time job, I consider myself lucky. I pay my bills, put a bit away and don't find myself pinching pennies on a regular basis. This job is what you make of it. If you suck at it, you'll probably hate it. Contrary to popular belief NOT everyone can do this job, and no it isn't for idiots.
I hope this helps somebody out. When I first applied, it was a last choice. Now, however, I'm very glad I did. Hopefully you will be too.