We offer extensive training and self-development programs to help our employees grow and succeed. New employees participate in a structured training program to help them learn more about the company, our brands and our expectations. On-the-job training is provided by Certified Trainers – team members who have completed certification to train others – who teach new employees the ins and outs of the job. On average, new team members receive 40 to 80 hours of training (depending on the job) through video and hands-on instruction. Company values and expected behaviors are woven throughout the training to reinforce that how we treat our guests – and how we treat each other – is as important as the specifics of the job itself.
Compensation and Benefits
Darden offers competitive compensation, flexible work schedules and industry-leading benefits. Scheduling flexibility is the number-one reason why many people choose to work in the restaurant business.
As a national chain, we can offer our employees jobs across the United States and parts of Canada, allowing employees to stay with us when personal circumstances require relocation. We offer many types of careers, both inside and between restaurant companies and at our Restaurant Support Center (e.g., corporate headquarters).
All employees are eligible for health insurance and disability coverage from the first day of employment, which is highly unusual in the restaurant business. Also unique in the industry is our anniversary/vacation pay benefit for hourly team members, whether or not they choose to take time off.
In addition, we pay our employees on a weekly basis, rather than bi-weekly – even though it costs us more to do so – because we recognize the economic needs of our workers. Employees enjoy a 25 percent discount for themselves and up to seven family members or friends when dining at our restaurants. Team members receive a 50 percent discount on meals during their work hours.
Listening to Employees
At Darden, we listen to our workers and we care about what they have to say. Our management team regularly visits all of our restaurants and meets with team members and managers to hear their thoughts, concerns and ideas.
We have an open-door policy that encourages employees to talk to their managers or direct supervisors to discuss any issue they have, without fear of retaliation. Team members can also call our employee relations hotline to raise any issues, including concerns about their managers.
- 82% agree or strongly agree that they are proud to work for Darden.
- 84% agree or strongly agree that Darden is a great place to work.
- 84% agree or strongly agree that they like the work they do.
- 81% agree or strongly agree they would strongly recommend Darden to family and friends as a great place to work.
In another example of listening, we administer an employee engagement survey to all of our employees each year. By doing so, we hope to understand what we are doing well as an employer, and where we need to improve. More than 125,000 employees – or 74 percent of our workforce, up from 62 percent the previous year – responded to our October 2009 survey. We reviewed more than 300,000 written comments.
We believe it is critical to recognize employees for a job well done. We expect all our managers to be on the lookout for performance they can praise and encourage. We know positive reinforcement leads us to success.
We have both informal and formal recognition programs that reward individual and team performance. Our “Diamond Club,” for example, recognizes nearly 100 general managers and managing partners per year.
Commitment to Sustainability
We also believe in doing our part to limit our impact on the environment. Our business relies on a number of natural resources, and we want to be the best stewards of those resources that we can be. To learn more about Darden’s commitment to sustainability, including the role of our restaurant Green Teams, visit our Sustainability section.
For more information about hourly and managerial opportunities at any of our fine restaurants, click on the following links:
- Red Lobster
- Olive Garden
- LongHorn Steakhouse
- Bahama Breeze
- Seasons 52
- The Capital Grille
- Eddie V's
- Yard House
- All Restaurant Brands