If you’re looking for restaurant work, but favor something a little above the level of fast food, then perhaps one of the many Red Robin jobs may suit you.
In 1985 Kingen sold a controlling interest to Japanese investors, who moved the HQ from Seattle to Denver, but had poor success with the chain overall. After a decade of faltering performance, the Japanese firm which owned the controlling interest brought back Kingen as CEO, and the company began a very successful period of steady growth.
Today there are slightly over 400 Red Robin restaurants in the USA, and 20 more in Canada. The company has 22,500 employees, and approximately 850 million US dollars in annual revenue.
Red Robin Jobs
Happily, Red Robin has seven clearly defined hourly positions –
Server – You are the guide to the whole dining experience, everything is on your shoulders, and your tip will depend on how well you do. You take the order, (working around the table in a methodical manner so that you know who gets what when the food arrives), and upselling at every opportunity. You submit the order to the kitchen, you get the drinks if the Hostess hasn’t already done so, you check the order when it comes out of the kitchen, you bring the food to the table, you refill the drinks, you offer dessert, you bring the check, and you invite the guests to return soon.
Host/Hostess – You greet the arriving guests, you inquire how many in their party, you seat them immediately if possible, or add them to a waiting list if not. You manage the waiting list in a fair and efficient manner. You seat the guests as promptly as circumstances allow, making sure the table is clean, and that they have menus, napkins, and silverware. You let the Server know that he/she has a new table. You get the drink order and fill it if the server is busy.
Expediter – This job is to a restaurant what a Free Safety is to a football team; you move around and fill in where needed. Your default position is as an interface between kitchen and server, providing a single point of contact for Servers who need something from the kitchen, so they’re not distracting the cooks with requests for an extra plate, etc. You check the completed dishes emerging from the kitchen to make sure they are prepared correctly and match the order. You also help the cooks when needed, by preparing simple dishes. You may even be called upon to wait and/or bus tables, whatever is needed to keep things flowing.
Line Cook – You prepare the orders from the Servers, with careful attention to portion control, food safety, consistency, strict adherence to recipes, and due concern for your own safety. You perform such kitchen cleaning tasks as are assigned to you.
Dishwasher – The low man on the restaurant totem pole, you wash the dishes, sanitize the dishes, clean the kitchen, and generally handle any other dirty restaurant jobs that nobody else wants to do.
Busser – This is a humble but vital position. You remove the dirty dishes from the table, you wipe and sanitize the table, and you wipe and clean the chairs, booth, benches, and back wall. You are responsible for seeing that guests are always seated at clean, sanitary tables, with no food debris in the area. If the last party had a small baby, and the Server brought that child crackers, as Servers often do, the whole area is going to have to be swept or vacuumed. And you do all this under constant time pressure.
Anonymous feedback from former and current Red Robin employees shows a respectable level of employee satisfaction, one comfortably above average. And in this business, that’s actually rather impressive. An equally impressive 80% “approve of” current CEO Steve Carley.
Getting That Red Robin Job
The Red Robin career site (http://www.redrobin.jobs) is actually fairly straight-forward. When you arrive at the site, look at the menu across the top of the page, and click on “Search Jobs”. You’ll see four different divisions you can apply to, but 90% of the jobs are under the second option from the top, “Gourmet Burgers”. Once you click on that, you’ll go to another page where you have a choice of Management, Regional or Hourly; click on “Hourly”. Now a menu will drop down showing the seven positions you can apply to, as listed in the section above. I clicked on Server for test purposes. Now you’ll see a page where you have dropdown menus. Choose your state from the top one, then choose a city from the bottom one, and then click the big blue “Apply” button. That will take you to a page where you’ll read more info about the positions available, and actually submit an application.
And now here are a few odds and ends that may come in handy for you –
- Average wage for a Server is $5.45 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $2.00 per hour to a high of $9.00 per hour. As we have seen before, the average is dragged down by the impossibly low sub-minimum wages which some states allow employers to pay to tipped positions.
- Average wage for a Busser is $6.52 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $4.00 per hour to a high of $8.00 per hour.
- Average wage for a Hostess is $6.95 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $2.00 per hour to a high of $8.00 per hour
- Most applicants report a simple two-stage interview process. First interview is with the Assistant Manager, and the second interview is with the General Manager. Second interview may occur right after the second. It is not unusual for applicants to be offered a job at the second interview.
- Applicants report that it may take up to a week to be contacted after submitting an application online.
- Sample interview question – “What makes you YOU?”
- Sample interview question – “How have you helped out a difficult customer?”
- Sample interview question – “If you could pick any car and have it forever, what would it be?”
- Sample interview question – “What would you do if a customer was rude?”
- Sample interview question – “Why do you think people get into the field of Hospitality?”
And there you have a brief review of the highlights of what you need to know about Red Robin jobs, and how to get them. The company is solid, and the employee satisfaction ratings are actually quite good for the restaurant industry. So, if there’s a Red Robin in your area, why not give them a try?