Sunday, October 29, 2006

Red Lobster is making changes

One thing we are changing is our daily fresh fish. There will be new table handouts (yes, that means 3 menus being handed out now) that will contain the information on what fresh fish are available. These will be printed up daily, and at times twice daily when supply runs out on a fish. We all have to be tested by our General Managers (that means servers, bartenders, hosts, all front of the house employees) on our ability to present this to the guest in the Red Lobster way. If we fail to do this properly and are caught 3 times we can/will be terminated.

Each store will have the opportunity to carry up to 8 different fish at any given time. My guess is that most stores will carry 5-6 depending on what is popular in their market. All will have Salmon, and Cod and Trout will also likely be very common. Mahi Mahi will also be one that I suspect many stores will carry, as it was a big seller when we used to have it in other stores I worked in.

Red Lobster's menu will also include new seafood items including a pan-seared crab cake appetizer, a lobster and seafood mixed grill dish, Maui Luau shrimp & salmon and Honey BBQ shrimp & chicken dishes. There are also a fairly lengthy list of things coming off the menu, most surprisingly Lobster Chops. Red Lobster will also be featuring pepper and salt grinders on the tables for the guest to use (steal) as they please. These changes will take effect October 31st, 2006.

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9 comments:

Trish said...

Hey there, i hate to use your commenting section in such a way, but i love your blog and need some advice about applying for server positions.

Basically, on the applications, it says "Expected starting hourly rate" and "expected weekly earning" i assume that is without tips? I live in Las Vegas, and don't think it at all unreasonable to expect $3.00/hour and $250/week in earnings (for 5-8 hour shifts). How does that sound to you?

Secondly, i am currently working at a Petsmart, and usually work between 2 - 4 on Monday thru Thursday when it is best to turn in apps. I can turn them in on my break, but is it a "turn off" for an applicant to walk in wearing a uniform for another place they are already employed?

Bummer on the daily fish menus and the "Steal Me!" pepper and salt grinders :/ Thanks for keeping a great blog, i feel a lot more prepared for serving after reading through your experiences!

Lobster Boy said...

The hourly wage is something that is specific to where you live. I would just ask a server in that store or a nearby store what their hourly wage is. Everybody works (in similar style restaurants) for roughly the same wage - the least amount the company can legally pay. Minimum wage for servers is actually far less than minimum wage because tips are supposed to make up the difference.

On weekly earnings, there are far too many variable to really give you a good estimate. I have no idea how the tipping culture is in Vegas, but I would guess if the store is where the people live instead of the Strip that people would tip well. So many people in Vegas are tip dependent for income I would expect them to understand how to tip and tip accordingly. Plus tips are dependent on hours worked, and which hours worked. Lunch tips are less than dinner tips frequently because of the sales volume. Lunch tips average are higher as a percentage in some places, but it doesn't make up for the 2x's more expensive supper meals. There are other factors as well, but you get the idea.

I would suggest figuring out whatever $15 per hour is and using that as a guess for income. If it is more, great, if it is less you have some work to do. If you work 5 shifts at 8 hours each you'll make FAR more than $250 unless you or your store are really lacking. $15 X 40 = $600

Honestly, if I work an 6 hour shift, I hope to make $100. I might make more, and have certainly had shifts where I make less, but $100 is my goal. If I make more, that is icing on the cake.

Lobster Boy

Lobster Boy said...

Oh yeah, on the delivery of the application it is somewhat dependent on the store. Some stores are really strict on this, and will simply disqualify you if you don't abide by the time request. Other places are more flexible. This is something you could call and ask. I always suggest over dressing, even when dropping off an application. So wear nice pants that day to the pet shop, and bring a clean nice shirt to change into when you drop off the application. BRING YOUR OWN PEN/PENCIL!!!!!! There is testing to be done if they accept your application. You can ask ahead of time how long this takes (I haven't tested in a LONG time) and make arrangements time wise.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

Trish:
I agree with most or all of what LB says. It certainly varies in many ways from place to place to say the least. As far as dressing just wear something 'nice' and you will be fine. I always wore a long sleeve dress shirt,tie and slacks though that was certainly NOT necessary. I don't know enough about womens clothes to know what the female equivalent of that is but just use your best judgement. I was always amazed,(and amused by the way) at the number of people who would show up to drop off an app wearing shorts, sandels and a tank top. Even more amazed and amused to see some of them get hired. I guess the bottom line is like he said err on the side of overdressing rather than the opposite. I don't think anyone has ever been passed over for hiring with the manager saying "well she/he was just way to neat in that outfit so of course we won't hire him."

A lot of restaurants(if not most) will interview you right on the spot when you turn in your application as long as you do so during their 'down times'. If they don't do not take that as necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it may be slow, but the managers have a staff meeting(constant in many places). Also, keep in mind that most restaurants have a very high turnover in staff specifically waitstaff so the manager may do this over and over and over again only to watch person after person stay a week and leave. Some days this gets old to even the best of managers.A couple of suggestions:

1-get the name of a manager you talk to.

2-If you don't hear back from them in a 5 days to a week don't be afraid to call and inquire about it. Don't be pushy by any means but just say something along the lines of "hi this is Trish, I talked to you the other day about a server position and was calling to follow up on it."

3-If you can help it try to leave the app with a manager, NOT a server,hostess or the like. You would be surprised how many of these get lost behind the hostess stand, set at the bar and forgot about, or put somewhere the manager never finds it.

Good luck!

BD

Anonymous said...

By the way LB,

Sounds like the corporate stuff I remember so well. I am guessing you have to go through this menu change every 3 to 4 months no matter what. Training to hand out menus..... wow. Funny and yet 'hair pulling out frustrating' at the same time. At least the menu changes do sound good.

BD

reillyp said...

Probably the best menu change I've seen at red lobster. Better fish and more of it, the presentation for the stupid fish menu makes it so easy because theres no more godawful 'big 3' presentation (which I have never done to a table), and there are NO pictures of ANY food items in the menu for guests to get their hopes up for.

- Jon

Anonymous said...

spoken like a true veteran of the "the picture has 7 shrimp on it NOT just 6!" conversation if ever I heard one.

BD

Lobster Boy said...

I think though we'll all miss the picture of the Ultimate Feast at the top of the menu. Any time Red Lobster wants to feature a meal costing more than $20 in a photo I am all for it. Some of the people I serve are undoubtedly functionally illiterate. Pictures help the inbreds.

Lobster Boy

Trish said...

Lobster Boy- Tipping is good in vegas. From what i hear, it's not unusual for servers at restaurants/pubs with poker to go home with a $500+ tip if one of the customers scores big. Obviously, everyone wants to work the big restaurants on the strip (Emeril's, Wolfgang Pucks, etc.) because of the big money but the server or two i've talked to seem to do pretty well "in town" too.

well thanks for some great insight!