Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Red Lobster Gift Cards for Employees

A reminder to all Red Lobster employees (and I'm pretty sure all Darden employees) to make sure to buy your gift cards this Christmas season and get your discount. They make great gifts. My grandparents are too cheap to go to Red Lobster normally, but they LOVE IT when they get a gift card from me each year. Believe me, that $40 gift card more than repays itself in goodwill and other (birthday cash!) dividends throughout the rest of the year.

I know it seems cheesy, but it is pretty sweet to be able to pick up gifts where you work. And if you give them to friends/loved ones who live near you, they pay back even further. Those friends/family come in and always want to sit in your section, so now they are paying with your cards (hopefully meaning little or no money out their pockets) meaning they can leave you a fat tip. I'm serious here, the math totally works in your favor. If you are living check to check, save up a couple of hundred bucks in the next few weeks and get yourself some cards. I usually put $40 or so on each card figuring it is just under what most good 2-top meals come to.

Here's the warning part. Remember that big brother (aka Darden corporate lackeys) are watching your transactions with these cards. You might be tempted to buy a bunch of cards and then turn around and use them to pocket the savings. Don't. Seriously. It's not worth the little bit you can gain for what can be lost (your job dummy!). There isn't enough margin due to the limit in dollar amount you can purchase. Yeah, it is potentially free money, but I'm telling you, it's not worth it. It is easy for them to track your transactions with these cards in the computer system. So be smart. You'd be an idiot to do this and loose your job shortly before the best stretch of money in the RL Server's year (Christmas into Lobsterfest!).


Animesh Singh said...

A gift make you more closer with your staff,i always use this strategy to develop our business.employers are hand of company, so we have to make them happy so that production will grow up. thanks

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I don't get how the employees can use the card and get in trouble. Isn't the $40 card worth $40?

Lobster Boy said...

Red Lobster employees can buy gift cards (with a total dollar limit) at a discounted price. So a $40 card costs the employee $30 (25% discount) and then the employee could turn around and use that card instead of the cash a customer gave them and pocket the $10 difference. Problem with that is that Red Lobster can track those cards via the computer system and knows when they are used and by what server, so you could lose your job if you are pulling any funny business.

Himmy said...

I think your logic is a little flawed here. What is the difference between A) All your relatives that you gave the cards to coming in and using those cards with you as the server or B) The method which could potentially get you in trouble. In the beginning and the end, either option looks the same... You still bought all the cards and all the cards are still being redeemed on your shift.

Lobster Boy said...


I have plenty of relatives and friends who come to my restaurant often enough that most of my team, especially the management team, know who they are. So if I get flagged by corporate and they start snooping around, it is pretty easily verified by my local leadership team that I'm clean. Additionally, I give family members like $40 of cards each and 9 out of 10 times their bill goes beyond that - and most use a credit card or debit card to pay. So there is an additional paper trail there that can be verified. So while it may look the same on the surface, if they dig it will quickly show that I'm on the up and up.