Where to Work: Best and Worst Restaurants Chains

Categories: Food News
This month, the Restaurant Opportunities Center United ranked nearly 200 national restaurants in an effort to alert consumers where they can go to patronize more socially conscious chains. The report is also a shout out to the growing numbers of workers in the hospitality industry. 

Restaurants are graded according to five criteria: 
  • Advancement. If 50% or more of its employees have ever moved up in a position.
  • Tipped Wages. An employee earns more than $5 an hour aside from tips.
  • Untipped Wages. An employee earns $9 or more an hour.
  • High Road Restaurant. A restaurant belongs to ROC.

Most restaurants earns zeroes in each category including Starbucks, California Pizza Kitchen,Cheesecake Factory, and Chik-Fil-A. A handful eke by with an offer of paid sick leave. After the jump, the best and worst chains for employees.

The Best
Bonefish Grill and Chipotle both offer paid sick days, earning zeros for other categories.
Five Guys offers the most opportunity for advancement as well as paid sick leave, earning the organization's highest prize for working conditions.

The Worst
Olive Garden, Capital Grille, and Red Lobster each earn zeroes across the board and are currently in lawsuits for discrimination and wage theft.

What says you? Is the criteria bunk or do you think it's about time a group gave voice to hospitality folks?

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Five Guys "Corporate"  owned restaurants may do what you say but not the franchisees.  Most of the franchisees start their crew out at $8.00 - $8.50 per hour with no health insurance, no sick days and no raises for a year.  If there are shortages on the drawers managers keep part of the tip jar for the day to cover the shortage.  No employee appreciation shown and if you do something for your employees like a pizza party they payroll deduct you the manager for that amount.  As I said though, this is the franchisees not corporate.  You should go out and get comments from their franchise crews.  Not as favorable as the corporate comments.


Worked for five guys for a year as just a team member...never got a raise, and work was never appreciated, it was a big waste of time. 


as a friend to many a cheesecake factory worker, I can tell you that they do promote from within, they give a quality amount of paid vacation days, health, dental & vision insurance, free meals, free cheesecake slices, etc.

as for starbucks, they give you tuition reimbursement and stock options. i dont know where you're getting your information.


Chipotle and 5 Fat Guys are ranked at the top and Capital Grill worst???


I'm getting my information from the link: the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United report that was just released. Appreciate the comments. Disagree with the report and tell us why.

Clarence Otis sucks!!!
Clarence Otis sucks!!!

As an employee of The Capital Grille, I can assue you that we are treated terribly, We are forced to share our tips to the tune of at LEAST 30-60 percent with people doing kitchen duties and paid at least $8.50 an hour. I  currently earn 2.13 ph no matter what I do at the restuarant. They say this is legal. No health benifits , as during open enrollment most of us were NOT YET delagated expo shifts till AFTER the time had passed , smh!!!!. I went from 20 hour to 34 in a matter of days, yet because of the timing of the new " Operation enhancement and wage managemant" I don't qualify for regular health insurance, no matter how much I work during the next 12 months it wasn't calculated for their insurance. Earnings WAY up....Ethics WAY down!!!!!! 

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