Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Red Robin

If you watch television or online videos often, then you've likely heard the jingle of the "Reeeed Robin, yum!" along with an ad showing off some fantastic-looking burgers and sides. With over 540 locations operating in the U.S. and Canada as of 2022 (via Red Robin), it isn't the largest restaurant chain, but there's a good number of them out there. While it might not be as widespread as McDonald's or Burger King, Red Robin is a well-known establishment that many people flock to for deliciously made gourmet burgers. With the promise of burgers and endless piles of fries, who wouldn't want to go to Red Robin?

Going to Red Robin to eat is one thing, but working there as an employee is a whole other matter. You might not be the one ordering the bottomless fries anymore, but instead are the one preparing them, along with all of the other food items on Red Robin's menu. Fast food jobs in general can be pretty hectic, from bossy customers to long, chaotic shifts, and Red Robin jobs are no exception to this. Here are some things you might want to know about what it's like to work at Red Robin — and even if you don't work there and are just stepping in to order something for yourself, you'll know a bit more about what happens behind the counters.

Red Robin employees have to deal with some pretty difficult customers

Admittedly, no job is perfect. Stressful hours, dirty dishes, and staying after one's shift ends are common occurrences in the restaurant industry, but not fun at all. One of the arguably worst things that most, if not all, employees have to deal with are difficult customers. Whether you're working in a restaurant, in retail, or even as a lawyer or doctor, rude customers are something you're bound to deal with from time to time. Those who have worked at Red Robin know this. No matter what position they've worked in, they've had to put up with some pretty nasty customers during their time at the restaurant.

Some customers are so bad that they've gotten Red Robin employees visibly upset. One employee allegedly had to deal with her customers getting up and leaving their table without paying — immediately after getting mad at her because they didn't like the food (as per Daily Dot). Even if these were just allegations, we could totally see this happening to a server. Another Red Robin employee had to deal with a customer trying to scam her, and when she wouldn't comply, she got a face full of pepper spray (via KPTV). Even though it happens just about everywhere, dealing with a difficult customer is never fun.

The pay isn't half bad

Something that many people consider when looking for a job, especially when one is hoping to make money while in school, is the pay. You want to make sure it's worth your time and effort to take up a particular job, whether that's working in a restaurant or for Doordash. It isn't new information that restaurant employees don't get paid the best, and many rely on tips to get by as opposed to their hourly pay.

When it comes to Red Robin, you'd assume that working there, dealing with difficult customers, and making hamburgers would mean better pay, and while it isn't anything to write home about, it isn't that bad, either. According to Indeed, some of the most popular jobs at Red Robin include bartending, which pays about $16 an hour, along with being a restaurant manager, which pays about $52,000 annually. The front-of-house employees also get a fair amount of money hourly, with the hosts and hostesses making about $12, and the servers making about $14. This might not be the restaurant you'd want to work at if you're hoping to make a living for yourself, but we could definitely see why a high school student or college student would work here to make a little extra cash.

Many workers prefer to be servers and not runners

There are many different positions that help a restaurant flow efficiently throughout the day. Servers need to take their guests' orders, cooks need to prepare the food, dishwashers need to make sure the rest of the staff has clean plates to serve the food — it's all incredibly important, and while some jobs are definitely more lucrative than others, they're all necessary to get things done. That doesn't mean the employees don't have their personal preferences, though, even at Red Robin. Some jobs in a restaurant are definitely more enjoyable or tolerable than others, and not just because of the extra pay.

According to a post on TikTok, it appears as though being a runner isn't the most favored job at the restaurant. The employee in the video appears disappointed to learn that she is running food out to tables and not working as a server. Another employee in a Reddit thread expressed dissatisfaction as a food and drink runner, as they barely made any tips and not a lot of money during their first shift. Running the orders out to tables is definitely an important job within any restaurant, but just because it's important doesn't mean the employees have to like it.

The dress code is the same for all servers

Wearing a uniform provides a sense of unity among employees. If you go to a Cinnabon store, you expect to see the people behind the counter wearing blue shirts and aprons, while most servers at sit-down restaurants are known to wear black or white shirts as they go about their shifts. You wouldn't expect to see them wearing bright purple tank tops or green striped T-shirts. When it comes to Red Robin, you're bound to see the servers and other employees wearing uniforms as well. They aren't the most uncomfortable clothes, and we wouldn't mind wearing them over the course of a shift.

The dress code in 2022 at Red Robin — the one for servers — consists of a black shirt, dark colored denim pants, and shoes that they won't slip in (per Zippia). Some areas used to have red shirts. For the hosts, it's the same thing, except black pants are called for. According to a Q&A on Indeed, the dress code also allows for jewelry and body tattoos as long as those accessories consist of nothing that would distract, hurt, or offend other employees or customers. This isn't anything out of the ordinary in terms of uniforms, and employees seem to feel fairly positive toward the more casual uniform.

Many people feel as though it is an incredible place to work

Working at a restaurant has many cons: having to put up with difficult customers, working long hours, and handling everything else that falls under the hardships of working in a service job. It isn't the most enjoyable job for many, though there are those who do actually enjoy their time at the restaurants they work at and have many positive things to say about their general experience with the job. In fact, some people who've worked at Red Robin have gone as far as to say that it's been one of the best jobs they've had (via Indeed). They appreciated all of the room for growth they had as well as the good hours.

Other employees at Red Robin back up the fact that they had great experiences with the company. One reviewer and employee noted that they were well-compensated for their hard work, and as they gained experience at Red Robin, they were able to flourish in a good work environment. Another employee appreciated the strong management they worked under as well as the supportive employees they worked alongside. Even though working at a restaurant can be stressful, it seems like it's possible to have a fairly positive experience, particularly at Red Robin.

They don't just make food under the Red Robin name

When a restaurant makes food, you expect it to be part of the restaurant's brand. For instance, you don't go to McDonald's to get a Taco Bell wrap, and you don't go to Wendy's to get a shake from In-N-Out. When you go to Red Robin, you expect to get what comes on the Red Robin menu — not somewhere else. Even though you're almost certain to get a Red Robin burger or pack of fries from the restaurant itself, some employees have revealed that in the past, other brand-name burgers have been sold out of their locations.

Back in 2021, after MrBeast Burger launched, an employee at Red Robin revealed that MrBeast Burger orders were being made inside their own kitchens (via Daily Dot). They stated that the YouTuber's burger chain was more of a "phantom restaurant" and would operate out of any restaurant that it could. According to a thread on Reddit, the MrBeast chain has the ingredients for the burgers shipped to the locations that will make the burgers (in this case, it's Red Robin), and use the restaurant's kitchenware to make the food. This doesn't really change anything in terms of what you might order off of the Red Robin menu. But the next time you order a MrBeast Burger, realize that Red Robin employees may have made and bagged it themselves.

Despite reduced hours, the holidays can be some of the busiest days at Red Robin

It's no fun to work on a holiday, no matter what job you have. Not only are you missing out on a day of what should be restful and fun, but if you work in the service industry, that also means that you have to put up with an extremely busy day. In department stores like Walmart and Target, this is typical. When it comes to Red Robin, busy days are also a common occurrence around the holidays — and the employees aren't the most excited about it when they have a shift on one of the busiest days of the year.

Fortunately, Red Robin typically isn't open on Christmas Day (as per Store Holiday Hours), but that seems to be the only day the chain actually closes — most other special days, they simply decrease the hours that they are open. Even though most Red Robin locations cut store hours on the holidays, they are reportedly still extremely busy on said days, and some workers noted that the holiday season was one of the most difficult parts of their job (via Indeed). Another employee stated that while the holidays were good for business, it was not great on their mental health. If you work at Red Robin, and you are able to avoid picking up a holiday shift, it might be wise to do so.

The menu is easy to prepare

Depending on the restaurant, some of the items on the menu might not be the easiest to make. If you were to work under a world-renowned chef, then you may have needed to go to culinary school to master your craft. But when it comes to Red Robin, the people working behind the counter may just be a college student or a high school student trying to make a bit of extra cash — they don't know all the ins and outs of the kitchen.

You'd think that despite being trained, the people who make your burgers and fries would have a bit more experience in their craft, but that isn't always possible when it comes to fast food and burger joints. When it comes to Red Robin, fortunately, the employees don't have to sweat much over the menu. According to multiple Red Robin employees, the menu the restaurant carries is incredibly easy to prepare and put together (via Indeed). The ease of menu preparation is likely how Red Robin is able to hire so many young employees to work for them, as little experience and knowledge is needed beforehand. Another employee was grateful of how quick and easy the menu was to learn, especially as a student in college.

The employees get discounts for the food, but it seems to vary depending on the location

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, then one of the most enticing parts about it was likely all of the discounted and free food that would come with your shift. Not every job comes with the perk of free food, but when your job involves food, it's bound to be there somewhere. When it comes to Red Robin, the burgers, fries, and other items on the food menu do seem incredibly enticing, and we wouldn't doubt that the cooks snack on some of the food throughout their shift. But do they get free food from working at Red Robin?

The answer seems to vary from location to location, according to the employees. Some employees note that they got a 50% discount off of their food while they worked at Red Robin (via Indeed), while another employee claims that they were able to get lunch entirely for free. On the other hand, some Red Robin workers aren't so lucky. One worker on Indeed who was ranting about their time at the restaurant lamented that they weren't offered free meals, which piled on top of a chaotic work environment that was no fun. Though there's no real way to tell which Red Robin location will give you discounts and free food, we hope that those are more common than not.

Some employees are able to work their way up, though others aren't

When you work hard at a job, one would hope to receive recognition for that dedication, and even maybe work their way up the chain of command. If you work at a restaurant, even if you don't plan on staying there forever, the higher positions do mean higher pay, so why not try to aim for those positions? When it comes to Red Robin, you might start out as a food runner and hope to work your way up to a waiter or server — maybe even further! Depending on your luck, along with the effort you put in, though, it might not be as easy as you think.

According to an "ask me anything" thread on Reddit, in which a manager of a Red Robin answered questions, they noted that many other managers started off as dishwashers or in what one would deem a "lower" position at the chain. However, not everyone has had as smooth of a time at Red Robin. Other employees on Indeed claimed that even after they were promised a promotion and higher pay for months, only the favorite employees ever saw any growth or raise in pay. It looks like with just about everything that comes with working at this restaurant, your opportunities for growth could be a huge hit or miss.