Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Moe's Southwest Grill

Nothing beats the cheesy, spicy goodness of a plate of Tex-Mex, especially when you're eating it at Moe's Southwest Grill. This beloved chain has its humble beginnings in Atlanta, Georgia, where it opened in the year 2000. Despite its origin as a simple restaurant supplying happiness in the form of queso, Moe's now captures the hearts (and stomachs) of Tex-Mex lovers in over 700 locations worldwide.

If you've had the chance to eat at Moe's, you'll know that it begins with a startling "Welcome to Moe's!" greeting and finishes with a food coma after you fill up on the legendary Homewrecker burrito. The real question is, what's it like to be on the other side of the counter? Since the only way to find out is to ask the staff at this iconic chain, we delved through archives of former employees' reviews of the company. Along with working up an appetite for a quesadilla, we learned that working at Moe's has its highs and lows.

The management doesn't do much managing

In many reviews of the company by employees, the management was listed as one of the biggest cons of working at the grill chain. It seems that bosses and shift leaders pass on the majority of the labor to their coworkers, leaving Moe's staff members burned out and frustrated by the lack of support. One former employee of a Moe's in Florida said, "Job is easy but the managers are lazy and will make you do all of the work [while] they watch. They don't really care about the customers so that's frustrating if you actually care about your job."

This sentiment was echoed by many past employees, who complained of managers not pulling their weight and causing more stress than relief. A former Moe's employee in Maryland said the owners, "do not appreciate their hard working employees." Even worse, a former staff member at a Moe's in Indiana said, "the management, upper and franchise, is absolutely abysmal. They were unorganized, manipulative, and stressful to be around," before going into further detail about the numerous unprofessional and unethical practices. 

Of course, every Moe's is different, and with almost 700 Moe's locations across the United States, there's sure to be a wide range of experiences. Still, based on these reviews, the issues with management are no joke. If you're looking for a safe bet that you'll have a good boss, Moe's may not be the place for you.

It's nearly impossible to advance

Let's be real, most people don't envision a career at Moe's when deciding what they want to be when they grow up. As much as you may love quesadillas and guac, yelling "Welcome to Moe's" until retirement is likely not in the cards for you. However, the fast-food industry can be a viable choice for a  career, especially if you're able to move up in your restaurant.

Unfortunately, Moe's Southwest Grill is not the place to climb the ladder. According to Indeed reviews from former staff, no matter how much time you put in, it's unlikely that you'll receive a raise or a promotion. One Glassdoor review of a Moe's in North Carolina said, "some of my coworkers had been working for many years with minimal to no raises."

Another review from a former employee in Illinois confirms this, saying there's "hardly any room for growth and no structure." Moe's may be a chill place for a summer job or a side hustle to make quick cash, but don't expect to advance while working at this Tex-Mex food joint.

Work schedules are flexible

When it comes to choosing a job, there are many factors to consider like pay, schedule, and commute time. As reported by The New York Times, millennials and Gen Z-ers are leading a movement toward flexibility and work-life balance, prioritizing these elements above all to ensure that their jobs don't take over their lives. While older generations may have focused on job security and benefits, the youngest members of the workplace are rewriting the script to fit their jobs into their lives and not the other way around.

The service industry is an excellent option for those looking to maintain a flexible schedule while paying their bills, and Moe's is no exception. This is particularly helpful for people balancing various commitments. One Indeed review of Moe's says, "Flexible work schedule is always a bonus especially when you have kids." Another corroborates, saying that Moe's offers a "good schedule to go to school."

Despite employee struggles with leadership and room for growth, the flexibility in scheduling is a redeeming quality, allowing hard-working folks to earn their paychecks while also tending to other responsibilities.

The environment is fast-paced

When it comes to the pace of the job, Moe's Southwest Grill isn't for the faint of heart. This Tex-Mex restaurant has expanded for a reason — because people love it. To work at Moe's, you have to be ready for a continuous flow of customers and a large number of tasks at all times. This can be seen as a pro or a con depending on who you are and what you're looking for in a job.

One review on Glassdoor from a Vermont Moe's employee lists it as a definite con, describing the job as "busy and chaotic all the time." Working in a beloved restaurant like Moe's would certainly come with a healthy dose of chaos, since staff members are often expected to fulfill many roles at once, from taking orders to bussing tables and running food. 

However, for those who thrive in a fast-paced environment, this can be a perk. An Indeed review for a Moe's in South Carolina says, "I would recommend working here if you love a fast moving food production environment." This former employee had only good things to say about the job, ending their review by writing that they'd "work for them in a heartbeat again." If you love the challenge of multitasking and keeping on your toes, Moe's might be the place for you.

Employees don't receive much training

If you're interested in working at Moe's, being a quick and independent learner seems to be essential to the job. Although everyone learns differently, most of us prefer to have new tasks explained in some capacity. Moe's seems to have more of a "learn by doing" expectation according to former employees.

The training at Moe's is a sink-or-swim method, meaning that new employees are almost immediately tossed into the mix with little instruction. As one former employee said on Indeed, "training for all positions is pretty much just throwing you in the ringer with a more experienced employee." As stressful as that sounds, the worst part is that new staff are sometimes fired for not picking it up right away, as explained in another Indeed review.

It seems that the lack of training also extends to the management, which affects not only the untrained employee but whoever they're meant to be managing too. A Glassdoor review of a Moe's in Florida describes that "Improperly trained managers made high schoolers perform their tasks." Although picking up a shift at a fast-food restaurant may sound easy to those who haven't worked in food service, it's not a walk in the park, especially if you are easily overwhelmed. From untrained managers making other workers pick up their slack to first-time employees being thrown into the job, it seems that the training methods at Moe's leave much to be desired.

It's a great first customer service job

Despite its drawbacks, working at Moe's Southwest Grill is an excellent way to get into the customer service industry. Many employees say that it's an ideal entry-level position in which you can learn the ropes of restaurant work. One Glassdoor review described Moe's as "good for beginners (entering workforce at young age)."

There are only a number of jobs that'll hire 16-year-olds, making the options limited for those who want to get a job while still in high school. Moe's is a great place to start, especially if you like working with people and are a fan of Tex-Mex. An Indeed review commented that a job at Moe's is a "Good entry level experience to learn about the restaurant businesses. Learn supply chain and catering details."

For those interested in customer service, Moe's is a good place to start. Whether working at Moe's is a segue into other restaurant jobs or a jumping point to retail roles, this easygoing fast-food restaurant supplies the tools you need to work in customer service — if you make it through the training that is.

It has a welcoming atmosphere

The first detail most people notice about a place is its atmosphere. Is it dark and mysterious or bright and welcoming? Does it feel family-friendly or is it more of an upscale romantic date spot? When it comes to Moe's, most can agree that its ambiance is as welcoming and lighthearted as it gets. With its colorful interior and Southwest vibes, Moe's feels like the perfect spot to snack on chips and guac with a couple of good pals.

Moe's environment was consistently listed as a pro of the job by former employees, who describe it as friendly and welcoming. One Indeed review of a Moe's in Virginia said, "I love working for moes, great friendly environment family oriented restaurant," while another review said, "the staff is so amazing and everyone welcomes you with open arms."

This sentiment was echoed by a former employee of a Moe's in Ohio, who nostalgically wrote, "it wasn't like going into work it was like going over to a family member's house, it was a true family there." Anyone who's had a difficult job knows that your fellow coworkers are what get you through, whether you're cleaning bathrooms together or dealing with angry customers. Based on reviews from former employees, this holds true at Moe's. From the happy and well-fed customers to the workplace culture, it's a place to have a few laughs and make some friends as you work for those hard-earned tips.

The customers are the best part

Moe's definitely attracts regulars. After all, once you try those nachos, there's no going back to other versions. Many employees attest that the customers at Moe's Southwest Grill are a perk of the job, whether you're serving the friendly grandma you see every Monday or some hungry tourists.

One Indeed review described the pros of the job, simply stating: "food is good, customers are nice." For those who have worked in customer service, this isn't always a given. The fact that Moe's customers are something to look forward to says a lot about the kind of people it attracts.

In a Reddit thread, a former employee said, "I honestly think we have the best customers. Knowing people who work at similar restaurants (including an ex who works for Chipotle), I think the Moe's atmosphere gives more of a homely feel and people are generally patient and polite." It's good to know that not only is Moe's arguably the better version of Chipotle, but it also attracts better customers.

The queso recipe is a secret to all

One of the questions Moe's employees often get is about the queso recipe. After all, Moe's queso is the stuff of dreams, with its delicious cheesiness, jalapeño kick, and silky texture. The popular Southwestern chain celebrated last National Queso Day (yes, that is a thing) by creating "Queso Incognito," a speaker-shaped device that allows you to secretly carry your queso wherever you like. Along with this, the restaurant created Liquid Gold Queso Cards, giving the lucky winners access to as much queso as their hearts desire.

This all goes to show that Moe's queso obsession is very real and affects countless customers across the country. However, working at Moe's might change your opinion of this beloved menu item. Rather than being cooked up in a cheesy vat by hardworking cheese experts, it turns out that Moe's queso comes in a bag.

On a Reddit thread, a former employee wrote, "I do not know the recipe for the queso. We get it in a bag. This was the only thing I wanted to know." Sadly, not only is Moe's queso far from home-cooked but even the employees aren't let in on the secret of how to make it. It seems that the only way to feed that queso craving is to keep coming to Moe's.

Yelling Welcome to Moe's! gets old

Every job has aspects that get very, very old. Nannies may feel like running from every child they see outside of work hours, while chefs are known to avoid the kitchen at home. If you work at Moe's Southwest Grill, you'll never want to say or hear the phrase "Welcome to Moe's" again.

As a customer, the experience of being loudly welcomed into Moe's ranges from amusing to slightly annoying, but imagine being the one yelling it every time someone comes in the door. It might be fun for the first few days on the job, but we can't imagine that it stays that way. On a Reddit thread, an ex-employee of Moe's says, "After only a few weeks you get numb to the whole "welcome to moe's" thing."

One Glassdoor review of a New York Moe's revealed stronger feelings about the practice, saying "You have to say Welcome to moes. They won't just make a recording of it. Think of how much easier it would be." The review's advice to management was to make a recording for the benefit of the poor employees who still have nightmares about yelling out the phrase.

You get lots of free food

If food is the way to your heart, free food at work is a definite perk. Many Moe's employees say that the best part of the job is getting free food on their breaks. According to some reviews, it seems that the official policy is to comp a meal of up to $10 for each shift, which leaves you with many choices like the chicken club quesadilla or steak tacos. There's nothing like the promise of free food to get you through the lunch rush, especially when you work at a restaurant with so many mouthwatering menu items.

One Indeed review was full of positivity, saying, "I enjoyed working at Moe's Southwest Grill. They always feed you and they are pretty competitive with their pay. The managers were all patient and kind. I would love to work there again! WELCOME TO MOE'S!"

However, a Glassdoor review points out the reality of working at a fast-food restaurant, explaining that the "free food during every shift" is a "pro," but that "you go home smelling like the food." Depending on who you are, that may be a deterrent. However, for those who dream about sinking their teeth into a cheesy quesadilla or dipping chip after chip into endless bowls of guac, free food is one reason to keep bussing those tables and smiling at customers.

The interview process is easy

Most people have some amount of interview anxiety no matter the job. Fortunately for those looking to work at Moe's Southwest Grill, the hiring process is as easy as can be. Some former employees even got hired on the spot! It seems that if you're 16 and older and can hold a mop, chances are you'll get hired.

This is another element that makes Moe's a great first job; especially for those just entering the workforce, a job interview can sound like a terrifying experience. According to Moe's ex-employees, all you have to do is show up in business casual attire and be yourself. As long as you have people skills and are willing to work, the hiring manager will likely give you a shot. Moe's includes a background check but no drug test, which is helpful information for any potential employees who aren't looking to change their habits just yet.