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linda
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Username: linda

Post Number: 116
Registered: 02-2003

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Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Has anyone ever worked at Outback Steakhouse?

A new Outback Steakhouse is being built in my area.We do have one Outback restaurant in the area that has a great reputation and has a long wait line out the door.

I applied at the restaurant (server)and took the test that they give. The test is on the level of taking an SAT test. I think most people are quite shocked that you would need to take a test of this type to be a server in a restaurant. Alot of people fail this test yet are very good servers.

Well...I passed the test. The GM seemed quite anxious to get me in for an interview. I show up for the interview and find I must take another test.

I get there for the interview give them my name ...and a man tells me to follow him into another room. I will have to assume that "this man" is a manager. He never introduced himself to me, made me feel welcome, nor told me what his position was. I was just told that I'd be taking a test. He would ask me questions..and I was to reply with an answer. He said that there could be more than one answer for the question. He said that I needed a 75% to pass.

A few of the questions were:

1. Why is it important for the BOH to work with the FOH?
2. If you were leaving the building after your shift and you came upon a guest that had car trouble what would you do.
3. A fellow employee asks you to do something unethical...what would you do?
4. How would you show pride in the workplace?
.....and they go on.

I thought the questions were easy to answer...but nothing entirely specific. They didn't give me an exact senerio...more general. Sort of like #3...they said "unethical" vs. giving an exact example of what a fellow employee was asking you to do.

After I finished...(I think about 10 -12 questions) he said he would fax in the results..and let me know.

In a few minutes he asked me to go back in the room with him. He said I did not pass the test.
I stood there in amazement. His next words were "they did not think you would fit in!"

With 12 questions they decided "I did not fit in".
No interview...or checking with my present managers at the restaurant.

As someone who takes pride in their job (me)...I was just flabbergasted that they could so quickly dismiss me.

Someone told me that perhaps they are actually looking for someone with the "right image".

Has anyone had any experience with working for Outback? Or has anyone else had to go thru such a vigorous testing BEFORE you even get an interview with Outback?
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george
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Username: george

Post Number: 197
Registered: 05-2003

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Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I think the question and answer which was most important to them was question #1. It should be answered because the BOH along with anyone you tell me should have part of my tips should be given part of my tips. The Outback has been involved in a lawsuit brought against them by waiters who were being forced to give their tips to hosts that the Outback even admitted were not allowed to receive tips. The Outback seems to have convinced one district court that the Outback should be allowed to determine who tipped employees are and subsequently that the Outback should be allowed to determine who waiters split their tips with. The case was Kilgore v. Outback and it happened September 21, 1998.
The ridiculous ruling of this court was that employer required tip pooling is only allowed where those included the pool are employees who have been required to participate in the pool. This is a landmark case, however it will also prove to be an earmarked case for those who wish to put an end to these employer required tip pooling scams.
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teleburst
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Username: teleburst

Post Number: 507
Registered: 06-2003

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Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

george, the problem with your theory is that the host/ess is also FOH (front of the house to you).

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.
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linda
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Username: linda

Post Number: 117
Registered: 02-2003

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Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

FYI...

Outback did tell me that host/hostesses make $2.83 an hour plus tips.

Servers there contribute 3% of their sales to a pool. This tip pool is given to bus boys, bartendars and the hosts.
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matt
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Post Number: 12
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Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 08:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Linda,

I personally have never worked at the Outback, although I know many people (including my wife) who have. The Outback near me doesn't conduct "personality tests" or anything like that. They have been open about seven years though. I can't speak for the new restaurants. I also know that Outback operates with Proprietors as opposed to corporate GMs (proprietors invest over $100,000 into the restaurant and recoup their money by receiving a percentage of the bottom line profit) and maybe the proprietors have some latitude in regards to the hiring process.

I have been a corporate manager in the past who has done new restuarant openings, and one benefit from being the "new guy" on the street is the sheer volume of applications received. Managers can be very choosy with whom they select. I sincerely hope that they are not hiring simply on looks, but they may be. If management decided that they need 60 servers, and they receive 400 applications during the pre-opening weeks, I suppose they can taylor their staff to be (or look like) whatever they want. It's sad because they will end up with a mediocre staff.

Just for fun, go apply at the other Outback in your town. They may be like the one near me that doesn't use applicant screening tests. Get hired there and transfer to the new one. Or just laugh at them and go work somewhere else.

I currently work at a very large corporate restaurant who does use a personality test. Management has always told me that the test is just to place people in proper spots ie a cook might not have the same upbeat personality as a server and vice versa although the potential applicant may have applied for the other position. We have on many occasions offered a kitchen position to a good applicant that came in applying for a service position because their personality seemed better suited for the kitchen.

Don't know if this helps at all. I wouldn't take it too personally, as we all know, there are more guests to take care of down the street.
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linda
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Username: linda

Post Number: 118
Registered: 02-2003

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Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 07:33 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Matt,

Thank you for your insite!

It's hard not to take it personally. But I guess if this company thinks it's more important "that you fit in" vs. whether you are a good server and that your guests keep coming back and asking for you...then maybe I really don't want to work for them.

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jammie
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Post Number: 99
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Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Linda, to obtain my current job I hounded the manager. Let me tell you why. One of my guests, (long time) lead me to beleive that she could get me on where she worked and made big money. She didnt have as much pull or authority as she lead me to beleive. I was being faced with no job, due to the sale of the bussinness that I was employed at.
I put in the application and had an interveiw. After two weeks no word yet, I got all dressed up and went back on two occasions. I was told they would contact me.Now another person I know employed at the "new place" told me management didnt want to hire me because I was friends with ......
I got all dressed up again and went to talk to the manager again with nothing to lose. I explained that my relationship with ..... was entirely professional I was her bartender. I like her just fine we are not friends we do not socialize we dont have each others phone numbers. He said alright I like your persistance you do look very professional and I will take a chance on you.
I have been there since January, this manager has repeatedly told me that he was glad he did hire me. The other manager who conducted the interweiw also addmtted he is a bad judge of character.
My point? I also was shocked and my feelings were hurt. I know what I am made of. I am a good worker great with the guests, dont call out etc..I happened to use a bad referance, didnt know about that untill it was too late. They would have snapped me up quickly if I hadnt used this person at all.
So how can you really judge a potential employee with a few minutes and some crazy multi question quiz. With no right anserws ofcourse.
Now I have a standing joke with my manager how I stalked him to get my job. I explained my theory, that if he hired me he knew I would have days off and vacations. Otherwise he would be stuck with seeing me everyday.
You may be wondering why I went through so much to get this job. First of all the money is fantastic I know three people that work there. Plus the insurance is wonderful with 401k plan. I am over 40 and cant be without medical insurance.As we all know alot of bar/restaraunt jobs dont come with the benefits.I could have worked numerous places, I have a good reputation in this town, and a following. I would have been an assett in any gin mill around.I have had many job offers, but I went for the security.
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linda
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Post Number: 119
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Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:11 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

jammie,

Loved your story! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad that things turned out good for you!
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jammie
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Post Number: 101
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Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Linda, thanks, I know it was a long post all about my favorite subject,ME!!!!! I dont want you to feel so bad about yourself.There were more than likely some factors that you were entirely unaware of. If they took a chance on you The Outback my have gotten a pretty darn good employee!!! I was judged on the supposed company that I kept.
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bookgirl83
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Registered: 11-2004

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Posted on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 09:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Wow Linda, that kinda sucks. I applied at Outback Steakhouse and really didn't think the test was that hard. Well the Server sales and tip chart was a bitch. Honestly though, the questions I was asked didn't really make much sense, I answered them like any good interviewee and my mom(manager of another popular res. chain) exlpained them to me later.

I adore my manager(we've only got the one right now. Long story) and our key hourly's are all great with one small exception. In my opinion it's a great company to work for. S.T.A.R. bonuses are just one example. If the restaurant does well in food/supply costs vs. profit for the quarter we get one or two shares (depending on hours worked) of a bonus. We're running a gift certificate contest now and the winning team gets sent on a weekend ski/beach trip.

The only problem I have with the place is the tipping out. Yeah it sucks. Does it make me want to tend bar? You better believe it. That said I'd rather work for Outback who cares about me than a cesspool like Applebee's or Texas Steakhouse anyday.
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daisymae
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Username: daisymae

Post Number: 7
Registered: 11-2004

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Posted on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I also work at a steakhouse and we do the "personality tests" as well. We do not base our decisions solely on the tests. In our case there is not really a right or wrong answer, just one they would prefer. I have a few friends that have gone from my steakhouse over to Outback and have said it is a completely different atmosphere. For example, a plate never sits in the window for more than 10 seconds, teamwork is HUGE there, unlike most restaurants. I don't know that I agree that the host/esses make $2.83 an hour though. Do they actually help bus and reset the tables? Not that I have seen, but maybe different with your Outback. As a manager/bartender they should always interview you. Some people do not test well anyway. I personally look for a person that either has no experience(we can train them our way from the start with out them having the "I always did it this way where I used to work"), as well as their willingness to learn and teamwork. I would rather take someone with a positive attitude, and good people skills over the person waiting tables for drinking money or their mom made them apply! Good Luck Linda. You sound like a good person. I hope it works out for you!
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linda
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Post Number: 125
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Posted on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

daisymae,

Hi! I'm still at the same restaurant...and have not moved on to another restaurant.

I was told that "I would not fit in here" at the Outback Steakhouse. Maybe if AFTER having an actual interview or having them talk to my present managers...and then not be offered a job...that would have been easier to stomach.

But...I also have the philosophy that God opens and closes doors for reasons we don't understand. I'm making okay money where I am..and the GM lets me pick what hours I want. Plus I get to meet and please alot of interesting guests.
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mike
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Registered: 12-2004

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Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

hi all, i'm going this friday to take the aptitude test for outback steakhouse to become a manager. i was told the test is over 3hr's long. i was also told i would be asked about 30 ?'s such as: what motivates you?

my ? is has anyone ever taken a aptitude test for outback & if you have any info on it? i'm a little nervouse becuase i really want to get into this company.

thanks in advance!
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clawedlemew
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Username: clawedlemew

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Registered: 12-2004

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Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2004 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I doubt that that 2nd aptitude test was authorized by the chain. Maybe it was a scam by someone working BOH? LOL
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clawedlemew
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Registered: 12-2004

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Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2004 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Incidentally my wife refers to the place as "Steakback Outhouse"

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