Have worked in a fair few of sites across the business and been on a few new openings and generally dependent on existing structure and in my opinion, wilingness provides great advancement and progressional opportunities. I was young when I first joined and progression from lower levels server/kitchen assistant positions to management/senior management in a number of years is not uncommon and I certainly hear of similar stories and have met great colleagues with similar stories.
We have a great structure of training tools and guidelines on day to day tasks, training tools as well as workshops that are a huge plus for the business and provide a great grounding tool to its supervisory/management teams on the front line.
Great effort into kitchen design and process that as a GM makes my life easier, easier for BOH to serve from, clean organise and a great structure to understand layouts which enevitably improves process and quick up take on new team member induction BOH.
In regards to relationships with others in the business, finance, systems and training team at HQ are a god send with reports, help and guidance in your inbox before you need them always ahead of the curve and always there to assist.
The push for intergration into community, fundraising and events is not only great for the business and community but gives the team a great opportunity to get involved and feel proud of their day to day work and place of work.
With my team, I have great tools to provide help
ProsFree food on shift, loungefest, great advancement, great training tools, great branding, great community engagement
ConsWorking from home, no phone allowance for senior site roles
I spent around 2 years at Loungers and for the most part i absolutely loved it, my review will largely reiterate what others have said, and likely be followed up by the obligitory copy paste message from the people director, but here goes.
Pick your Ops managers and Ops chefs well, they will ensure you're success or failure within the company, the best ones are the ones that actually know what they're doing because they worked at Lounges as a GM and worked their way up. The others come from pub companies, and really don't get how lounges actually work on the ground level nor how to instil the Loungers culture. Lounges has no HR department, the operations managers are a law unto themselves and will behave accordingly. The only way to get anything overturned or checked by someone is by taking your greivance directly to the directors, it's a boys club below this, everyone knows everyone from somewhere else.
2 Operations managers allowed me to progress within the company, moving from the kitchen to management in just under 10 months through the trainee assistant manager program, i completed the BGT training program, and every course lounges offered, life was great. 4 Months later i resigned under duress to protect my record and reference with the company under a different operations manager.
The 48hr thing really needs to stop being advertised, i worked on a new open in my time at Lounges, smashing my way through 60 hours on a number of weeks in a row and according to
An absolute shocking company. I came here, which was well below my skill set, because I was sold the promise of career advancenent, and the whole "Loungers Dream", despite my concerns of my age (55 at the time)
My "training" consisted of working alongside other chefs in another busy Loungers outlet. THAT was an eye-opener to how the company operates, and I should have cut and run after my 3rd shift!
Along with me were two equally decent chefs in training who both gave me their opinions just how poor it was. One didn't finish his 2 week training and the other quit his role in the first week he took over his new role!
The unit I was placed in had a poor talent pool of chefs. There were two who WERE decent, but punching above their weight, whilst the rest of the kitchen brigade consisted of school leavers and uninterested cooks just there "for the laugh" with no intention of career development.
My first week I observed Food Safety Policy ignored when food was regularly re-labelled instead of being thrown and recorded as wastage. I was told this was the norm so the outlet would achieve its bonus targets!
The FOH team, apart from the GM were incompetent and had no idea how a team should be worked, it seemed one continual laugh all day, every day.
Whenever negative reviews came through on Tripadvisor, the assistant management team would joke about it.
The BOH team would be required to wash dishes, which I steadfastly refuses to do.
Whilst the salary did seem reasonable, I w
Don’t be fooled by the promise of a fun loving family work environment. It will only take a week or two for the reality to hit you in the face. They encourage you to let your personality shine but once you hit the 50-60 hour weeks you will soon become a shell of a person.
OPS are AWFUL! They promise support and understanding but when it hits the fan they will throw you under the bus. If you don’t get on with your OPS expect to never progress or get help. They are super clicky and if they like you will let you get away with anything you like and be super lenient and if you don’t it’ll rain down on you from a great height for other people’s mistakes. They are all corrupt, it’s not just OPS it’s area OPS and even higher, and they use staff lower down the chain as scape goats.
They will make promises of pay rises and bonuses that will never appear, they won’t put the terms of the bonus in writing so that they can hold it over your head like a donkey with a carrot .
This company has a real problem with bullying, I have seen many people quit over this and have experienced it myself , and if your unfortunate enough to have a bully in the midst who is good at there job then they will sweep it under the carpet no matter how many people put in official complaints.
This company will honestly work you into the ground, as someone who is used to working long and busy hours they make it impossible. They will allow you the bare minimum of staff to cut costs and then will barrage you
I worked for loungers as a sous chef in one of their brand new lounges, although i decided to leave within a few months of starting for a couple of reasons.
As a senior kitchen member you are required to take 3 weeks training at another lounge to get settled and familiarise yourself with the operation before leaving for your own lounge. During this time however only basics were covered and i was just used as an extra set of hands during service for the other lounge for 3 weeks. After this i was moved to my own lounge in time for the opening feeling quite unprepared, only to find out there wasnt a head chef and i was to run the kitchen until there was one.
Minimal kitchen staff were hired for the opening and i found myself working 60+ hour weeks for the first 2 months. The online rota system never reflected this and always showed that i had done 48 hours a week (contracted) exactly.
General management were always great and quick to address immediate problems, though upper management seemed to be unapproachable and pretty elusive and i never got a chance to talk with anyone high up about the situation. The only time upper management would be seen was if they had chosen your lounge to hang out on their laptops and swan about like celebrities for the day, but you still wouldnt see them! The only reason youd know they were there was because youd get a shout from someone to run around and tidy up because such and such is out front.
To summarise, great management and s
ProsSlightly above average salary for position
Cons0 work life balance. Unapproachable upper management
If all you've ever wanted was stress and exhaustion with the promise of your promotion coming in soon the lounges is a great place for you. Management love to lounge around while the rest of their staff are doing enough work for triple the amount of people on shift. Expect to see 4 people leaning around behind the bar while 1 or 2 people run around attending to customers, running food, clearing plates and ultimately working behind the bar when those 4 people mysteriously disappear right as customers turn up.
Kitchen staff and front of house rarely work cohesively with screaming matches going on over the pass. Normally due to food being cold from being microwaved or sitting on the pass as an incomplete order.
Staff are under appreciated across the board with hours being changed randomly without notice, breaks rarely being taken and even rarer to be provided with the free staff food on those breaks. You'll often be working until 1am one night and then in at 8am the next morning due to your GM or AM not being able to organise their staffing because they're making their rota hours before the first shift of that week. You'll never be able to plan your life around the job as your expected to constantly be available. The company claim that each lounge has a family atmosphere but most of the staff barely even tolerate each other and dispise the thought of having to come to work. Especially when you aren't even guaranteed stable hours.
"Loungefest" is just all the of the s
ProsFree staff food occasionally
ConsNo work life balance. No notice for shifts. No gaurenteed hours. Slow progression.
general management are always great and quick to address immediate problems, though upper management seemed to be unapproachable and pretty elusive and i never got a chance to talk with anyone high up about any situation. The only time upper management would be seen was if they had chosen your lounge to hang out on their laptops and swan about like celebrities for the day, but you still wouldnt see them! The only reason youd know they were there was because youd get a shout from someone to run around and tidy up because such and such is out front.
To summarise, great management and staff. Best bunch of people ive ever worked with - terrible upper management, from HC to OPS! swan around from lounge to lounge having their egos massaged while completely ignoring serious issues - leaving the weight of the company to be propped up by the regular staffs hard work.
HC does what he wants, contracted to 48hours but works about 30 leaving SC and JSC to pick up the slack doing more hours than the 48 contracted and not being paid. When I first started the company 7 years ago I couldn’t say a bad word about it until upper management shown their true colours. Promises of pay rise and bonus which never happen, forcing you to work your days off else you’ll lose your job. The only reason I worked for this company for so long is because I have a family to provide for (my son is now 2 and I’ve seen him grow for about 6 months of his life) and need to keep a roof over our heads. Avoid ruin
When I started my career here I was told about how well the company treats you, that they will help to make sure you have a fair work/life balance, and its all lies.
They will promise you good pay, which is only offered once you hand in your notice which I did on three occasions and it was returned with the promise of better pay and less hours (I was very overworked, often doing between a minimum of 10-16 hours sometimes working 8am - midnight as there was not enough support from anyone during extremely busy times and was met with'youll just have to work harder'.) I had to chase and chase for the pay I was promised which overall wasnt worth the personal sacrifices made. Over the year and a half I worked for this company, I saw 6 head chefs in one building who never got support from the area managers.
I truly feel sorry for the people who work here still as thinking back on the place only brings me feelings of dread.
They even resorted to checking staff members bags, when other staff members / management werent there. Basically, one member of management would go to the staff room and check your bags with out witness / consent. Bag checking isnt a problem, its welcomed in my eyes for safety reasons. However, when they go to do it behind your back it makes you feel like youre not trusted and unvalued as an employee which is sad when you have to literally break yourback for this company with no thanks.
I wouldn't recommend working here. But thats due to my personal ex
Prosfree meals if you work a certain amount of hours or are even permitted to take your unpaid break
ConsLong hours, bad management, backbreaking works, bad pay, lack of respect.
I joined loungers in 2020 and for quite a long time I really enjoyed my job. I had my issues like everyone but they were dealt with swiftly and accordingly. Something changed around COVID time and we re opened it all went downhill. Management lacked in a fair few areas including dealing with staff who were in my opinion rude, arrogant, disrespectful and work ethic was 0. It was a huge shame to watch the morale & standards drop so low and by the end of my time there I was mentally in the weeds & despaired of the workplace (eventhough I was just FOH staff) I took pride in my job and my work ethic but the blatant disrespect of my coworkers and some higher up than myself was too much in the end and it broke me down massively. Laziness, bad attitudes, verbal disrespect was becoming a weekly thing and I wanted no part in that negativity thrown at me anymore. The lounge I worked at needs a change in perspectives, staff & training and then I think it would be a consistently great place to work. It’s such a shame how it ended with myself and it could’ve been avoided if they’d just listen to my views and acted accordingly. I’m now unemployed in a pandemic but I’d rather that than go back there and that’s how much my attitude and love towards the place changed. Also vowed never to work in the hospitality industry again. Be careful.
ProsStaff food, they can care about well-being of staff
ConsLazy work ethic, disrespectful colleagues, poor management, lack of training, ops managers can be awful, overwhelmingly stressful job, too relaxed
I Worked at Poco Lounge in King’s Lynn for a brief time, when I first started I was promised hours and shifts every week, as weeks went by I found myself with less hours every week until eventually I got none at all. I had to live on scraps, cover shifts people either didn’t want or called in sick for, they even called in people from other lounges to cover in shop instead of giving me a call for work. Members of staff left for lack of hours or weren’t been giving the hours they requested, but even then, they told me they had no hours to give when several members of staff had just left the company, you would have thought there was hours going but supposedly not. They were reluctant to even fully train me or make me feel apart of the team, every time I was on shift I felt awkward and had the anxiety that I was messing up or doing something wrong. The managers made me feel like they didn’t care, and didn’t have the time for me. Even after the pandemic I heard nothing from them, so I considered myself unemployed. To see they’re hiring staff again, really speaks for itself. I have 5+ years of hospitality experience, so there was no reason for them to be reluctant to have anything to do with me. If you’re looking to work in hospitality I would highly recommend looking elsewhere. The managers will try feed you nonsense to get you in the door, and then eventually push you out like you mean nothing.
Questions and answers about Lounges
What is the interview process like at Lounges?
Asked 22 Sep 2018
Very easy and informal
Answered 26 Jul 2020
You sit there while General Manager and Area Manager gush on how "great" Loungers is, and how you're lucky to be even considered a position!
They sell you the dream, and on your first day, it all comes crashing down like a house of cards the realisation just how much they sold you a dud!
Answered 1 Feb 2020
If you were in charge, what would you do to make Lounges a better place to work?
Asked 15 Oct 2018
Cut back on all the identikit social media people and invest more in your people on the front line, the patronising suggestions on how to take pictures for Instagram etc really do miss the mark when they are delivered by people who probably have no comprehension of a 70 hour week and people that are certainly paid more than the actual people running your sites.
Your GMs are what will make or break your retention levels not people that actually make your employees feel their hardwork is secondary to someone with no front line experience, just a degree in Instagram or twitter.
Be transparent and honest.
The 48 hour week really needs to get dropped from your job adverts...
Pay overtime, give lieu days... Treat loyal employees like the fabulous people they are. I've seen so maybe amazing people leave this company because they are overlooked, overworked and hugely under appreciated.
Answered 28 Aug 2020
Stop reading spreadsheets as the way of running a business!
Employ GMs that have basic man-management skills.
Answered 1 Feb 2020
How are the working hours at Lounges?
Asked 18 Mar 2017
For managers you are contracted 48 hours a week. However, you will be expected to do every hour they can throw at you. You will not get paid for extra hours worked. You will be expected to start at 8am and finish at midnight or sometimes even later. Then come back in for 8am. You will be utterly exhausted. Will little time for breaks.
Answered 17 Jun 2019
BOH, hours are long with split shifts and some can be over 6 hours so they take 20 mins off your pay and it's up to you to take your break
Answered 2 Feb 2019
Do you two days off and work 48 hours within 5 days ?
Asked 4 Dec 2017
I do work two days and then do 48 hour over the course of five days
Answered 5 Aug 2019
The week is 48 hours over 5 days
Answered 2 Feb 2019
What is the most stressful part about working at Lounges?
Asked 26 Feb 2019
The minute you walk in until you leave!
Answered 10 Jul 2021
Area managers with no concept of their job OTHER than to make money, and subsequently, get their bonus!
The pressure and stress you endure as an employee is of no consequence to them at all.