This is my first kitchen job and as a keen rudderless cook, I was optimistic and excited about starting a job working as a chef. This enthusiasm was quickly extinguished as the reality of working in a glorified fast food outlet quashed any zeal or passion that I may have once had expectations of. Being called a line chef is an insult to those chefs out there who actually cook proper food- at Wagamama, you are a chef after a shifts training and the company believes this to by giving you a knife to work with...
Unlike a proper kitchen this industry of fast food is a numbers game. Staff have their hours cut by management so that they get greater monetary bonuses - whilst the staff have increased stress levels due to having to work harder to cover for lack of staff. Ive read reviews where people complain of 20 minute breaks. I believe in the year I have worked there I've, at the most, had a 10 minute break! Management swan around occasionally giving you 'helpful' pointers and reminding you of the food and hygiene basics- again this is done so that when qscd/health inspectors come by they receive better bonuses. Management often have several cigarette breaks on a shift leaving the kitchen and restaurant vulnerable during busy periods.
I'm a self taught chef, everything I've learned from all the sections has been acquired by observing others! The only transferable culinary skill Ive been shown is how to peel ginger (with a spoon) and food prep is done so anally it gives one a
I worked for wagamama for a few months and trust me that's all it took for me to decide it wasn't the job for me. Firstly they begin with all these promises, for example it's easy to climb the ladder and become a line chef, that's true if they like you, if they don't you're stuck being a kitchen Porter and just a kitchen Porter.
My jobs included washing the dishes, taking them on to the line, taking out the bins, washing and placing the rice in the oven, bagging noodles and brushing the line floor, so as you can imagine on a busy day it was not fun at all especially if you were on your own.
As I mentioned before there was a lot of favoritism, it wasn't a case of if you could prove yourself you could move up, no not in the slightest.
They're were a few managers that were a bit unprofessional and would give you tasks on the clean down while they sat in the office and then complain certain things hadn't been done properly or they would just boss you around and tell you to get things because they were too lazy and this was on the close down. one manager even came up to me and smashed a bowl infront of me because it had a hole in it and of course I had to clean it up. I was also threatened to be fired for bumping into somebody while taking out some plates.
The hours are very unsocialble and if you've got an inspection coming up, be prepared to stay till 2 in the morning.
Eventually I handed in my notice as I had found another job. To then receive a letter 3 da
ProsFree meals on shift, weekly pay
ConsUnsociable hours, poor management
Front of House Team Member | St Albans | 25 Feb 2020
stay away for your own sake
I spend a lot of time as wagamama employee, it almost feel like ages. Only because my collagues were so supportive and hard working.
The tips and salary is ok as well buuuut...
here comes the management team. My boss was harassing me, treating like a the worst, all my co-workers saw me crying several times. He pushed me so hard that I fall into depress. Now Im scared of pepole with a huge mental demage. The place is busy - i get it. But we were never treated like a human beings. More like a robots.
About hours....u think you will get a 35-40 hours per week as a full time? Thats a lie - your boss gonna cut your hours as much as he can ,cause he gonna get a bonus for that. Even if your contract say e.g 36 hours pw - you gonna get 25 and u should be greatfull cause "you didn't deserve for more"
Well....everything depends if general maneger likes you. If not - you are screwed cause A) u not gonna get a proper amont of hours B) your holidays and days off always gonna be declined and finally C) he gonna push u so hard that u gonna leave this place ASAP feeling like trash and crying like a baby. I saw so many time when people were almost FORCED to quit the job.....so well if u care about your self-esteem and mental healt stay away from this place. The money are not worth it, there is 351834 better places with friendly environment, where your employer gonna treat you with respect. Defianetly wagamama IS NOT ONE OF THEM!
I've worked for Wagamama for approximately a year in one of the busiest venues. While the staff were the best I've worked with in my experience as a waitress, the management was completely unprofessional and untrained, avoiding their responsibilities every time they could, forcing you to work shifts you've not asked for, not answering to any requests you could have for both holidays and week hours and dealing with you in a rude manner if you've decided to ask about it. What intrigued me the most was the fact that Wagamama is a huge leading company, that should reflect some appreciation towards its employees but all they care about is budgets, manager's bonus and how many people they can fit into the restaurant at the same time, but be aware that there can't be any complaints from customers that haven't been served within the first minutes upon arrival EVEN IF you are given the job that would normally be slip between two people. If I will ever feel bad for leaving such a bad review to this company, it would be for the lovely staff that would always be so supportive and understanding in moments of inhumane stress. If you are looking for a place where you can earn a lot of money compared to other restaurants then you are in the right place, but you'll have to have nerves of steel.
Managers took one day to train you and then expect you to know everything. Yet if you don't they whine and act as if they gave a detailed tour de force job of teaching you. FoH lazy and unhelpful, also very very rude (as were a lot of BoH management). Also extremely clique(ish), if you're not one of the gang then you become isolated and receive less attention, thusly less training and more admonishment from the management who are doing a bad job of training you. Managers constantly going out for smoke breaks and leaving new staff to struggle with a full screen of cheques to cook even though no training has been given with those dishes. Super super understaffed and insanely unprofessional, in my month there never had a break and would get 7 or 6 hours between shifts and like 3 hours sleep and receive stress rants from management about lack of quality.. There's a reason why its illegal to have 7 hours between shifts.
Overall a cold place to work in terms of staff relations towards trainees.
Wouldn't recommend it as it absorbs your life and replaces it with bad attitudes and insanely high expectations. Dare I say on many levels impossible expectations. Like knowing how to cook the entire menu within several shifts.
One or two helpful members of staff, but they'd be overshadowed by the "higher ups."
Not cool.. not cool
Best for teenagers or people who doesn't have any career.
Working there was fun; everyone was great customer and staff. Staff party isn't too bad if you live drinking and partying that much. Benefits that they posted online in their job description is not for all wagamama branches. You need to ask constantly to get what you want from them ie. pension, review, promotions etc.
Waste of time doing double shift as it still equals to 7 hours and you finish at 11pm.
I admire how they are very strict on their standards and ypu shpuld follow it. And how they do their stockcontrol and their health and safety course. However, i do not like that new rule per managers. They always say, "it depends on the manager..." so in the end you are still confuse what to do. Using initiative will not be handy as you need to ask permission if it is allowed or not. And as I said.. it depends on the manager. You rely on tips btw (minimum wage plus tips equals 9/10ph). Rota is the worst; you will find your rota out 2 days before the week starts.
Overall, love the working environment, very confusing rules, great money specially in summer, very busy, too much upselling, great people, rota sucks, finishes at 11pm but still doing 7hours.
ProsTips, staff and working environment
ConsRota, less hours per day, too busy, confusing rules and no reviews
It was good at the beginning but after 5 years in the job you realise how toxic it can really be. Manager's are childish/obnoxious, will talk about you behind your back but in person will tell you what you want to hear. You can get promoted quicky although favouritism is more desirable than actuality being skilled at the job. If you're a hard worker you may feel demoralised. You will be belittled, bullied and slandered constantly even though the company has a "strong mental health" policy. They have an off-site management team that are oblivious to what happens in the restaurants but are always pushing for a positive work environment. Most bad practices are swept under the rug because money is more important than a workers well being. I've worked in multiple wagamama sites throughout greater Manchester and around England. Most of them operate very similar.
Don't get me wrong I've met some amazing people throughout my time in the company, sadly though these people are usually pushed to one side. They will inevitably quit or be forgotten about. Seriously consider before applying.
I work boh but foh can just be as toxic.
ProsFree food. boh tips. Flexible working hours depending on head chef
ConsBullies. Close opens. Fake people. Poor wage for the workload
Felt like I got driven out of the place. Management can do a lot better at their jobs and take into consideration of staffs needs and actually help out the team. They say it’s like a family but it’s actually people glaring and talking about you behind your back. I felt very uncomfortable working there by how everyone made me feel.
Feel like you're running around like a headless chicken doing so much and you get no gratitude for it, no thanks or anything. Feels like a downer to go in. Really long hours that are mentally and physically draining with no actual LEGAL break! They give you a split shift that has an hour or so gap in between but you can be doing 3h then an hour “break” (more like gap) and go back for 6h and have no 20min break or anything!!!! As well as that, they give you back to back double shifts which even if asked to be less they won’t approve and let you carry on struggling. Disgrace and wouldn't recommend anyone to work for wagamamas.
ProsFree food (depending how long you work), vegan / GF options, decent pay for younger people, weekly pay
ConsLong hours, rubbish management, no respect, so many double shifts next to each other, lack of empathy, either boiling hot or really cold in there, bad customer communication, very bad work-life routine
Front of House Team Member | Manchester | 14 Feb 2020
Unhealthy work role
The brand as a whole is an excellent, reputable brand that I was initially so excited to work for.
The company presents its self as a modern, forward thinking one that strives for better representation of mental health and well-being within the workplace.
However I soon realised that the team was managed by a toxic, cliquey group of FOH managers and ‘black belts’ that nearly all happened to have gained their professional status by already being friends outside of work.
As an outsider, joining the new team I was kept at arms length by management and was given the most basic of training; expected to perform like a well experienced team member with minimum guidance and consideration. was kept at arms length by management and was not encouraged to discuss my training and development in a healthy way.
Considering the company allegedly prides its self on mental health representation, I would suggest that as a FOH employee, mine was utterly discredited. Monitoring and feedback comments about my work performance were logged on the Wagamama internal HR system; most of which were personal opinions of inexperienced managers and lacked any sort of professional and guided feedback alluding to my performance.
Working in a restaurant can be challenging however the people i work with are amazing. Sometimes it can be stressful because our restaurant is so popular however the support is awesome.
I started having never worked in a restaurant, the training is amazing, i applied myself and I was promoted in under a year! since being promoted I have also had specialized training. Wagamama really looked after me.
My managers and everyone higher up on the ladder have always been down to earth and encouraging. Wagamama has such a positive outlook always striving to improve and help staff develop.
The workplace culture is electric, we have so much fun together. we have incentives, staff parties and often our restaurant likes to do staff nights out so we can bond and let our hair down.
The hardest part of the job is when we get super busy but more customers means more tips ;) the best part of the job is expressing yourself, being encouraged to let your personality shine and talking to your customers.
Prosfree lunch, really good money, awesome training, individualism encouraged, getting tips, support, fun, team bonding, kind management
Conslong hours, busy, can be stressful, fast paced
Hard work but great team at wagamama Richmond. Also met a few celebs!
I worked at wagamama Richmond for two years and I enjoyed my time there. The job itself is very demanding and can be stressful and hard especially on weekends and during bank holidays and school holidays. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed working there had the team been different. I made many close, lasting friendships while working in this multi-cultural team. The team that I worked with were very loving, supportive and kind to one another which was amazing as you spend a lot of time together. You are required to do a lot of split shifts and usually work five days a week, sometimes six days when required. You don't have a lot of personal time but the salary is good. In Richmond people tend to tip well (typically 10% but sometimes more!), the tips make your hourly wage about £10-£12, give or take depending on how busy the restaurant is, which was good as I was usually working 35-40 hours p/w (the most I earned in a week was around £500). Managers are friendly, helpful and approachable but do expect a high standard of work. Wagamama does offer a lot of incentives for employees, once a year they close a club in London for just wagamama employees (e.g Ministry of Sound), you also have a lot of internal incentives in your restaurant with competitions for best spend per head for example and you may win shopping vouchers or movie tickets or something. Also you get free meals there which is great as the food is yummy and it saves you money. Another pro of the job is that in Richmond,
ProsFree food, good tips, great team (at least while I was working there), meet celebs
ConsLong days, split shifts, not a lot of personal time, very demanding
I worked for Wagamama for like 3 years. I made a bunch of money because the tips were always really good. That’s because I worked in a rich and busy area. Careful which location you choose! I worked at Prudential center in Boston.
Shifts were usually long and grueling. I would be tired, smelly and in a bad mood when each shift was over but the money made it worth it to me. I was in college and needed it.
Just like with any restaurant, there was a lot of petty drama and most the managers were not good at handling it. There were only 2 good managers at my location and the rest were either useless or played favorites. Also some managers had inappropriate relationships with staff. Again.. most restaurants you’ll have this stuff. Yikes!
Good news is if you’re a person who likes working extra shifts/ over time they are not stingy with it at the busy locations cause they need as many workers on as possible. It gets SLAMMED and as long as you can quickly get through tables while providing amazing service you’ll make FAT tips.
For example: my last summer there I was able to save up like $10,000 for my move to california.
Also! No worries if you have tattoos, piercings or crazy hair! They actually love that stuff and I respect them for it.
ProsFree lunches, tattoo and piercing friendly, work parties, over time, good pay, fair break times, you’ll learn a lot.
ConsDrama, favoritism, hectic/ stressful, long shifts usually, tiring work, FAST PACED, ugly uniforms.
From the start, Wagamama was really unorganized. The training for the new opening was a mess, I worked for almost a month at Wagamama under 'training' but was a actually serving tables for about 2 weeks of that month, meaning I didn't get tips for the whole first month I started. After finally being 'signed off' to serve, I was given obnoxiously large sections that were not seat according to rotation, aka I had sometimes 8 tables at a time while someone else's section was completely empty. After all that work, tips were pooled so those who had barely been sat got to reap the benefits of my constantly full section.
Management was a mess, primarily the cause of everything in the restaurant becoming an ordeal. Often times, my hours weren't reported correctly because of them, I wasn't given my tips in the tip pool because they skipped my name, or they just straight up ignored request for time off, or even ignored the availability you were hired with. They had lots of tiny rules and ways of micromanaging us, while spending time chatting up the other managers and doing other unhelpful stuff.
I really enjoyed my coworkers, that's why I stayed. But through that time, I was put through a lot of stressed and demand. If your looking for a well paid serving job, don't choose Wagamama.
Questions and answers about wagamama
What is the interview process like at wagamama?
Asked 18 Dec 2017
They do most of it over the phone, then they either reject you or invite you to a more formal interview, along with a 2 hour shift, where they watch how you work.
You get a free meal at the end of your trial shift and then wait for a letter/phone call back to tel you wether you were successful.
Answered 8 Oct 2018
Its super easy, you meet with one of the managers and then: Chat, trial.. if like you, you're in
Answered 13 Jul 2018
How long does it take to get a response? Will they be in touch if you have been unsuccessful? Is there anyone to contact to see how your application is doing?
Asked 21 Sep 2017
I recevied a phone call the next day. May have not read the small print in the application because it turned out that it was a phone interview with the Head chef which lasted all of ten minutes at the end the he offered me a trial shift.
Answered 23 Oct 2019
I would contact the restaurant yourself, as it shows them you’re proactive.
Answered 25 Aug 2019
What questions did they ask during your interview at wagamama?
Asked 19 Feb 2018
To be a responsible employee.
Answered 29 Sep 2018
Every question related to my time spent as a food hygien inspector
I didn’t have the nerve to say it was me who closed them down previously for vermin infestation
Answered 30 Jul 2018
How should you prepare for an interview at wagamama?
Asked 7 Aug 2017
Just be yourself
Answered 13 Jul 2018
Always wear suitable clothes.
Answered 11 Jun 2018
I got applied for a training tommorow as a waiter , they didn t tell me anything about clothes or appearence? My question is what do you suggest to wear? Is beard allowed?
Asked 24 Jul 2017
Uniform is company t-shirt (provided) and black jeans/ trousers and shoes (trainers allowed). Encourage individuality so most forms of body modifications and accessories are allowed.
Answered 23 Jul 2019
Clothes or appearence it doesnt matter. they will give you a t-shirt to wear during the shift. clothing must be black. you can wear jeans or leggings. beard is allowed but always make sure is clean as your dealing with food