Working at wagamama: Company Overview and Reviews in the United Kingdom

Promotional banner for wagamama in the United Kingdom
468 reviews
wagamama, UK Ratings
Average rating of 468 reviews on Indeed
2.9Work-life balance
3.5Pay & benefits
3.4Job security & advancement
New York, NY
501 to 1,000
$100M to $500M (USD)
Restaurants, Travel and Leisure

Popular jobs at wagamama in the United Kingdom

 Average salarySalary range
6 salaries reported
per hour
13 salaries reported
per hour
21 salaries reported
per hour
9 salaries reported
per hour
31 salaries reported
per hour
Salary satisfaction
Of the employees are satisfied about their pay, in the United Kingdom
Based on 1681 reviews

wagamama reviews

Overall reviews at wagamama

Front End Associate | Watford | 26 Aug 2021
Horrible place with horrible managers that will expect you to sacrifice your health for the sake of work
Initially I was excited to work somewhere that appeared to have a friendly and laid back work environment, where management cared about the wellbeing of their employees. However I couldn't have been more wrong, there is no work life balance, long split shifts that will have you spending the majority of your time at the restaurant, and the managers are absolutely horrible. They micromanage, criticise you for anything and everything, shout at you in front of customers, undermine you, and talk horribly about you behind your back (even though this is usually within earshot and they are just too stupid to know better). The most frustrating part about it all was that they don't even communicate with each other, and more often than not you will have two managers on a shift who will both be telling you to do different things, I lost count of the number of times I was told to do something by one manager and then told off by the other for literally doing what I was told. When you are new you won't be provided with adequate training at all, and still be expected to do absolutely everything to an impossible standard, and then still get shouted at for not knowing things. If you have any issues they will either roll their eyes, get annoyed or ignore you completely, you're basically just an inconvenience to them and they make sure to make you aware of that. At the branch I worked at in Watford this was most obvious when their was an outbreak of covid at the restaurant, various managers trie
ProsI had some lovely coworkers
Conshow horrible the managers are
Line Cook | Nottingham | 19 May 2016
Good people, poor management
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
ProsFree food
ConsDeliveroo, lack of staff, poor pay
Server | Stevenage | 27 Nov 2021
had a very misogynistic manager, would think i was completely stupid. once swapped tasks mine and my co workers tasks because he thought i wasn’t strong enough to lift some chairs up and move them. the company is good to work for, but the managers are just a let down. all coworkers are lovely and where i worked we had a very diverse staff team. a lot of favouritism went on, i was a college student at the time and whenever it was half term they would put me on every single day, all day. and i would have to remind them my contract was 8 hours and on weekends only. the job is very much to help your managers and not yourself, but again the actual company has amazing morals. you get an allowance for free food on shift and good breaks and they send out a weekly newsletter about mental health/what’s going on w the company. it’s good if ur willing to spend ur whole weekend at work and basically be alright to be called in if they need you. also A LOT of walking, i would walk so much during my shifts, i lost a lot of weight when i worked there over the summer because all i did was work and walk all day at work. it’s a very fast paced environment so if you don’t think you can deal with that then don’t go for this job, weekends very busy but week is not so bad, actually enjoyable. managers had a problem with people talking to eachother even if it was about work..? which we always all thought was so weird. but yes probably give it a 4.5/10 for working there. not totally awful but definite
Prosfree food, good contract, good coworkers, good hours (sometimes), always get break
Conslong shifts (8-10 hours sometimes), managers, pay not being worth it, a lot of walking = extra tired, fasted paste environment and can be stressful. a lot of anxiety sometimes ://
Kitchen Porter | Cheshire | 6 Sept 2018
So bad!
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
Server | Greenhithe | 19 Nov 2021
It was extremely unorganised, you never knew what you were doing and when you was finally assigned a task you would be told to do another task by someone else. It was extremely stressful for such low pay, management was poor and rude, they had favourites and would behave inappropriately in front of customers. The managers didn’t communicate with each other so with each manager you would have different rules. They weren’t very understanding however the business promotes they are, the managers never understood from your point of view. They would tell you to let them know of any days off a week in advance and when you would do so, they would refuse to give you that day off. They didn’t clean the tables to the full extent they are trained to, the layout of the menu was messy and rushed. Colleagues would override you in your role although they haven’t been assigned to it, most were also very unwelcoming and formed clique’s. They will not even wait until you’re out of earshot to speak bad of other colleagues. They would also make you go on break for longer than your assigned time if the restaurant isn’t busy, and as the breaks are unpaid they cause you to lose money. People constantly leaving to poor management, poor pay and it being too much stress without many benefits.
ProsFree lunch, customers
ConsUnpaid breaks, poor management, poor pay, poor attitude from colleagues, poor presentation, extremely stressful and degrading
Front End Associate | London | 17 May 2022
It depends...
My experience at Wagamama's has been a fairly pleasant one initially but it changed drastically because the management staff has changed 3 times in the 6 months that I've worked there. The daily job experience can differ considering a multitude of factors but the most influential one being who is managing the shift. If you have a manager who is actually doing their job and treating you respectfully, the job can be ok. If not, the job is not worth it. For most of my employment the restaurant I was working at was heavily understaffed and so I've had to work twice as much for many months. Considering the company's salary offer for a front of house member the pay is not at all competitive considering offers from many other restaurants that can pay 20% to 30% more. Hours are fairly flexible but are too flexible for some. Many were calling in sick constantly (not because of covid or because of actually being sick) and because of that team members present on the shift would have to work extra. I've been physically threaten while working at this branch by a coworker and I've informed the management team about it and that co-worker wasn't fired. I have finally quit after the new management team came with a multitude of new demands that I couldn't really stomach. Even though it was a part time job (worked on average 30 hrs) , I've honestly tried my best and I don't feel that it's a job in which hard workers are appreciated.
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!
Server | United Kingdom | 12 Mar 2018
The best staff but the worst work quality
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.
ProsFree meals, lovely staff
ConsExtremely long shifts, worst management
Line Cook | Sheffield | 17 Dec 2015
Poor training and illegal hours
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
ProsFree lunch (when you got it)
Team Member | Basildon | 22 Feb 2021
Fantastic People, Covid spoilt everything.
THIS JOB IS NOT FOR LAZY PEOPLE! Every day challenged me both physically and mentally but the people who work there help you and give you the support you need. Its very hard to begin with, trying to remember your dishes and your ingredients and your numbers, but everyone else started the same way and once you're on the floor doing the job daily it becomes easier. I was lucky to have fantastic managers, but they're all human beings so if you're struggling then speak to them. Its a great atmosphere and busy nights are the best, its such a buzz and you can really have fun because most customers are there to have a good time too. Its not stuffy or awkward, you can have fun and still be professional. The ONLY reasons I left was because when Covid caused the lockdowns it wasn't the same job anymore. I wasn't serving tables of happy lively people I was putting lids on tubs of food for delivery and it just changed the whole dynamic. The tips were more or less gone or less than half and that makes a huuuuge difference. I was very disappointed but it just wasn't the same. I wouldn't ever rule out going back one day though. Try it out.
Prosfree food, tips can be great, Wagamama people are friends for life.
Conslong shifts sometimes, not a great hourly wage, physically gruelling at times.
Front of House Team Member | Richmond VIC | 6 Jul 2016
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
Server | Boston, MA | 4 Jan 2021
Good Money, Fast Paced, Long/ Hard Shifts, Drama.
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.

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
On average, how many hours do you work a day at wagamama?
Asked 26 Oct 2018
Can vary from 10am until 8pm or a pathetic 2pm until 5pm even if you are part time.
Answered 23 Apr 2021
Average 8, this can vary between a 3 hour shift, splits shifts which can be as many as 12 and an evening shift which could be 6+ with a 20min break with a free meal.
Answered 19 Feb 2019
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 Sept 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
How should you prepare for an interview at wagamama?
Asked 7 Aug 2017
If you are unique, show it. Pink/or blue hair? spray it & make it big. Tattoos? no problem. Wagamama loves people who are themselves, the diversity in people is amazing. Go to their website and facebook pages and see who they work with and the charities they support and this will give you a really good insight into the thinking and the ethics behind them. also look at the environmental work they are doing and the info on sourcing, recycling and energy saving efforts they are making, it will make you quite proud and want to be a part of it.
Answered 22 Feb 2021
Just be yourself
Answered 13 Jul 2018
What questions did they ask during your interview at wagamama?
Asked 19 Feb 2018
To be a responsible employee.
Answered 29 Sept 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