Side work is the bane of many a server’s existence. It’s those extra chores assigned by management that must be completed before a server can leave at the end of the shift and, since most servers earn a base rate of under $3 per hour and side work doesn’t yield tips, it’s essentially free, forced labor. Unfortunately, just about every restaurant comes with these annoying odd jobs, like wiping menus and slicing lemons, and any experienced server will expect to perform the mundane tasks, but side work at LongHorn Steakhouse appears to be a few steps beyond the norm.
One former server from Millbury, Massachusetts, described the amount of side work as “crazy,” while another from San Antonio, Texas, described it as “excessive,” specifying that it could take over two full hours to complete. That’s a lot of labor for a server to be virtually donating to an employer. And while we might find it reasonable to assume this former employee could be exaggerating a bit, or was perhaps just a slow mover, another former server concurred that her shifts came with two hours of side work, too. Whether these tasks are unusually difficult, or LongHorn just piles too many on each employee, it’s clear from reviews that there’s a considerable imbalance here.