Not every employer can be Facebook, but a handful of restaurants just might be coming close. The social media company topped Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work ranking for the third time this year. The job review site’s list is compiled based on the quantity, quality and consistency of employees’ anonymous feedback on topics such as career opportunities and work-life balance. Facebook’s legendary perks such as free food, on-site medical centers and 17 weeks of paid parental leave have helped it earn a company ranking of 4.6 stars out of five. Competing with a $27.6 billion company's culture is not easy, but five restaurants are nipping at the heels of your aunt’s favorite social network. Check out the restaurants that are listed alongside Facebook as some of the best places to work in the country.
1. In-N-Out Burger
This Irvine, Calif.-based burger chain snapped up fourth place on Glassdoor’s list with a company rating of 4.6 stars—identical to Facebook. Employees praised the company’s benefits and opportunities for advancement. “Extremely flexible with scheduling, you work with similar personalities so everyone tends to get along, you move up quickly, you genuinely feel appreciated nine times out 10, free meal every day that you work, great pay and excellent benefits for a rewarding job!” wrote one Los Angeles team member.
In-N-Out’s culture isn’t the only thing earning top spots on rankings. Lynsi Snyder, CEO of the 329-unit chain, was one of the highest-rated chief executives on Glassdoor this year, with an approval rating of 97%. Listening and spending quality time with staff is one of the reasons employees value their experience with the chain, Snyder said in an interview with Glassdoor. “We spend a lot of time doing activities together—we have annual trips, we play sports, and every year we have several trips to my dad’s ranch, sometimes for workshops and play, sometimes just for In-N-Out family time," Snyder said.
2. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants landed in the 37th spot on the ranking. Some employees value the high-caliber candidate base the company recruits from. “At Kimpton I am part of a culture that challenges me to be my best self, challenges me to be a leader in the industry and also surrounds my team and I with some of the best leaders in the industry,” wrote a director of food and beverage in San Francisco, where the hospitality group is based.
Some of the recruiting tools Kimpton wields to win over talent include a list of nontraditional benefits for the industry. Moms, dads and partners can earn up to six weeks of paid parental leave, and employees grieving the loss of a pet can take some time to honor the memory of their furry companions without having to worry about work or covering shifts. General managers, executive chefs, corporate employees and regional directors get a paid sabbatical every seven years. And staff members who care for children or parents can opt in for backup care if their regularly scheduled daytime caregiver falls through.
Chick-fil-A, which comes in at No. 72, is known for its friendly staff. A trademark of the chain’s high customer service standards includes training employees to say “My pleasure” instead of “You’re welcome.” But employees at the Atlanta-based chain aren’t just positive around customers. “No comparison, this is a great job for a first job, extra money, or for career advancement,” wrote a team lead in Round Rock, Texas. “Such a loving environment, great management, and fair pay. No place could be better to get your feet wet in the American workforce!”
Chick-fil-A owners might have a little more time than other franchisees to focus on culture, because they generally can only own one unit at a time. Chick-fil-A operator Brian Davis launched a leadership program for his millennial employees called The Jumpstart Experience. The two-year program gives young professionals the opportunity to work as a director in the franchisee’s Oregon locations while receiving one-on-one coaching, attending experiential learning retreats and advancing through a leadership curriculum.
The parent company of Olive Garden, Yard House and LongHorn Steakhouse slid into the 85th spot on the list this year. A Darden Restaurants manager in Houston wrote that the company’s leadership considers their employees' quality of life. For starters, team members earn an average of $15 an hour and are paid weekly, according to Darden’s career site. Staff benefits also include health insurance coverage, wireless phone service discounts and computer loans.
The employer also leverages its eight restaurant concepts to promote workers to 7,000 leadership positions across the company. In fact, 99% of directors of operations, general managers and managing partners are promoted from within, according to Darden’s career site.
Darden has also ramped up its inclusion initiatives. The restaurant group partners with multiple executive search firms and launched employee resource groups to court diverse talent. Having added 4% more minority restaurant managers between 2011 and 2015, according to Darden’s website, the efforts just might be paying off.
Workers’ team spirit helped Starbucks garner the 96th ranking on the list. “Starbucks is definitely a company one can feel proud to be associated with,” wrote an employee in Seattle. “The people are truly a top priority. The level of authenticity found at Starbucks is hard to come by in the corporate world.”
Executive Chairman Howard Schultz has instituted several initiatives that put people first. The company made headlines this year for vowing to hire 10,000 refugees by 2022 in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting refugees from certain countries in an effort to secure U.S. borders. The company was also one of the first to offer full- and part-time team members—and their domestic partners—health benefits, according to The New York Times. And today, employees who work 20 or more hours a week qualify for a tailored benefits program, with options such as life insurance, vacation, tuition reimbursement, commuter benefits and adoption assistance, according to the career site.