Note: this review pertains specifically to the restaurant part of the Garden City Shopping Centre location. I've heard slightly better things about other locations, and the lounge girls do make way better money.
The majority of the customers at Smitty's Garden City are bottom of the barrel. Managers from other locations have come up to sub, and they are shocked to see what the majority of Garden City customers are like: rude, cheap, demanding, and will stop at nothing to knock a dollar or two or five or nine off their nine dollar bill. The tips are abysmal, and management/the owner maintains a static tip-out rate that is often ridiculously high for the puny tips you make. It is not uncommon to get a 5 dollar tip on a $100 bill, of which you have to tip out 3 dollars to a kitchen staff who probably did not work hard enough to earn the tip-out.
As for advancement, if you stick with it long enough, you may be lucky enough to become a closer! Your reward for this: a completely dead restaurant. The company does absolutely nothing to incentivize its employees becoming closers. You do not get a raise, and you make even worse tips than you usually would (you are lucky to make even $40 from 4:30-11, and it's not rare to leave with $20 or less). The least they could do is a free meal, but management is rigid and completely unwilling to take any employee suggestions into actual consideration. Any suggestion for workplace environment improvement is met with, "The CEO said no before so there's no point in asking." It is mind-boggling that the position requiring the most trust is also the least rewarding. You're better off pretending to be too incompetent to close so you can stay on the other shifts and make better tips.
Speaking of "incompetence," the GM's picture is next to the word in the dictionary. The GM's bipolar treatment of employees in combination with the frequently horrid customers is the perfect storm for a work environment that will sap every last ounce of your sanity. The way schedules are created forces a revolving door atmosphere. New employees will get 5 shifts a week to trick them into thinking this is a lucrative job, while people who have been there for years will be left wanting for more. Even weekend shifts, which are pretty much the only shifts worth working if you're not in the lounge, are handed to brand new employees on silver platters, again, likely to deceive them into thinking $100 in tips is a regular occurrence at the new job of their dreams. The revolving door is then forced: the GM begs people who have been there a year or longer to "be patient" while their hours are eviscerated and their good shifts given to people who have been there 3 weeks, but eventually they wise up to the manipulative cycle of the revolving door and get sick of it and leave. Furthermore, they recently moved to the Ameego scheduling system, yet you will still frequently get shifts that contradict your stated Ameego availability. The schedules are never double-checked for accuracy, it seems. My final note about management is that they have no backbone and nurture obviously awful customers. The customer will eat the entire meal and say they hated it, and they'll be rewarded with a coupon that encourages them to keep coming back and doing the exact same thing.
Training is completely uneven. The majority of the servers there hate training new employees, and there is no real standard for the training you receive. It is luck of the draw whether you will actually learn something or not from the training experience, and you are then thrown to the wolves in shifts that are not optimal for beginners.
Your coworkers are all you have at Smitty's Garden City. You all threaten to quit every single shift and try to keep smiles on each others' faces while attempting with every fiber of your being not to cross paths with the GM, lest she be in one of her famous bad moods. There are some hilarious and awesome coworkers there, and they become like your family and that is the only reason anyone sticks with it past 3 months.
There are only two reasons why I would recommend anyone apply at this location:
1. You have absolutely no restaurant experience and want to get some, and
2. You are about to lose your house and are drowning in bills and you've tried to apply literally everywhere else but no one will take you and you are dying between a rock and a hard place and need just ANY job.
Pretty much every single application will get an interview since they are always hurting for staff, so if you still want to work here after reading this gigantic warning, I wish you the best of luck! Just make sure you get out as quickly as possible, or you will become a "Smitty's Lifer," the most tragic and pitiable of all human beings.
PS: The new mandatory uniform shirts are ugly as sin and instantly start to stink even if you always smell like roses, and the material will leave your chafed nipples SCREAMING for some aloe vera lotion after your shift.