The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant Employee Reviews

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1.0
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Absolutely awful management
Waitress (Former Employee) –  Salford Quays16 September 2019
When I worked here, the management were awful, always shouting at you for literally nothing, even when you've done everything you physically can. They once told me I did something wrong to another member of staff but when I confronted said member to apologise, she didn't even know what I was talking about. Awful management and a bunch of liars
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2.0
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Long hours not worth stress
Waitress/Bar Staff (Former Employee) –  London18 August 2019
Racist company no one of colour can progress and this is made cery apparent especially from particular senior members. long hours and little gratitude towards those who put the hard work in
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4.0
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Fun and Friendly
Restaurant Host (Former Employee) –  Trinity23 July 2019
Everyone was so friendly to work with and it was a great atmosphere, the pay was really good and there was plenty of opportunities to work extra hours.
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5.0
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productive and fun workplace
Cocktail Bartender (Current Employee) –  Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire9 July 2019
high paced work environment with a good relationship between floor staff and the management
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5.0
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Excellent place to thrive.
Bartender (Former Employee) –  Alderley Edge9 July 2019
I honestly loved working at The Alchemist. It was challenging but fun.
Pros
You’ll become a better bartender.
Cons
No free food.
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Terrible management
Hostess (Former Employee) –  Manchester Spinningfields28 June 2019
Management were rude and unwelcoming, no effort to act pleasant towards new staff members. Rudest company I have worked for. Promise full time hours and don’t follow up, notorious for this.
Pros
50% off food
Cons
Bad management, no rota structure, no staff benefits
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2.0
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Attitude stinks!
Barback/Bartender (Former Employee) –  Manchester, Greater Manchester27 June 2019
Unless you’re joining as a waiter, I really would not bother with this place. Bartenders/managers attitudes are awful.

Barbacks are seen as if they’re at the absolute bottom of their food chain. You’ll have an stupidly high workload which you’ll break your back to complete and never be recognised for it, only criticised for being asked for 4 things at once. You’ll be shouted at, talked about and treated like a peasant. 8+ hour shifts with no breaks unless you’re manager/waiter/bartender with an alchemist god complex.

I’ve been bartending at busy bars for 3 years and have never been spoken too like I have working here.

Most of the staff are really nice and easy to get along with but it’s the way the place is run and the how much is expected of barbacks compared to every other member of staff.
Pros
Friendly staff
Cons
Rude. Unprofessional. Alchemist god complex
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5.0
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Tough, Long hours, But a fun.
Bartender / In Store Trainer (Former Employee) –  Manchester19 June 2019
Don’t expect to go into a job and it not be hard work. Some shifts can be long and gruelling, especially on the weekends - but it’s a bar - and a bloody good one at that. They thrive when busy.
You make life long friends, and people saying that barwork is “unsociable hours”, have no sense of what a social life is. Not only are you able to be socialble with the guests, but your team mates too.
The training process is well put together to ensure the company run fluently across the country, and within the individual unit, to create a cracking atmosphere and enjoyable workspace.
Any job is tough at times, so don’t expect to be just standing around.
Loyalty within staff and management and progression are important.
Don’t knock it till you try it. Just make sure you’re ready for that bartenders lifestyle
Pros
Family atmosphere, fun, sociable.
Cons
Sleep is a myth. Ain’t no rest for the wicked.
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Don't waste your time
Line chef (fryer) (Current Employee) –  London12 June 2019
Unfriendly and deep pressed, pushed job. It apointless to start to do whatever there. No staff food. If you take decision about when and how to do something, you are always do mistake. Unexplainable.
Pros
Long shifts
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5.0
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Worth the hard work!!
Restaurant worker (Current Employee) –  Liverpool, Merseyside17 May 2019
Been with The Alchemist now for almost 18 months, and in that time have progressed through the ranks and been recognised as wanting to progress.

In house, the teamwork is evident. Everyone is treated fairly and especially in my unit, enjoys their time at work. I can think of few people since I started who have left because they didn't like it, and there have been a few members of staff who have left to go travelling etc and then come back!

It is a hospitality job, so those who don't like to work evenings and weekends probably wouldn't be best suited to any hospitality job, but in my experience site management have always tried to work around requests and availability, especially as we have a lot of students in our unit.

The benefits and salary are great compared to a lot of other hospitality jobs, I know personally my pay is significantly higher than it was in my previous role. As a company, there is always a lot to learn, but putting the extra work in and trying hard makes your job on shift so much easier.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time with the company, and can't see myself leaving any time soon!
Pros
50% off company wide, Empathetic site management, great team working environment
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5.0
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A company that cares
Trainer (Current Employee) –  Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire17 May 2019
I love working for The Alchemist - its a company that cares for its employees through peer and management support and gives staff access to 24 hour mental health support.
I love training my teams the knowledge and expertise that The Alchemist have provided me with from external wine courses WSET to various other training and spirit courses.
No two days are the same and that's what I love the most!
Pros
Community Giving
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5.0
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Great training and progression
Server/Waitress (Current Employee) –  Liverpool, Merseyside17 May 2019
Great company to work for if you want quality training and the opportunity to progress. They take care of their staff and do whatever they can to see you develop your skills.
Pros
Great management team, training
Cons
Long hours
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5.0
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great place to develop skills
Bartender (Former Employee) –  Leeds, West Yorkshire14 May 2019
varied hours, not typical to most bars. options to work both mornings and nights.

learnt everything about the practice of bartending, in depth liquor knowledge and wine training.
learnt to make excellent drinks at speed.

management are all ex-bartenders or ex-servers, so understand their staff's work loads. always helpful and supportive.

culture is the best. team work is trained in from day#1. and everybody succeeds together.

long hours, not for the timid type. hard work and huge rewards.

the best part is the team work
Pros
team work. free training. 50% food.
Cons
no medical support
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Horrible and tiresome
Barback (Former Employee) –  Oxford, Oxfordshire3 May 2019
If you enjoy being spoken to and treated like a dog then I would highly recommend you work here. The hours are long, the breaks are short and the general attitude you receive from any members of staff "higher up" is disgraceful. This is a huge company and they don't care about your wellbeing as an individual. If I could give them 0 stars, I would
Pros
Weekly pay
Cons
Long hours, rude management
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Don't waste your time
Chef (Former Employee) –  Leeds, West Yorkshire1 May 2019
Worst place ever to work for. Less stress going on the dole. Managers have no clue. Especially the kitchen manager. Tests galore to do in your own time. This place is a joke!!!!
Cons
Everything
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3.0
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Productive and fun workplace, if you don't have a personal life
Barman (Former Employee) –  Manchester, Greater Manchester29 April 2019
Dynamic and enthusiastic are the words i would use to describe the individuals who work for Alchemist but the values of the company are more for saving money then appreciating the staff
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3.0
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Positive Start but becomes negative and tiresome
Host (Former Employee) –  Nottingham10 April 2019
A positive place to work at the start, very exciting seems like a great prospect, particularly when you are working the opening of a new venue. However, this energy starts to wear thin. Staff are worked too hard particularly full time, meaning the staff turnover is high, so often there are many issues with teams as they are constantly new - causing many busy shifts to be often stressful. Furthermore, management are poor - treat you like dirt (and speak to you like it!), often I have entered a shift and been working for 2 hours before a manager has even said hello to me. If staff were valued more and treated better I'm sure they would be much more willing to work as hard as the company expects.

Pros
- Good pay, especially when only working part time
- Nice, friendly teams: the only thing that made shifts bearable at times
- Good with holiday: never have I been denied holiday or day off requests
- Progression: if you ask you will be likely to receive a progression of role, however, this is after months of badgering poor management - it took me 6 months to progress to another role, excluding training

Cons
- Management awful: do not care about your personal wellbeing, whether this be mental health or giving you the correct break time for the shift you have been rota'd on for. Been spoken to like I was nothing so many times, awfully rude and negative
- Expectations: when part time you are expected to throw all enthusiasm and effort into the business, particularly when it comes to tests you have to complete. As a part time worker this aspect stressed me out
  more... to the maximum as I had other very important commitments.
- Unfair Rota System: often you give them your availability and they choose to ignore this and put you on shifts you cannot do, this then becomes your fault and you have to resolve the issue, which is particularly stressful at times. Also told rota system regarding weekends will be fair then you end up working a Saturday night 6 weeks in a row.
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Pros
Pay, Friendly Teams, Holiday Requests
Cons
Management, Expectations, Rota System, Progression
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The biggest mistake of my life. Illegal and inhumane practicing company
Server (Former Employee) –  Nottingham, Nottinghamshire14 December 2018
I was told all the usual BS in my interview. Took the job on as a full time server. 40-45 hours per week contract.

Only worked two days one week. Only worked three days the following week.
Be wary if your expecting to actually work the 40-45hours those two first weeks.

Went through INTENSIVE training for two weeks. On my days off I was studying for tests and exams followed by more tests and more exams.
Loads of online courses to pass AT HOME IN YOUR OWN TIME.
Told to come in on your days off and do some more tests UNPAID.
Passed my final exam as a server only they kept making me work as a busser. No tips. Minimum serving. Management taking my tables off me which I'd served till the last second and putting them into other servers names and they'd get the tip and it goes in their name for the incentives/upselling !!
Spent majority of the time as a SERVER cleaning and looking after other servers tables.

Management is a joke !!
They all talk to you in the most inhumane way possible. I didn't sign up to be sworn at or abused.
They have no thought to your mental, emotional or physical needs.
8/9/10/11 hour shifts with NO break whatsoever.
5/6 hours before your back for your next 12 hour shift. Hence illegal practicing including not allowing you to take a break.
Your watched constantly and critisised continuously. Talk about being on edge !!
Management make it clear you belong with the trash.
You don't exchange pleasantries. Your just there to work. They are there to dictate and to put you down.

Before you sign up to this company ask yourself
  more... - are you signing up to be yourself or for your whole life to be dictated to by these monsters.
They all recruit internally and because they know that noone will sign up externally and stay.
This is the army. No joke. Your all in or all out. And if they don't want you in their company - they'll make it crystal clear they want you out.
If your not there to rub their egos then you'd best run far for the hills.

I worked for this company for 5 weeks. Two weeks training and three weeks officially working.
I am absolutely traumatized by my experience working here.
I've never experienced anything like it in all my life.
I never realised in the UK this kind of treatment is even allowed to happen.
Thankfully I have a supportive partner who told me to get myself out of there or he was coming to get me out!!!!

I worked with monsters for five whole weeks and survived.
I just wish I'd read all of these reviews prior to going for the interview as they are all true. Every single word.
I have no pros to write for this company.
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Pros
Nothing
Cons
ILLEGAL practicing company.
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2.0
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Dont waste your time
admin (Former Employee) –  head office4 December 2018
The concept of working at The Alchemist is much better than the reality.

Passive aggressive management, Directors are very odd individuals and only care about the bottom line and are generally not interested.

Times Top 100 company to work for. From experience this is irrelevant. Managers will boost morale with staff prior to completing forms.

Never experienced such an odd place to work in all my life. Most people were OK but the head office located in Handforth people are very cliquey and newbies will have difficulty integrating themselves. Most are very pretentious .Very strange experience.
Pros
Discounted food, Cool concept
Cons
Poor management, lack of direction
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Money's good but don't stay there long.
Barback (Former Employee) –  Bevis Marks, London.18 November 2018
As a Barback in the Alchemist your at the bottom of the totem pole and the role can be very demanding.
The pay is great only because your doing very long hours.
Management was alright but sometimes there is the odd person that decides to be an emotional wreck towards you (shouts at you like there 10ft taller than you).
Pros
Free Lunches, weekly pay
Cons
Loooong hours, Workload.
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2.7
Based on 41 reviews
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