Pollo Tropical Careers and Job Application Guide

If there’s one thing I can say about Pollo Tropical, it’s that careers at this fast-food chicken restaurant are without a doubt, not for lazy people! Everyone behind the counter works extremely hard during the daily rush hour at lunchtime and I’ve witnessed on many occasions how team members work in perfect sync to be able to get the food orders out as quickly as possible. 

Additionally, all workers are exposed to their customers while they work. Everyone can see exactly what they are doing because every team member works behind the counter in plain view.

This means as a team member, you will be the star of the show and you have no choice but to work really hard to get orders out in a reasonable timeframe.

Working at Pollo Tropical

Reviews by workers who have experienced the Pollo Tropical workplace are very average, according to Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com. The following are some of the most notable pros and cons of working there:

Pros

  • Coworkers are very friendly
  • If you work hard, you can qualify for raises move up the ladder quickly, as well
  • You are quickly forced to learn about excellent teamwork
  • It’s a great first job for younger workers
  • Sometimes you get free lunch and other times, at least 50% off
  • It’s not difficult to get hired as an entry-level worker
  • Plenty of opportunities for growth within the company for hard workers

Cons

  • The pay is far too low for the amount of work you perform
  • You have to deal with plenty of rude customers
  • Managers need better training
  • Some employees do not feel appreciated by their management
  • Sometimes, team members have to go outside to take orders in the drive-thru in the hot sun
  • You come home smelling like chicken and soup every day
  • Very few breaks or no breaks at all during your shift

Jobs at Pollo Tropical

Entry-level jobs are referred to as team member positions at Pollo tropical. Currently, this restaurant chain offers only part-time jobs for entry-level team members.

The duties for this position cover everything that happens behind the counter. As a team member, you will be either a cook, an order taker, a cashier, or a server. 

There is usually one faithful employee at every Pollo tropical during every shift that buses tables, making sure customers are sitting at sanitized and clean table areas.

The next position available in many areas is that of a shift/team leader. Additionally, each store will have its own restaurant manager.

Pollo Tropical Team Member

In this job, you will usually get offered a part-time position until you prove yourself worthy, at which time you will be offered a full-time job. 

Fast food restaurants typically have a high employee turnover rate. Therefore, a person who wants to come in and work hard while being dependable and trustworthy is going to have a great chance at moving up within this company.

With this job, you will be expected to learn how to use the cashier register and perform every daily function a team member Is responsible for. Without a doubt, team members are what makes the engine of Pollo Tropical run in such an efficient manner.

The starting pay for this position fairly low at just above minimum wage. On average, you can expect to make a minimum hourly wage of $9.75 an hour.

The starting wage is typically about $.50 to $1.00 higher than the minimum wage for your state.

However, if you work hard and prove yourself to management, you may find yourself moving up the chain quicker than you think. This is because there are always many restaurant manager jobs available in any area at any given time.

Pollo Tropical Shift Leader

Also known as the shift/team leader, this job is a great way to train to become an assistant manager and beyond.

You will be leading your team of employees to ensure the success and profitability of your location. Many shift leaders complain that the job has far too much responsibility for the amount of pay you receive.

The starting pay is typically around $11.75 an hour once you get promoted to this position.

Pollo Tropical Assistant Manager

As an assistant manager, you’ll start out somewhere around $33,000-$37,000 a year. For this amount of pay, you have an incredible amount of responsibility.

You will be assisting the restaurant manager in just about every single area of your location. you will open and close your store, and you’ll work difficult hours, including weekends while you supervise your employees. 

This job requires plenty of motivation and skills in dealing with difficult customers as well as interpersonal issues among staff members.

Pollo Tropical Restaurant Manager

This position places you at the top when it comes to having the responsibility to ensure maximum profit and efficient operations at your location.

You will perform many administrative tasks including handling new hires, ordering inventory, scheduling employees, and much more.

During every shift, you will have to supervise up to 15 team members. 

Requirements for this position include having at least an associate’s degree. Also, if you are an active Pollo Tropical employee who is being considered for a promotion to this job, you will have to prove to your management team that you have many qualities they are looking for in a manager.

This includes the ability to supervise a large staff of employees. External candidates trying to apply for a managerial position at Pollo Tropical need to have at least 2 years of restaurant management experience.

How to Apply at Pollo Tropical

To apply at this restaurant chain, you have to submit a Pollo Tropical application online. This company does not allow you to apply in person.

Follow these steps to complete the online application process:

  1. Visit the official Pollo Tropical careers website.
  2. Scroll down to just past the middle of the page and you will see all the job opportunities.
  3. Click on your desired position and you will be redirected to a page with the job results.
  4. Enter your ZIP Code and fill out any other pertinent details to make your search easier.
  5. Once you find a job that interests you, click on it and read the job description. 
  6. Click on the “Apply” button and begin the process by creating a new account.

Hiring Process

Once you submit your application for one of the Pollo Tropical careers, you will usually be contacted within the first 2 weeks.

The hiring manager will assign you a date for an interview and this will occur within 1 to 2 weeks, as well. Usually, once the interview is completed for an hourly team member position, you will receive a decision within that week. Many hourly workers say they were hired on the spot after their initial interview.

For salaried positions, the process will be similar but you’ll possibly be required to attend 2 to 3 interviews before you are hired. 

If for some reason, Pollo Tropical does not call you back after your application online, visit the store you chose in your application and inquire about the status. Make sure you put your best foot forward and show up looking neat and sharp.

Sometimes, applicants get lost in the shuffle and it is your responsibility to follow up on your application.

Pollo Tropical Hiring Age

Pollo tropical prefers their applicants to be at least 18 years of age. This is due to the dangers of having active hot grills just beyond the counter area.

There is simply too much liability for the average 16 or 17-year-old.

Does Pollo Tropical drug test?

Pollo Tropical does not usually drug test its team member applicants before they are hired. 

However, for management positions, you will have to take a drug test and be subjected to a thorough background search if you are hired externally.

History

In 1988, two brothers, Larry and Stuart Harris came up with a delicious tasting grilled chicken recipe. This came after Larry studied Latin American cooking and by conducting his own experiments on his grill in order to perfect the marinade.

In 1983, Pollo Tropical already had 8 stores and later opened up 19 more locations across the East Coast.

The brothers eventually sold their business and this company is now a part of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. The restaurant chain has over 140 locations and employees over 5,650 people.

Benefits

Full-time team members who have worked at least a year in that status, as well as managers, are eligible for health, dental, and vision benefits. There are also 401(k) plans available to those who want to participate.

Pollo tropical also offers a tuition reimbursement program as well as discounts on food for team members and other employees at the restaurant.

Final Thoughts

The one thing that constantly sticks out as negative if you are considering a job at Pollo Tropical is the number of complaints by past and present employees about management.

This may or may not indicate that managers need more training or that there is inadequate training in this company. It could also mean that they’re just not enough qualified candidates taking these jobs.

It’s difficult to determine what the cause is. However, it seems there is a chance that anyone who tries to gain employment at this restaurant chain may have to deal with some type of managerial issues.

Regardless, Pollo Tropical offers competitive pay and benefits like other restaurants/fast-food chains. The job is definitely for someone who is motivated and energetic because there are very few moments where you will be able to relax during your shift.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance within this company. Taking a look at the current jobs available, there are many restaurant manager positions waiting to be taken by qualified candidates. 

A better alternative to this job is the supermarket chain Aldi, which requires the same energetic style and effort as Pollo Tropical but is higher-paying overall.

This is great news for someone wanting to progress through the ranks of being a team member and climbing up the ladder quickly to a management position. A manager salary at Pollo Tropical is consistent with other fast-food restaurant manager salaries, in the range of $40,000-$56,000 a year.

An hourly team member is going to find the work here exhausting but enjoyable. The entry-level position as a team member is a great opportunity for any young worker wanting to progress into the ranks of management or to simply have a steady job.

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