Review: Sienna Mercato Downtown

From their website: "With three distinct dining options under one roof, Sienna Mercato brings a unique restaurant experience to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Italian with a twist, made fresh daily in our scratch kitchen."

[In the interest of transparency, our co-founder, Stephanie Dooley works at this restaurant.]


Sienna Mercato

942 Penn Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Tel: 412-281-2810

Hours: Vary by floor.

What do you like about working here?

It’s a fast, turn-and-burn atmosphere. Sections are 3-6 tables. We are on a wait every Friday and Saturday, and it isn’t surprising for a weekday during dinner. 6-7 servers on a shift. We have Server Assistants (SAs) who help run food/bus tables. We use Aloha. Relatively consistent income compared to other places I’ve worked. Strong focus on beer, 32 taps. Full bar, but more focus on beer rather than cocktails or wine. Bartenders are great. Rotating taps, we try new beers once they come on. Kitchen is mostly scratch, recently turned to ordering some prepared food. Quality is consistent. Very quick cook times. If you make a mistake, it is easily rectified as the food comes out very quickly, usually within 5 minutes. The kitchen staff is GREAT. They don’t give you a hard time, no ego problems. Good guys back there! We have a good team! Server/Bar turnover is average, no crazy problems on the floor. Inadequate staff are weeded out fast. Need to be on top of your game to handle the volume and still have fun. Lots of staff that has worked there for over a year. We hang out a lot after work and on days off. Good camaraderie, we really help each other out. No one has an ego or is aggressive. Good server team. Average age is 25-26.

What don't you like about working here?

In the last year the executive management team (EMT) has changed, and the atmosphere of the restaurant has changed. As a server, my interaction with the EMT is limited, so my day-to-day life at the restaurant is not really affected. Some decisions they make do impact us, however, and it has created an apprehensive vibe. For example, in the last year, the 3 restaurants in the Sienna Mercato building have gone through over 20 mid-level managers. As a server, I never know who my direct supervisor will be, who will be making my schedule, etc. We come to work one day, and our manager just isn’t there. It feels like there is a target on all our shift leaders’ heads. It’s been a real bummer. We have also been told that if we complain about new policies to the EMT, we will get fired. There was just a change in the uniform policy, and it totally ripped off the servers. We were upset, but when we voiced our concerns, we were threatened. Not a way to build loyalty. Again, as a server, usually we are somewhat distanced from all of this, but it is something that has been a bump in the road. Besides this issue with the leadership, working here is pretty great! If you are a server just looking for a pretty consistent gig, highly recommended. If you are a server hoping to get into shift leader/management, I would STEER CLEAR.


How long did you work there/how long have you been working there? 1-2yrs

How are you paid before tips? Minimum wage

How are tips handled? Keep your tips

Who do you tip out to? Bar, host, runner, busser

What do you make on an average shift before tipout? $101-150

What percentage of your tips do you have to tip out? 20%

What benefits do they offer? Health insurance, dining discounts, paid time off

Do you get a family meal? Yes

Do you have to take menu tests? Yes, but upon hire only

How many servers work there? 15+

Do you have to wear a uniform? Yes, they provide us a t-shirt. We get 2 free shirts a year. We can purchase additional. We can wear any pants we want (except yoga/stretch pants). Mostly we wear jeans. Black shoes. Apron is optional.

How long is your average shift? 5-8 hours

How many managers work there? 5+


Do you own or manage this business and want to respond? Email us and we will be happy to publish your response and talk to you more about our goals; be sure to read this post about our philosophy and what we're aiming to do. Do you work here and feel differently? Want to add more? Submit your own review!

#siennamercato #reviews