Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Truth About Olive Garden

olive3_1.jpg

Last night, Sophia and I attended a blogger-meetup, greeting Psychotoddler and Mrs. Balabusta, who were visiting L.A. from snowy Milwaukee. Since the Psychotoddler family is kosher, we met at a kosher Chinese restaurant on Pico Blvd. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (although note to restaurant: please hire someone who knows how to make sushi. That was NOT sushi, kosher or not). Also attending the event were Dr. Bean, ball-and-chain, Brett of DadTalk, and Anne of Inland Empress.

There were spirited conversations about many things, including integrity and truth-telling when writing blog posts. The group was extremely intelligent, which, of course, made me think about my blog post for that day, which was about a “Cock Shaker.” So, I’m glad to be back here with so many of my other blogger friends who are as dumb and unsophisticated as I am.

Despite my lack of sophistication, the issue of “integrity in blogging” has been weighing on my mind today. You see, in my last post, there were quite a few joking comments about the Olive Garden chain. Although I didn’t say so directly, I insinuated in my post that I didn’t like Olive Garden. The truth is : I’ve never been to Olive Garden. I’m like the movie reviewer who gives the film “three thumbs up,” but never bothered to see the flick.

In all honesty, I just don’t like those chain restaurants — at least the ones that I have actually gone to. To give you a better understanding of my feelings, I’ve created a list of chain restaurants, in order of my hatred of the chain, from least to greatest:

The Cheesecake Factory
Denny’s
Coco’s
El Torito
TGI Friday’s
Chili’s
Souplantation
Bennigan’s
Outback Steakhouse
Fuddrucker’s
Benihana
Applebee’s
Red Lobster
Pizza Hut

Today, I called Sophia.

“Sophia, I’m taking you to lunch.”

“OK, where to?”

“Olive Garden.”

Silence.

I explained how I owed it to my readers to learn the truth about the Olive Garden, especially if I’m ever going to mention it again. So, I picked Sophia up and we drove to Olive Garden near the Del Amo Mall.

We were surprised to find such a long line for such an uninspiring place. Why were so many people here? Los Angeles has tons of excellent REAL restaurants. Maybe we were missing out on something. Maybe people were just suckers for those stupid commercials where the guy brings his authentic Italian mama to Olive Garden, and she loves it. Loves it!

Inside the restaurant, the decor was anything but “authentic.” There were some badly drawn paintings of the Italian countryside on the wall, and few bottles of Chianti were propped up here and there. “Benvenuto!” was written on the wall in the waiting area. The restaurant staff was not very authentic either, more Redondo Beach High School than Tuscany High School.

We were told that there would be a ten minute wait. This seemed a little bull-shitty, since there were seven other families waiting in front of us. Afterwards, another couple was also told that their wait would be “ten minutes.”

“How could this be?” I asked Sophia. “This made no sense. Do they just tell everyone that the wait is ten minutes? And if our wait is ten minutes, and they came after us, shouldn’t their wait be at least eleven minutes?”

Sophia and I were given this large black beeper contraption that was supposed to go crazy with lights and special effects when our table was ready.

Time passed. Twenty minutes. Sophia and I revealed to each other that we spent the morning snacking and neither of us were too hungry. But it was too late to turn back. I had to learn the truth about the elusive Olive Garden.

BRRRINGBRRRRING!

My hand vibrated as if I had just pulled the trigger of a 45 caliber pistol. The beeper was sending us a message: It was TIME for our reconnaissance meal.

Some girl in the Olive Garden uniform, but wearing USC socks (!) took us to our cozy table, nestled comfortably next to a large obnoxious family celebrating some bratty boy’s birthday. Before we even had a chance to open a menu, Miss USC wanted to know if we wanted anything to drink.

“We serve real Italian wine.”

We said we just wanted water. She looked disappointed, as if we had just rejected her from admittance to our sorority.

Sophia and I looked over to the birthday table to check out the food they were eating. Bland pastas, boring pizzas. Nothing looked very exciting. We were also surprised that the menu was more expensive than we expected, considering it was a “family” restaurant.

“It’s cheaper to just go to the real Italian restaurant on Torrance Boulevard.”

“I guess we’re paying for the ambiance.”

We laughed as the family started singing “Happy Birthday” to the bratty boy.

“Since we’re not too hungry, maybe we can share something.”

As I perused the attractive, flowery-designed menu, I noticed something interesting. For six bucks, you can have as much soup as you want, with three different choices of soup. For another six bucks, you can get an unlimited amount of Olive Garden’s special salad.

“Sounds good,” said Sophia. We can get one unlimited soup and one unlimited salad, and we can share it. They even give you unlimited breadsticks. I think I’m beginning to like this place.”

“Sophia, I don’t think you understand. Each unlimited soup and each unlimited salad is for one person only.”

“What do they care if we share it?”

“Because then what’s to stop ten people from coming in here and ordering one unlimited soup and one unlimited salad and just sharing it all together.”

“That’s ridiculous. Besides, it doesn’t say anywhere, “no sharing.””

“Olive Garden cannot stay in business if everyone shares the same unlimited soup.”

“The place is jammed. They’re making a fortune. No one cares if we share the soup. We’re only two people. How much soup and salad can we eat?”

“It’s stealing. It’s like downloading illegal music.”

“You download illegal music all the time.”

“That’s different. “They see you here doing it. No one sees you at home downloading music.”

“Oh, so if they don’t see you stealing it’s not a crime. You’re some “citizen” of the month!”

“I won’t download anymore music. Is that better?”

“I don’t care. Look, if you’re going to be such a stick in the mud, we’ll each get our own unlimited soup.”

“Fine, that’s best.

“But I don’t care what you say. We’re just getting one salad, I can never finish half of it.”

We ordered our meal. The waitress seemed pissed that we were such cheapo customers, and assumed she was going to get a small tip. We each ate three bowls of soup. But I wouldn’t touch the salad, which only made Sophia act like more of a temptress.

“Try it. Just take a bite.”

“No”

“Stop being such a wimp.”

Which was the exact same thing Eve told Adam.

“OK, I’ll try it. Just a second. Wait…. OK..”

I tried the salad. Sophia shook her head in disbelief.

“Did you just wait until the waitress walked away before you ate one tiny piece of lettuce, so she wouldn’t see you eating it?”

“No.”

“Yes you did!”

“Fine. I don’t like to be humiliated. What if she said something. What if a spotlight went on us and voice came on saying: “Look over here everyone. This couple is stealing an unlimited salad because they were too cheap to order two unlimited salads like they were supposed to.””

“You need help. Serious help. Why don’t you blog about THIS tonight?”

“About what?”

“About how you were afraid of eating the salad because the nineteeen year old waitress might see you and look down at you?”

“I’m not going to do that.”

“Wimp.”

HAPPY NOW, SOPHIA?

By the way, the soup and salad (we never finished out first bowl of salad) at Olive Garden were pretty good.

So, here’s my revised list:

The Cheesecake Factory
Olive Garden
Denny’s
Coco’s
El Torito
TGI Friday’s
Chili’s
Souplantation
Bennigan’s
Outback Steakhouse
Fuddrucker’s
Benihana
Applebee’s
Red Lobster
Pizza Hut

Today on Blogebrity: As the Blog Turns

231 Comments

  1. Question: why go to a Chinese restaurant for sushi?

  2. Love this post, Neil. Coming from Texas originally Olive Garden was huge. I have to say I like it, but I don’t have alot of experience in fine dining anyway.

  3. That family celebrating the bratty kid’s birthday is actually there all the time. They work for Olive Garden and there’s one in every restaurant.

    It seems to me that the guiding principle behind chain restaurants is that if something is bad, you just have to give people more of it to make it better.

  4. Okay, obviously you’re joking about a chain called “Souplantation.” C’mon – seriously. You’re kidding, right?

  5. My thoughts exactly, Jenny. Souplantation? Really?

    I am sure there must be an Olive Garden in the Boston area, but for the life of me I don’t think I have seen one in the city centre. This, I believe, is a good thing, and a point in Boston’s favour.

  6. I hate the Cheesecake factory because they are so snotty and pretentious over subpar dinners.

    The cheesecake is okay, but I’ve had better.

  7. I went to undergrad in upstate NY and The Olive Garden was THE gourment restaurant in the area. In comparison to dorm food, I guess it would be considered gourmet.

    Fuddrucker’s? Is that for real?

  8. The Olive Garden actually has a seedy underbelly. I dated a guy who worked at one in Peoria, IL. It was basically a covert drug operation, fronting as a bad Italian restaurant. Junkies were ALWAYS coming in wanting to share to unlimited soup and salad.

  9. if there is a next time and you find yourself in a ‘ten minute wait’, the proper protocol is to hang a quick right and sit at the bar and drink your face off

  10. Mrs. Balabusta and I had a similar experience last night at the KOSHER Italian place. I ordered a coffee, but she did not. They brought one cup and a little pot of coffee to the table. After I finished my cup, there was still enough for at least one more in the pot. Mrs. B. wanted my cup so she could pour her own. I tried to refuse. What if they found out? Maybe they’d charge me for TWO cups?? In the end I relented and gave her my cup, but I fear I can never go back there again.

  11. Anne, we actually went out for Chinese food, but they served sushi there as well.

    BTW Neil ate my sushi. So I guess it wasn’t that good, huh?

  12. Dude —
    I’m pretty sure I live 1/2 block away from said kosher Chinese restaurant. You should’ve told me and I would’ve poppped my drunk self (I had a friends bday party in the afternoon) in to say Hi!

  13. Fudrucker’s and Souplantation are real alright…The lines are usually out the door at Souplantation (a cafeteria style/all you can eat,soup and salad bar). Maybe you guys should stick with In and Out Burger…are they Kosher?

  14. I was trapped in a small town in Southeastern Minnesota for FIVE YEARS. Leashed to a beeper with a 13 mile range. ALL they had were chain restaurants. They’re fine for re-fueling, but offer nothing in terms of a “dining experience.”

    Like in this example, quantity is a substitute for quality. Waitstaff know nothing about the food, and the owner is some faceless executive.

    Thank goodness I’m back home in NY.
    Namaste.
    ~HDJ

  15. “The group was extremely intelligent”

    Hahahaha! Had you fooled. Most of my conversations start out with “Please don’t poop on the floor. Mommy hates it when you poop on the floor.”

    “Cockshaker” is a step up. Trust me.

    And I agree on the kosher sushi. Bleah.

    (Does “bleah” qualify as an extremely intelligent comment?)

  16. the soup salad and breadsticks are the only good things about that place.

  17. Wow, I was comparing my sophistication to yours…now that I know you aren’t where the hell does that leave me. I guess it’s because I like the Olive garden, their bread sticks rule.

  18. My sister thinks the Olive Garden is the greatest restaurant ever. She also has brain cancer. Coincidence? I think not.

  19. My wife and I went to Oliva Garden. Once. On a gift card. Enough said.

  20. Dude, Fuddrucker’s is so real. They have those totally awesome trivia TV games there. And I was all burning shit up trivia-wise, until I got to a question about Star Trek, but then my friend starts shouting “It’s dilithium crystals! It’s dilithium crystals!” What a fucking relief that was.

    Anyway, there was this restaurant that I always swore was a chain in Upstate NY, but I only saw one of them. It was called Rolling Rock. Is that a chain? Is this the wrong forum to investigate this?

  21. i’ve never been to an El Torito, Coco’s, or Souplantation. N/A in the DC area. but yeah, I liked olive garden in college, but that’s cuz it was cheap.

  22. You don’t know “humiliating” until you’ve ordered a Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity from one of my favorite chain restaurants, IHop.

  23. Ashbloem — You can find boston areas Olive Gardnes here: http://tinyurl.com/78q4w. Enjoy!

    Everyone else can search by zip code. They make it so convenient and classy to find a restaurant near you, like your own personal concierge: http://www.olivegarden.com/

    Anne — you and your black humor! By the way, I completely blocked out the “Sizzler” and “Marie Callender’s” two of my parents all-time favorites.

    Subgirl — maybe because it’s LA, but I didn’t think Olive Garden was all that cheap. It was at least ten bucks for a bowl of spaghetti.

    Scotch — Actually, local and regional chain restaurants can sometimes be interesting, like this one in upstate NY — especially if they have pies. I didn’t realize Souplantation is regional. I think it’s called something else out East, something like Sweet Tomatos.

    Annie — I specifically didn’t mention IHOP even though it is technically a chain restaurant because I consider it in a league of it’s own. Although their food is pretty awful (except for breakfast), I have a great fondness for IHOP. I live two blocks from one and go there all the time. Maybe they just don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are — a place for pancakes and that jug of coffee they give you. And they are open 24 hours, which is cool in itself. They would beat the crap out of a Denny’s any day of the week.

  24. I see Chuck E. Cheeses is not on your list. It’s HELL, I tell you! HELL! I thought it odd the first time I went in there and found that they serve alcohol. Five minutes passed and suddenly it became crystal clear.
    And I STOLE PEPPEROCINI PEPPERS FROM MY HUSBAND’S SALAD PLATE AT RUBY TUESDAY’S THIS WEEKEND!!! They specifically have their ~No Sharing~ policy outlined on their menu. Right next to their capital punishment policy. Enlightening!
    ~L.

  25. What in the name of Satan is a “Fudrucker’s?” I won’t even elaborate on what act I think it sounds like it might be.

  26. In Champaign, IL, Olive Garden is the place you take a first date. This is mainly because you have to drive there from the UIUC campus, thus emphasizing that you have a car. Also, some of the waitstaff are pretty strung out and might not card you when you order cheap wine. You might get laid if you can afford not to share an unlimited soup and salad.

  27. i’ve never even heard of most of those places, guess i’m alot more unsophisticated than your blogging friends. i also don’t have a zip code.

  28. i think i went to the olive garden once. it’s a hazy memory. i did have a guy recently suggest he take me out to a “nice” dinner. his suggestion? the olive garden.

    yeah, no. i didn’t take him up on his offer.

    i am with you on that list. i firmly believe that the cheesecake factory is responsible for obesity in america. those portions!

  29. There are definitely worse chain restaurants than The Olive Garden. Especially considering they serve magnum sized bottles of wine, which – trust me – lends a whole new hilarity to any dining experience.

  30. Ms. Sizzle, BLASPHEMY! Good night I love me some chain restaurants. There is some comfort in being able to order something you know you’ll like, such as a 4.5-pound meatloaf slice with a mountain of friend onions on top. Cheesecake Factory responsible for obesity in America . . . sheesh . . .

  31. Kosher places are weird. There’s a kosher “pizza”/middle eastern place on the Lower East Side that got closed down for, like, two whole days (smirk) for health violations. The place was always pretty disheveled looking, but was packed to the gills with the Orthodox “power lunch” crowd every day. I wonder– are dirt and mouse droppings considered kosher?

  32. “Try it. Just take a bite.”

    “No”

    “Stop being such a wimp.”

    Which was the exact same thing Eve told Adam

    a) that was classic.

    b) I actually enjoy Olive Garden and Red Lobster and they are always packed.

  33. Neil’s a wimp….haha

    and i agree with the entire list….

    thanks for looking out yet again neil

  34. That was a Revenge of Chinese, Neil: they recieved your letter.

    IHOP: lunched there once, on exotic trip to New Jersey; ordered seafood puncakes – and got basic sweet batter pancakes with shrimps immersed. Although the waitstaff were pretty nice: after paying and escaping in a hurry, trying to suppress puking reflex, we discovered we left the wallet and pair of glasses on the table; we were able to recover them 3 days afterwords.

  35. Elvira — No this was the most goyish kosher restaurant you’ve ever seen. It was elegantly decorated and you would never even know it was a kosher restaurant until the Chinese waiter started doing that Russian “bottle dance” on top of the tables.

    You think there might be a chain restaurant idea in that?

  36. I come from a family that loves the chain restaurants… it’s one of my dirty little secrets.

  37. the olive garden near del amo? do you live in the south bay? that’s awesome cuz i grew up there! and incidentally, I’ve only been to an olive garden twice and my best memory is of their breadsticks.

    oh, and fuddruckers rules. perfect place to go if you want a burger larger than your head.

  38. Dan-E, Sophia lives (and I used to) in Redondo Beach. Next time you’re out here, let’s go surfing, dude! (On the internet, I mean. I never go into the water. Too cold!)

  39. The Cheesecake factory has the worst cheesecake in the world. Blech.

    I like Friday’s and Chili’s though – good bad for you fried stuff…

  40. How Souplantation isn’t first on your list is a conundrum that I will take to my grave.

    That place is capital G, r-o-s-s.

  41. Friday’s desserts are actually pretty good. I HATE The Olive Garden. The Cheesecake Factory makes me happy because they serve Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. (I must be the only person in the USA who orders that from a place called The Cheesecake Factory.)

  42. i love the olive garden for this reason:

    one time, at the “og” of tuscaloosa, al, i underaged drank with a best friend . . . and we smoked and cried about things that mean the world to you when you are 22 and you think that you will live forever.

  43. I love the square vibrating thing. That’s my favorite part.

  44. I would agree with almost everything on your list except the outback…which as far steak chain restaurants go, it isn’t too bad (and yes I know how good steak can be, I am former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse junkie)but I don’t know about LA, but no way should you ever put the Cheesecake Factory in the same grouping as those other restaurants. I live in large metro area, and even after 15 years in the same location, you still can’t get a table without an hour wait at the Cheesecake Factory, no matter what day of the week it is.

    And oh yea, the Olive Garden, it does suck. Yuck!

  45. That was hilarious! ALthough I do love Olive Garden, maybe I have just been to the better ones… ROFL

  46. now all those places you listed are “fine dining” here. but thank you for the entertaining look at your lunch conversation!

  47. Denny’s should be much lower on that list…only pimps(real live street working ones) and prostitutes love Denny’s. At least go to IHOP.

  48. Intelligent people are so boring.

    I loved this post. I’ve heard about Applebee’s but know none of the joints you mention apart Pizza Hut. It’s yucky. They make strong challenging teeth here. I tried the knife and quit because i was afrid the pizza would fly and hit someone in the face causing a PHD (Permanent Head Damage).

    BTW, Thanks for stopping by my new home. Bring a plant next time you come!

    Fitèna

  49. I completely understand – I’m a total wimp about little rules. Like, I get nervous using someone else’s card at Blockbuster. Really.

  50. I shall enlighten you all about Olive Garden, for I am wise and also I ate there about once a week for two years straight in high school.

    1. Olive Garden is more expensive in bigger cities. I come from Upstate NY, but when I saw the menu prices in NYC my eyeballs nearly fell out. Yeesh. Where I grew up you can get the lunch combo of soup, salad, breadsticks for under $8. Or you can go super(souper?) cheap and just order soup for $4 and eat all the free breadsticks.

    2. The waitstaff will get fired if they don’t sell a minimum amount of booze. That’s why USC frowned when you declined the wine. Booze quota. Came into effect probably six years ago.

    I like it for lunch but its definitely not Real Italian food.

  51. I’m still not seeing what the hell is wrong w/Olive Garden??!
    It’s a basic salad.
    It’s a basic soup.
    It’s a basic pasta.
    It’s usually a rather strong Cosmopolitan, which makes all of the above THAT MUCH BETTER.
    In my humble opinion of course. Besides, my redneck, truckdriving, cowboy daddy loves it! (so you see I have to stand up for it)…..all right. I’ll leave.

    3T

  52. I found your blog through Colleen’s blog (communicatrix) and I’m not much of a comment poster, but I’m kind of obsessed with Olive Garden right now, I actually ate there for lunch today, so then when I read this post, I had to comment because I have a question and I need to know the answer. Please:

    WHICH SOUP DID YOU EAT?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  53. Erik, excellent question. There were three choices — minestrone, some sort of beef with vegetables that tasted just like the minestrone, but with beef, and a creamy sausage one that was the worst.

    Next time, go for the one with the beef. It was pretty good.

  54. Neal, first off, if I could edit my last comment, I would spell “there” correctly. Second, I think you’re so wrong on the creamy sausage soup! It kinda makes me feel sick, I’ll admit, but still, it’s totally superior to the other two.

  55. I was actually having a conversation about chain restaurants, the Olive Garden specifically, just last night. I just can’t justify eating at a place like that when I live in NYC,the food capital of the world. There are so many exceptional places to go. However, where I’m from in the Midwest, the Olive Garden is a great dinner out. It’s the place to be, along with Appleby’s and TGIFriday’s.

  56. A blogger meet in Los Angeles and I didn’t know about it… That’s what I get for getting backlogged on my feeds.

  57. Dude, that list HAS to be upside down. No way can you hate Chili’s MORE than TGI Fridays! TGI is like half a notch not-worse than Applebees. Ugh!!!

    But hey, to each their own, right?

  58. Neal – I am also a card-carrying member of the “Olive Garden Wimp Club.” I have a very hard time bringing myself to share the food that I believe I am not supposed to be sharing. Must be that staunch Catholic upbringing (I have been bearing the burden of redeeming Woman from Eve’s temptation of Adam ever since I was born.)

    This said, I am not a big fan of chain restaurants. I find it very weird that they always look alike, no matter what city or region they are located. Eating is a fine art in my book (I am French, hehe), and it’s not something that should be governed by some anonymous and dictatorial corporate entity. I encourage everyone to try to discover local, independently owned, and fine little restaurants located around the place where they live.

  59. Olive Garden catches a lot of flack, but I have to say, there’s really nothing wrong with it. The food is really good in some cases, downright great in some others. I may be biased because my husband and I met and fell in love while working at the Olive Garden, but we each worked there about 3 years and never got sick of it. And I may be just easy to please because I grew up in a hick town in Missouri where we had to run over a quail with our pickup trucks if we wanted to eat. But I still say the OG is some good eatin.

  60. I ENJOYED YOUR COMMENTS QUITE AMUSING.I HAVE WORKED IN THE OLIVE GARDEN AND WAS QUITE IMPRESSED WITH THIER GENUINE COMMITMENT TO 100% CUSTOMER’S SATISFACTION. FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ENJOY DINING IN NYC AND EVEN TRYING TO COMPARE IT TO OG. ASK IF YOU CAN SEE THE KITCHEN. I GUARANTEEYOU WOULD NEVER EAT OUT IN NYC AGAIN. THEKITCHENIS VERY CLEAN AT OG. ATLEAST I KNOW I WON’T GET SICK.

  61. Olive garden is an exceptional concept.Darden is on the stock exchange ,and doing well. And sanitation is job 1 in the front lines of the kitchen . job standards and requirements , are strict and to the letter on health standards,and beyond!the’re are strict standards for training,how to handel hot ,and how to handel cooling foods.Holding temps are monitered with thermometers,as well as cooling and reheating proceedures.A Cullinary managers is in place to monitor all employees in production.

  62. well dude, you have a point, some olive garden restaraunts are real crappy, but i live in canada, in vancouver, and the one up here is REALLY good, its not like the other ones, its really good, the food is also really good too…not all olive gardens are like that.

  63. also, the one in new york city is excellent as well.

  64. Your a moron and your stingy. Why would you go to a restaurant when your not hungry? BTW it’s not the Truth about the OG. It’s your opinion, so it would be your truth.

  65. We go to Outback Steakhouse all the time because it’s one of the only restaurants on the planet that serves a decent gluten-free menu. (My 3-y.o. has Celiac Disease.) It’s pretty good.

  66. The Olive Garden in Eugene Oregon is in my opinion, really good.neither husband or I drink and never once have they seemed dissapointed or annoyed that we said no to the wine.
    also we’ve never had to wait a long time to go in we have went there expecting to, but we never have waited very long, and if anything isn’t to your likeing they will replace it and then give you free desserts without any hassle.
    one time we went there and it took a little while longer for our dinner to come-seriously not that long and the manager came out and apologized, we had not even realized that it was taking longer than normal we said “no you’re fine” and we got free deserts.
    buy the way the soup and salad combo is only six bucks and it’s pretty good.
    I like the mussels di napoli -it’s an appetizer but I eat it with breadsticks
    they are good dipped in the broth it’s about 9 bucks and you’d get more than you expected.
    I agree many items are overpriced but there are a lot of good lunch options at least.
    they have always been really generous with us, I believe in turn from the way we treat them.
    Just like most places, if you treat them well they will treat you well

  67. Just by chance, I will be in Eugene Oregon next month! I will definitely stop in. Do they take coupons?

  68. I can’t believe you get the whole–you can’t share the all you can eat salad and soup thing! No one gets it! You are amazing!

  69. Seems that your list is made for people like me that eat out with the wife and do enjoy all the restaurants on your list. yes they are all chains but who cares, they are priced right for us and do create a atmosphere of enjoyment. If we were in the bucks we probably would go else were but being who we are we find these restaurantsas many others to fit our life style. If you got the bucks you don’t have to visit these places and save the list for us.

  70. hey man, i definately dig the fuddruckers. being from wisconsin however, makes for some serious bingefatty-eating.

    their burgers are bomb as hell.

  71. Eyebrows Raised

    July 20, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I hate to be a party pooper, but you really didn’t try any of the food. I’m no Olive Garden fan myself but at least I based my opinion on an actual sampling of the menu!

  72. Thanks, eyebrows. But where are all these Olive Garden defenders coming from?

  73. Eyebrows Raised

    July 23, 2007 at 7:41 am

    It looks like some of the posters are defenders, as is their right. But many of them are just people who have actually tried some of the dishes. You can’t get a good impression of the scope of a menu when you just try the boring soup and salad. Ya know?

  74. Hello, Olive Garden employee here. The reason your server may have seemed disappointed when you didn’t choose to try wine is that Olive Garden corporate eats, sleeps, and breathes wine sales. Come on, what other drink can cost $9/glass? Every night our managers set wine goals and check to see if we have met them at the end of the day. The only time my manager ever gave me praise was when I tripled the set wine goal for the night. Wine sales=profit, profit comes from sending your servers to the table with a bottle of wine to suggest.

    The unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks is $6.95 a person for lunch and $8.95 for dinner. It has been the same price for fifteen years and the server does loads of work (soup and salad requires TONS more work than serving any other meal) for a lame check total (and usually, a god-awful tip). Don’t be cheap, if you want salad AND soup, pay the measly $2 more per person. Olive Garden is not a high class restaurant, but a lot of college kids are trying to pay their bills by serving there. Lame ass. I’m guessing you have never been a server.

  75. Hey, at least it sounds like you guys got some service and food at your local OG’s. We went to one at 9pm on Saturday, was told the wait was 20 minutes. We waited for 50 minutes (with 2 very hungry children) before asking if there was a problem, only to discover our pager number had been written down wrong! We could have waited all night and no one would have called us! We were seated and continued to wait another 15 minutes with no one addressing us at our table…no water, doughy breadsticks, or salad. So we left. I will not go back to another OG.

  76. Yes we are threatened dailywith losing our jobs if we dont’ sell enough crappy wine. I have seen people get fired for that one thing. We are wine salespeople/soup and salad hustlers. People protest this! Also protest the politicians who are in the corporations’ back pockets and allow some people to only get paid two dollars an hour! Supposedly we make the rest in tips… but cheapasses come in and run us into the ground with soup and salad refills and then leave a dollar,.. so we really don’t make enough to live on. Thanks, it’s assholes like you that don’t tip, that perpetuate poverty among single mothers who can not do anything but wait tables for a living because they didn’t learn any useful skills before the man who lied to them and told them to have kids, up and left and never has to pay child support because the government doesn’t pursue deadbeat fathers if it’s too difficult because he’s out of state and doesn’t work but commits crime and sells drugs for a living. Shitheads! Why don’t you think about that, and leave a decent tip. It’s customary and YOU FUCKING KNOW IT.

  77. we went to your restaurant in bloomingdale il we wlked in there were 2 men and 2 very young girls they asked how many we told them 2 we were never seated after 1/2 hour we left.i gather you do not want customers in your restaurant.very sad

  78. The Fudruckers in Annapolis (20 years ago) had a dead cow hanging from a hook behind a window as you walk in. You can still find this place across from the Annapolis mall, without the cow. What you say no dead cow in the peoples republic of Maryland…

  79. You could have both ordered the soup and salad combo, and both would have had unlimited soup and salad for $5.95 each. Why do people think its ok to steal? Olive Garden works on an honor system. Some people just aren’t very honest. So sad…

  80. Are you serious? You went to the Olive Garden and expected..what? Anyone with half a brain knows what to expect from a corporate giant in the food industry. Too many of your cynical observations gave you away as to what kind of critical pessimistic, nitpicker you seem to be. For instance, how did you know the birthday boy was “bratty”? And as for the hostess, do you honestly think that a teenager who’s working for minimum wage at the OG is really putting that much thought into table availability times for the HORDES of people who inundate those places daily? 99.9% of the people who go to the OG regularly (who are incidentally NOT on a fact-finding mission) just want to hear that they will be seated “soon” and then they take their place with the other cattle and wait patiently (or sometimes not) until they are called. What’s going to be your next revelation? maybe the fact that NOT EVERYTHING IS A DOLLAR AT THE DOLLAR STORE?? Horrors!! The Og is just what it is. I had never even been there before I started working there as I don’t tend to frequent chain type establishments but if you wanna make a buttload o’ money off of people who don’t know any better, I gotta tell ya’-this is the place. No offense, but I think your rant just kind of states what a lot of people think is pretty obvious…

  81. This is the Hotel Reality – Check In Please!

    I don’t know what people expect when they got o a restaurant.
    I expect to eat and have a drink with my meal. I realize that if you go at a peak time, you will have to wait.
    I get the impression that those who are down on a place because they try to make a profit, would be better off at McDonald’s (they make loads of money) and they would probably want to bring their own bottle of Skrew Kappa or Riunite in a brown paper bag and pour it into their water glass – no servers to oversee the sneaky deed.
    Don’t be offended by a place of business that tries in its own way to be successful.
    Just don’t go back.
    Both Parties will be happier!

  82. sigh @ you… first of all…if you’re going to write a blog, atleast attempt to be responsible and dont lie or exagerate to make a point. the soup is not more than 3.95 by itself in any price bracket throughout the country and the salad is 4.95. the soup&salad is 6.95 at the most for lunch, lower when on promotion. the og has tried hard to maintain this extremely low price because it knows its guests value it and it wants something for everyone. and do you go to buffets and pay for one person…grab a plate and give it to your friends? cheap ass….

  83. just want to say that if you have ever left less than five dollars as a tip you should have stayed home because clearly you cant afford to dine out anyway. especially on a soup salad combo at o.g. thats ridiculous!

  84. I work there and that is cheap!

  85. I’m form Columbus, Ohio and Olive Garden is what most here know it for: faux Italian food on the cheap with a salad bowl that feeds four people…if I want high dining, I frequent Mitchels, Hyde Park or Ruth Chris…

  86. I work for the Olive garden as a server and I just want to tell you… you are a total douche bag, who is cheap and pretentious. Get a life, you broke loser.

  87. I’m so happy to be so far away from chain restaurants. In a chain restaurant, there’s no owner to get to know, who greets you with a big smile when you come back. There’s no cat curled up on your chair when you pull it out (Move over Tartine!). When I’m lobely, I go see Antoine at L-homme Tranquil, so he will give me a big open-armed hug and then kiss each one of my cold cheeks. We do the same ritual:

    Antoine: What will you have as a little aperitif?
    Moi: Oh, you tell me.
    Antoine: Certainly. I have a nice little Muscat that you will love.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

    I commend you on your bloghonesty (it just seemed like it should be one word), and the supreme sacrifice you made in going to the Olive Garden. I must admit that I too am waaaay too worried about what the 19-year-old waitress thinks of me. Geez, And I’m 50!

  88. My goodness, you need to get a job as a server at the OG and see what it is like. I think your outlook may be different. Also children (the supposedly bratty boy) do have a place in our society. I wonder how you grew up? Please do us all a favor and stay in your trendy little urban lifestyle, don’t have any kids and stay out of places you don’t want to go. We don’t want you there anyway. I’m sure the girl serving you has more sense than you but she has to work. What did you expect the olive garden to import servers from Italy for you? Get a life.

  89. i work at the olive garden and it’s not great, although some dishes are pretty good. but dude it’s $6 for unlimited soup AND salad for lunch, and if someone asked me if they could share it I would consider them cheap redneck bastards and definitely say no.

  90. I’ve worked at Olive Garden and so has my husband and we still eat there every week and never once were we threatened with losing our jobs if we didn’t sell enough alcohol. Some of the OG servers sell a lot of alcohol, some don’t sell any. Tell me any restaurant that doesn’t at least want to sell alcohol? And if you say, “No, thanks, not interested,” and just order water instead, it’s brought to you with no problem and no hesitation.

    I’ve also eaten Italian food in Italy many, many times as I used to live there and I’ll tell you this…Olive Garden is better. It’s tastier. At least most of the dishes are. The salmon at Olive Garden could be better and so could the salad and breadsticks, and they could give you more mashed potatoes with the Stuffed Chicken Marsala, but the rest of the food is terrific.

    And anyone who complains about the wait just has himself/herself to blame. Almost all Olive Gardens have “call ahead seating” so the wait is greatly minimized. Just phone them and tell them what time you’re coming in and your name will be added to the list before you even arrive.

    And Olive Garden is clean. While the wait staff is not pressured to sell wine, they do have to be clean and well-groomed and they have to wash their hands every hour.

    Mitchell’s in Columbus, Ohio? That’s just nothing but a waaaaaay overpriced steakhouse! LOL

  91. I just left Olive Garden after working there for 2 years. Don’t worry, the server wouldn’t care if she saw you eating the salad, she already thinks your cheap. I agree the food is no good. People come for it’s quantity, not quality. Everyone stuffs themselves with the soup and salad and breadsticks and by the time their average size meals come out, they are stuffed. What I did notice about your blog: you mentioned everything wrong with the OG that is really out of anyones control. It’s not OG’s fault the family next to you was loud, nor that the hostess made up her own number. (by the way, there is more than one table that can get up at a time so they are not going to add a minute to each wait time. It is an estimate) I thought I hated that place, but here I am sticking up for it! Ironic. But really, I think everything you judged that place on (besides the half ass food) was not something that would make the whole resturant a bad place, like the paintings on the wall. And about the servers, do you really think the managers are going to waste so much time trying to find only italian people to greet the guests?

  92. As a manager in the restaurant biz, and a former one for OG, i can tell you that wine, for ANY restaurant, is the LOWEST profitable item on a menu. it always amazes me how much people “know” about the restaurant biz. we get emails all the time from chest pounding idiots all that completely expect the world for a 10.00 plate of food.

    yes you are. i see you. you know who you are too. were creatures of habit. more on that later. SHUT UP AND EAT IT!!! (Gosh it feels good to say that!)

    anyone one know what the most profitable item is in EVERY restraunt?!!!! come on “know it all’s”… if you guessed wine, you’re wrong. if you guesses any alcohol, wrong again. if you guessed ANY food item, bzzzzz! If you guessed soda pop, you win a free refill!!!!! thats right sugarpants. soda pop. a bottle of wine holds about 3.5/4 glasses of wine. if you see a bottle of wine on a menu for 30.00, they probably paid 7/10.00 for it. they net 20 bucks and they’re paying the bills. but a box of soda is about 48.00. (that could vary depending on where you live.) in a box, which is a syrup concentrate that mixes (actually called “brixing”) at the fountain,(…where a person presses the cup against the lever and it pours into glass) holds 500 20oz servings. do the math and you’ll find that a glass of soda “costs” .096. now look at your check the next time you go out to eat. you fav place to eat is probably charging you 2/2.25 a glass. so they’re making 1000.00 or more on a box of coke! “Oh, well you’re not figuring in refills”. alas, you still don’t know it all. the industry says you’ll only have 1.6 glasses of sodypop when you dine. moreover, when you add ice to the 20oz glass, we are really only pouring about 11/12ozs.

    why do you think your local filling station can sell you a 55gallon drum of soda for .79. so go ahead sugarmuffin take the extra little sip before you top off. *wink wink* no one is looking. no, the truth is, no one cares. they’re ripping your head off!

    alas, why? why? why does your manager want you to sell wine? dumb dumb managers are told those things. the ones who are drones and are forbidden to look at a P&L because they’re incompetent and the information will blind them. the pee brain cannot handle it. so, why? because it’s about the money!

    “wait, bigrollie, you just said it wasn’t about the money.”

    but it is! get drunk on beer; argue with your buddies about your favortite sports team. get buzzed on liquor; fight, throw up, sleep with people you don’t know or your brothers wife (she was always hot) etc. get loopy on the vino; love, peace, happy, my cheeks are fuzzy, everybody sing a song. and my brothers wife is still hot. and he is looking at my wife the same way. why? we are all happy. gosh billy, you’re so smart. did you do good in school today? of course you did. hello server guy. i know you forgot the breadstix and that i ordered salmon and you brought me a roast beef sandwich from arby’s. but thats ok. i love you. come, sit with us. oh you’re closing? ok we’ll take the bill. (a fight ensues with all parties grabbing FOR the bill. heck, give us the table next to us as well. we love them.)

    gosh everybody. i just love you all so much! [i]lets come back to olive garden next week and do it again![/i] no billy, you can only have soda. but you can have as much of it as you like.

    so folks, you see, it’s not about the money they make on the wine as it is the experience. we, as humans, are not only creatures of habit, we like to go where we are happy.

    no i do not work for og anymore. i left them 5 years ago. yes im tired of all the people that think they know this buisness. yes, wine is probably the LEAST profitable item on any menu. followed closely by steak and specialty seafood like lobster and fish.

  93. moreover, does sophistication require you to be cheap? sharing ssb??! really?

    and some of you people out there that wait excessivly long past your quote time, at some point, it becomes your own fault. if they tell you 20 mins and you dont drop in at the host stand at 25, you’re on your own after that. the kids are 16-18 years old. theyve never seen you or do they know you.

    things that piss off restaraunt people:

    1. you expecting them to remember you.
    2. coming in and getting a table while waiting for the rest of your party is still coming. like a half hour from now. you selfish ass! you’re taking up a table that is making (or not because you’re sitting there) money. the waiting area is UP FRONT!
    3. getting made because you took a table waiting for your other party to show. all the while, your other party was seated on the other side of the restaurant. if you just would have stayed where you were supposed to, you’d have your party. i know, i know, you told the girl up front you were waiting for a blonde woman with a black shirt on.
    the stupid birthday song. everyone hates it. including the receipiant.
    4. we dont like this table, can we have that one over there? then get pissed when no one greeted you for 15 mins because you sat yourself in a section with no server. if you would have sat where you were taken, you’d be eating by now.
    i could go on and on……

  94. Non-Highlighted Heather

    March 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I worked in the restaurant business for years as well. I know all the frustrations that go along with it. But the bottom line to all servers, managers, and cooks is THE CUSTOMERS ARE WHY YOU HAVE A JOB, so treat them well. If you don’t like having to actually serve people in a SERVICE ORIENTED business, then shut the fuck up and find another industry that suits your needs better.

    Yeah, this is an old blog post, but this person annoyed me.

  95. ahhh yes. that maybe why we have a job. but it doesn’t make us like them or excuse ridiculous request from dumb people. true, we deal with it. and i will continue to get paid for doing so. but i hope people read it and look introspectivly and say, “dang, i had no idea i sucked that bad.”

    your particularly venomous response connotes i hit you close to home. maybe you suck.

  96. Non-Highlighted Heather

    March 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Ah yes, the old “struck a nerve” deflection. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Because I worked for so long as a server, I treat them like gold, and tip likewise, even if the service was lacking. However, being in the restaurant business, I also know the shitty attitudes of many people who work in the industry. Customer service is a lost art form and one that most businesses are sadly lacking in. I found your post to be a telling reflection on the attitudes of many in the restaurant business. And the way you delivered your message will do anything but cause people to realize (how did you so eloquently put it?) that they suck. If anything, you’re just fueling the fire of their high maintenance asshole-y attitude toward servers and managers.

    If you wish to stand atop a soap box and scold the masses, perhaps you should do it in a manner that might actually be astutely persuasive.

  97. Anthony Poluitia

    March 27, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Hay you get the all you can eat soup & salad and bread sticks for 5.99 not just the soup or salad. What a clown, get a grip and even a life and a job. Lady your a joke.

  98. As a server @ the OG, I’d like to chime in. Depending on location and local demographics, an Olive Garden might just be the finest dining in its vicinity. I’m in Douglasville, GA and the people just love the bread, the salad, the cups and cups of italian dressing, as well as the pounds*I mean* ounces of sauce. Do you feel sick yet? Basically we’re no better or worse than the people we serve and they want comfort high sugar high carb food. They don’t care about real italian dining, just the zuppa tuscana and MORE bread!

  99. “Sophia and I were given this large black beeper contraption that was supposed to go crazy with lights and special effects when our table was ready.”

    Have you never seen this before?? What world do you live in?

  100. By the way, you’re a freaking CHEAP-o!!!!!!!! I’m only 17.

  101. In our small (50,000) midwest town, OG is finer dining. It is not cheap. Our typical bill is $30-40 with NO alcohol. Usually tip 18-20%. We never knew you could get soup and salad for $7. Have to try it some time.

    The menu is semi-gourmet. The texture, flavors, and presentation have been well thought out. There are better restaurants in bigger cities, but they are a 40-60 minute drive for us.

    Hurray for Olive Garden!!

  102. Disgruntled Server

    December 3, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Work at an OG in California for the past 6 months and let me just say how much i hate customers like you! First your getting Unlimited soup and salad for 6 maybe 7 bucks and your complaining? Yeah your the only one who ever had the idea of Sharing it!? I could care less that you do but the more you eat the more i have to bring refills and yet the bill stays the same cheap ass amount and people dont take into consideration the fact i ran my ass off for their buffet of soup and salad for my 2 dollar 20% tip!! Do you go to buffets and share? Do you get mad that you cant take home buffet food?

    • it’s your job to serve people and get paid for that! quit complaining about the tip

      • seriously? You obviously have never worked as a waiter/waitrees. I would like you to carry a tray of 4 soups plus 8 plates: 4 salad 4 bread and put the salad on top of it all and not complain about the $2 tip when you make $2.83/hour

        • Actually, in California, everyone gets paid at least minimum wage, including waiters/waitresses. So it’s at least $8/hour before tips. Unless you’re in San Francisco, where it’s $9.92. This “disgruntled server” should feel lucky that he/she could get such a decent gig.

  103. So when you shoot a 45 caliber handgun your hand simply vibrates? Strange…

  104. OLIVE GARDEN RESTAURANTS CLAIM TO BE ITALIAN STYLE. ALL OF THE DISHES COME WITH SIDE DISHES. WE ORDERED A FISH AND A CHICKEN. THEY BOTH HAD SIDES OF BROCCOLI ON MENU. WE NOTICED CHEAP SPAGETTI AND VEGGIES, AS A SIDE WITH OTHER FISH AND CHICKEN DISHES. WE ASKED TO SWITCH SIDES TO CHEAPER PASTA AND VEG, INSTEAD OF BROCCOLI. WE GOT THE SWITCH AND THEN WERE CHARGED ADDITIONAL,$2.50, FOR EACH SIDE, FOR spagetti, WHICH COSTS LESS THAN broccoli. WE DID NOT GET SERVED THE BROCCOLI, TOO. WENT ELSEWHERE. THEY SHOULD SERVE OLIVE OIL TO DIP THE DRY! BREADSTICKS IN. THEY ALREADY, BRUSH THE TOPS WITH BUTTER AND SALT. WHY WOULD THE, “OLIVE GARDEN”, EVER PUT OUT SOME FLAVORED OLIVE OIL? THEY ALSO, SERVE, NO — MUSTARD, FOR THEIR MEAT,FISH AND CHICKEN DISHES. A SIDE OF TOMATO SAUCE IS – 50 CENTS, TOO. RIDICOULOUS!! THEY DO NOT PUT SPOONS ON THE TABLE. YOU HAVE TO ASK YOUR SERVER FOR A SPOON. SO, NO SOUP SHARING. GO TO A LOCAL DINER. THEY INCLUDE — SOUP, SALAD, ENTREE, PASTA OR POTATO, VEG, AND SOME EVEN HAVE SALAD BARS AND INCLUDE DESSERT, TOO. BUFFETS LET YOU TAKE OUT AND THE WHOLE WEEKDAY LUNCH, AT THE BUFFET IS 7$, PER PERSON, ALL YOU CAN EAT. DINNER IS MORE.SO, WHY WAIT TO FIGHT WITH OLIVE GUARDING?. GO ELSEWHERE.

    • As a matter of fact, Olive Garden DOEs have spoons on the tables.

    • yeah take your cheap ass to a local dinner where you belong. We dont want people like you in the olive garden, you dont understand the food any damn way, you dont belong at a place like olive garden and why would we have mustard????????????? It’s italian food not soul food and ofcourse there is not soup sharing this is a business and news flash no buffet lets you take out, yor a laying sob i think you should just learn how to cook.

    • Olive Garden is a restaurant. Restaurants are businesses, and their whole reason for existence is not to give you every little thing you want for less than $10. If we pay for the tomato sauce, then so do you. The whole idea of a restaurant is to make money. Yes, it’s a fun thing to do, and owners attempt to make it as enjoyable as possible. But it is their JOB. It is their INCOME.
      Also, as far as tips go, keep in mind that in most states, waitresses make about $3 per hour and the rest of their income is in tips. Think about how much you make every day. And not to mention that waitresses are expected to wait on people’s every request with joy, which sometimes can be a little frustrating when nothing you do seems to make the customer happy.
      As far as the prices, you can see the price of the food when you sit down and open the menu. If you aren’t ready to pay prices that you see or expect that there may be extra costs when you ask for extra things, then maybe you should put down the menu and go elsewhere – try mcdonalds.
      I’m sorry that every Olive Garden does not have 20 authentic italian mothers in their kitchen cooking their food for you, but this is AMERICA and it is a chain restaurant. If you are really looking for authentic italian food, GO TO AN AUTHENTIC RESTAURANT.

  105. A.E. Richardson

    April 20, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Christ, people. It’s a restaurant.

  106. I work at the Olive Garden. Every server hates soup salad and breadsticks because we run our asses off and people leave a 3-4 dollar tip which is SHIT! I have never seen so much gluttony until I started working there.

  107. you can’t really know what the staff at Olive Garden goes through until you work there. Like giving accurate quote times for the wait, sometimes tables are getting up faster, other times tables are just sitting there taking their sweet ass time talking about something they could discuss somewhere else instead of taking up that seat, a list of factors come into play. But whatever, they also give free samples of wine, the waiter should’ve done that first.

  108. this goes to “KALI” dude thats so true, servers would be like “oh crap another ‘soup and salad’ and its true man those people generally leave crappy tips even though they’re saving a couple bucks to drop off as a tip!

  109. Chickenchaser

    July 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    To be honest with you the moment I saw that Denny’s was one of the least hated chain restaurants I knew this post was going to be bad. It was fairly entertaining but when I read other reviews and watch as many of your “least” hated chains go out of business I begin to wonder what you were thinking. Then again I don’t truly care.

  110. I GUESS YOU SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, MOST NORMAL PEOPLE LOVE OLIVE GARDEN, THAT’S WHY THERE IS ALWAYS A WAIT.IF YOU HAD ACTUALLY ORDERED A DISH INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE CHEAPEST THING ON THE MENU, MAYBE YOU WOULD THINK DIFFERENT. THEY HAVE THE BEST SALAD AND ALFREDO SAUCE IN THE WORLD.

  111. People who like the Olive Garden also like Sarah Palin. It is the dumbing down of society, and simply feeding the obese salt, sugar and fat. Eat at a real Italian place, get some real bread. Get some real lasagna. WTF? The breadsticks are awful. I even worked at one of these shitholes once. Awful, just awful. One saving grace: The Souppa Tuscana. It is decent.

  112. there is very much a Souplantation and it very much isnt very good at all

  113. My friends and I have dined here a lot times and in different locations and we have always loved it . I don’t think some the things mentioned here are true.First, it is NEVER so “shocking” to hold the beeper.Next, the staff and waiters are pretty good and take good care of you.Next,this place is definitely not expensive than lot of restaurants even if not cheaper.But yes , I would agree that the Salad is pretty good and overall ,it is a very good restaurant !!!

  114. In Lancaster, Ohio, at OG Most of us got our food, my mother did not get her food until we all finished eating, no apology from restaurant, then the waitress refused to bring big enough box she said they have them but the manager is a jerk and they don’t allow us to bring big boxes, you will have to use multiple small boxes. There are other olive gardens which we will go to from now on, but where a manager is a jerk and even employees tell that to customers I rather not visit. I hope Olive Garden should get a better manager at that location.

  115. You and Sophia are two knuckleheads get a life!!!!!!!!!!! Where do they make people like you????????????????

  116. As a server in a chain restaurant it ruins my night everytime I get guests like you. First you complain that the wait is too long and you’re “starving” because you haven’t eaten, but then you’re not very hungry so you split a meal? You both order waters (the reason she looked so dejected is because we get performance reviews based on our beverage-sale percentages), and order a dish that involves the most work out of the server with the least necessity for you to leave her (and her probably $2-$3 paycheck that usually equals zero because she has to declare all credit card tips) any tip? This article seems to be trying to prove the point that you’re too classy for chain restaurants…sorry to break it to you honey, but you belong nowhere outside of the McDonalds drive-thru.

    • YES! hit the nail on the head.

    • You get performance reviews based on your beverage-sale percentages?! So basically, you get punished if someone’s drink of choice is water. Listen, that’s nothing to blame on the customers; something is rotten in the restaurant business if the server gets in trouble because a customer doesn’t want three whiskey sours, or even a Coke.
      The rest of your criticism makes sense, but this is ridiculous. Don’t blame the customers for the restaurant’s stupid drinks policy.

  117. This is one of the reasons we should move towards servers earning an actual wage and away from such emphasis on tipping.

    Also, yeah, why were you so taken aback by the beeper thing? I feel like you were just looking for things to complain about at points.

  118. I am a server at OG. Olive Garden is great because a lot of the time they’re in locations where they’re the best dining experience around. The unfortunate thing about that is that the diners that it brings in aren’t accustomed to anything that nice. They enjoy themselves because it is so nice. They make asses out of themselves because its so nice. However, when tip time rolls around, they seem to forget all the soup, salad and soda refills they ran the server for. All those paper napkins they got in addition to the fancy green cloth napkin aren’t factored in. All that extra dressing, soup bowls worth, aren’t factored in. Hell, the amount of the check isn’t even factored in there a mojority of the time. I don’t have a clue what these jerks use to figure up the tip. When people try to give you 31 cents as a tip, you pretty much have to roll your eyes and walk away. I’ve worked for OG for 7 years as a server. I NEVER get a paycheck. I owe the IRS every year because I make so much working for OG. (That’s a laugh!) I wait on some of the most ignorant people I’ve ever met in my entire life and it takes everything I have not to be ignorant back sometimes. I am a good server. I don’t care what people say about not tipping. You’re freakin’ cheap and you have no business going to an establishment where someone else is depending on your tip as their source of income. If you have a problem with that then maybe you shouldn’t patronize such an establishment. You’re feeding the corporate machine and raping an innocent of hard earned cash when they could be focussing on customers worthy of their services.

  119. and “Soup-plantation” is a very accurate description of the OG at lunch time.

  120. Having lived most of my life in Manhattan I was a restaurant snob (and I’m from LI—home to great Italian restaurants) So I was shocked the first time I went to an Olive Garden and liked it. Honestly I think the one here is superior to most Italian restaurants here that people rave about. But I love their salad and on special occasions like the birthday I’ve been celebrating for two weeks get the lunch portion of eggplant parmesan something I would normally never eat though it’s my favorite food

    They have the ringing disks in New York now–@ a restaurant on Broadway and 84th for one

  121. Why do you hate Red Lobster so much?

  122. “is because we get performance reviews based on our beverage-sale percentages” explains why they push hard to sell their bad wines. Guess their business is off so they are trying to make up on it with alcohol sales. Trust me, you got nothing to complain about as a server, try being on the other side, I felt like I was being worked with this fine dining experience. The food is corporate sauce in a used BP oil tanker. Delivered with a tank’s hose. Real Italian pasta isn’t. Portions are smaller, pasta just covered with sauce. The suits from corporate that mandated performance reviews based on drink sales need to be replaced. That in itself should tell you something.

    • We get performance ratings on everything. We get bitched at for not selling enough food, for not selling enough alcohol, and all sorts of other stuff. Plus, if we don’t offer and push all this stuff, when we get secret shopped, we loose our jobs.

  123. About berverage sale % performance review, here I re-found this link.
    Now you tell me who should be more ticked off sweetie, you working me, or me.

    http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/public/coke.html

  124. I’m looking for places to get the word out that our local Olive Garden restaurant has removed one of the most delicious deserts ever from their menu. I’m talking about the chocolate caramel gelato. If this is true where you dine then please join me in a formal protest of the restaurants until they put it back on their menu. I know this is a small thing but the voice of the customers should be heard and paid attention too.

  125. First of all you are such a loser, you act like you’ve never been out to a restaurant before, you are so lame!!!
    I used to be a server and people like you is the reason I hated my job, first of all the wait for both you and the other party after you was ten minutes because it may come as a shocker to you but they have more than one table so two tables can be ready in ten minutes. The second thing that reassures me that you had never been to a restaurant before is the fact that you don’t know what a pager is helllloooo! In addition, did you expect them to import their servers from Italy, with customers like you I’m surprised they can stay in business, the girl looked disappointed when you asked for water because cheap-os like you order water to save 2 bucks with extra lemon so they can make their own free lemonade. If you had actually ordered from the menu you could provide a review, but instead you ordered soup and salad and you apparently tried all of them. I guess when you go to a buffet you wanna bring a friend along and let them eat from your food? please do the Olive Garden and all other restaurants a favor and stay home, learn how to cook and never go out we don’t want you

  126. I am totally disgusted by the sheer number of people defending this nasty excuse for an Italian restaurant. First off, I now refuse to eat at any place that hands me some electronic device telling me when a table is open. These are not a restaurants, they are factories. You aren’t part of the family, they aren’t happy to see you, and don’t care what you think as long as you don’t enjoy yourself for too long, and you pay the bill. Secondly, these people weren’t there because they were hungry and he made that quite clear. Why on earth would they order more than soup and salad if they were not very hungry? Also, I frequently order water with extra lemon. This has nothing to do with being cheap. In fact, I’ll often order the relatively expensive water so it doesn’t taste like a swimming pool. Some people stop and think about what they put in their bodies and decide that soda/alcohol isn’t the best choice – but then again, neither was going to the Olive Garden. Anyway, you need a little more than a few slices of lemon to make a glass of lemonade. In addition, I know it’s hard to find work these days but anyone who waits tables at degenerate chain restaurant and then gets pissed because all they serve are degenerate customers is foolish. Lastly, anyone who can cook themselves a real nutritious home-made meal knows that the Olive Garden serves little more than cafeteria food. Sorry, but the Olive Garden and all those other dumbed-down excuses for restaurants are trash and in my opinion, only make people fat, sick, depressed and contribute to the growing hatred many feel towards the USA.

    • Jason said, “These are not a restaurants, they are factories.” Good call I Could not have said it any better. They only care about the doe not peoples helth but if people wanted all you can eat rice cakes thats what the olive garden would sell. This citizen of the mounth guy went into the olive garden knowing he was not going to enjoy himself no matter what this much is clear, you can tell he is far from a open minded professinol. I find it kinda funny you stick up for his bowl of soup tho. Why on earth would they order more than soup and salad you ask, Well do you not think one should try a bit more if planning to “learn the truth” about the place, I know I would but I also try not to be full of sh** all the time. Dont get me wrong Jason I hate the olive garden too and your right you need little more then few slice of lemmon to make lemmonaid. you need to ask for extra extra lemmons and the suger is already on the table for you. Your right again about Serving degenerate customers it comes with the territory thats why thay dont bother me its the so smart Self Righteous people like you that cant understand really simple things that get to me. Oh and that “growing hatred many feel towards the USA” you talked about, mostly due to americans thinking thay are better then others, kinda like how you come off. By the way when did you decide your were done with resturants that uses pagers, rite after you read the story, I remember this one restaruant we took a romantic stroll along the river on a nice summer night as we waited for a table pager to go off, varry handy those things. But I can see how thay just are not good enough for you how offensive, how dare they hand you a small electronic device.

    • if u don’t like the olive garden or other chain restaurants there is a very simple solution. DON’T GO TO THEM. don’t come in and complain and leave me a shitty tip when you could have cooked your own meal and made it exactly how you want it.

      YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING THAT YOU AREN’T FORCED TO DO!

      • haha exactly this woman spent minutes figuring out what appetizer she wanted, while i explained every one twice, ordered brushetta then told me it she didn’t really like it or tomatoes, and that she would take it home and fix it the way she wanted, good. stay home bitch

  127. It means 'to the death'.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I will try to navigate through all the political angles and judge fairly as possible.

    From a legal standpoint the business is private and dealing with it is optional. But if they make their services publicly accessible, OG has to tolerate the negative and positive feedback.

    In one case it gives people jobs and something to do. In another case, dissatisfaction for services provided.

    The true purpose of this business is to sell products. If the OG wants to make a sale they should do everything they can to educate their guests. There are other restaurants and customers aren’t going to yours to worry about how much you make. Though they do have to pay for the necessary services.

    I’m pretty sure OG’s have comment boxes. It would be wiser for guests to use them more to help the restaurant enhance its services instead of randomly complaining on cyberspace.

    The decor of the restaurant is a personal preference and shouldn’t be factored into judging. If it poses a danger it would be removed.

    Conclusion: We have to accept it for what it is. If the customer feels something could be improved the should voice their precise concerns with management. Likewise, we live in an imperfect world – OG employees should expect uncontrollable dissatisfaction by customer’s sometimes.

  128. You are an incredibly funny writer — talented, skilled, seasoned, — whatever. You’re great, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I actually just got HIRED working at the OG and thought I’d see what people thought of the place. Glad it was ranked as “2nd to least horrible chain restaurant” on your list. Continue writing, my friend, and I’ll stay tuned.

    -Aun Aqui

  129. There is just no respect anymore…

    Whether or not you like the Olive Garden, you should still be respectful towards the people working there. They offer wine because they are told to. When you go to say…TGI Friday’s, you are offered drink specials. It is no different.
    I’m not even gonna waste my time going on and on about how stupid some of you are.
    Put yourselves in their shoes, it’s not as easy as you think. Karma will get you back anyways.

  130. Wow, you idiots who wrote this blog entry are the exact type of elitist snobs that I can’t stand in life. You pretty much convinced yourself you hated the Olive Garden long before you set foot in one, you convinced yourself all the food would be bad, you mentally prepared yourself to HATE it and then you wonder you hated it so much. You’re no better than those annoying hipster teenagers who convince themselves they’re going to hate eating fast food, so they go there and spend their money on it and do nothing but PISS AND MOAN about how it’s so crappy, too salty, too greasy, costs too much, etc. IT’S FUCKING FAST FOOD, THAT’S THE POINT, LOWER QUALITY IS THE TRADE OFF FOR VERY FAST SERVICE.

    Likewise, you dipshits went to a chain restaurant, you knew what it was going to be like, you knew it wasn’t INTENDED to compare with high quality local places, you knew it was only a few steps above fast food, etc. And yet you still go there and bitch like spoiled little babies, then you go online and write a scathing review about it. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU EXPECT? I bet you book vacations to fucking Utah to bitch about how it’s full of mormons and is too sandy. You’re the kind of morons who go to a slasher movie and bitch that it was too bloody, had too much swearing and was too raunchy with the attractive young girls in the film. Fuck.

    And half the people replying to this blog are equally annoying. You Olive Garden employees whining about fucking having to make two or three trips to a table and then you only get a 4 dollar tip? Good waiters get good tips for being engaging and polite to their customers, I was a waiter at fucking Eatin Park and I regularly pulled down 100-200 dollars a night in tips during prime time, I know many waiters who LOVE their jobs because it’s such easy money. Don’t become a waiter if you’re ugly or boring, that’s not the job for people like that, waiting tables is about personal appearance and having a fun personality. A 4 dollar tip for a table is fucking fine, it’s the norm at chain restaurants, you offset tips like this by doing a good job during prime time, that’s the nature of the fucking business, become a telemarketer if you hate waiting. A ton of people in this economy would kill for even a basic busboy job in some areas, be happy you’re employed AT ALL.

    And if you fucking hate bringing the soup, salad and bread out, start writing to the big wigs in charge of the Olive Garden company, tell them it should be laid out in a traditional buffet style. If your OG is franchised, your owner can do this without permission from the company. I’ve seen it at franchised OGs before.

    All the whining in this blog and the replies is so childish. OH NO, THIS FOOD ISN’T THE KIND OF STUFF I’D GET AT MY FAVORITE EXPENSIVE LOCAL PLACE! OH NO, I REALLY HATE HAVING A JOB IN WHICH I HAVE AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MONEY! People are fucking enslaved in some parts of the world and eat gruel and dirty water every day. People are fucking jobless and homeless in the world. Be a little more fucking grateful for your lot in life.

    And I’m out. I’ve seen the worst sides of websites like 4chan and they’re fucking saints compared to how spoiled and annoying the people who wrote this blog and replied to it are.

    • You weren’t a waiter at fuckin Eatin Park. If you had been, you’d know it’s Eat ‘n Park. It’s a blog post, dude. Take a deep breath and have a glass of Olive Garden’s genuine Italian wine.

  131. I’m never going to Olive Garden again becuz ive been up all nite with a horrible stomach ache right after eating there! I tried advil, tums, you name it! It would work for an hour and then the stomach ahce came right back! Ugh I feel horrible, anyway look up anywher on google about Olive Garden making you sick there are tons of blogs on it…btw my mom and sister felt sick after eating there also…

    • i agree! I feel terribly ill everytime I eat there. I think maybe because the food is so heavy and I’m not used to that. Like crazy stomach is eating itself painful ill

  132. Don’t we all just love people like this who think they are so much better than everyone because they eat at little hippie run restaurants and never step foot into God FORBID an Olive Garden. Whine whine whine is all we hear. How about you make some food at home then and spare us your “enlightening” blogging. Write something worthwhile for a change.

  133. Complain complain complain. Go eat some grass then. Calling a little boy a brat when you know nothing about him or his family. To me YOU sound like a brat, I hate this and I hate that. Stupid hypocrite.

  134. I can appreciate the point that all of you servers are making about cheap customers because I also used to be a server as well. One thing I will say to all of you is that if you are not happy with your job then

  135. Its not the point of cheap customers its about the work you put into it I can server a mixed grill nice drinks and get a nice tip only have to visit the table once or twice while the host slam you with tables because people are to impatient and it puts the load on us. What we don’t like is someone ordering a refills and the other says no thanks and when you come back they tell you they change their mind and do this 3 or 4 times. The bill comes to 13 dollars for 2 people and you leave a 2 dollar tip like we worked at a diner and we are left exhausted you think its all about just putting orders in and running food ..no its called do your own salads, make your own bread sometimes, help take out the garbage, prebuss all our table cause our bussers are wusses and plus we have to tip share. ALso you dont get a paycheck its all on tips always own taxes at the end of the year and you don’t even have enough to pay for you health insurance cause you get 2.80 an hour

  136. Why is everyone complaining about customers not leaving a huge tip? I work in customer service myself and I rarely expect a tip and when I do, I am thankful. You shouldn’t get upset because of how customers choose to spend THEIR money because it is THEIR money. Have you stopped to think that maybe the customer isn’t the problem but its the company you work for that isn’t paying you enough? If there is an issue, I’m sure you can find a job elsewhere. Especially with the disgusting attitudes of some of the servers here, one shouldn’t expect a tip if you’re personality demands you get a tip because you filled a bowl with PRE-MADE SALAD and SOUP. Grow up, if you wish for a better job then go to college and get a degree. But if this is something on the side, be thankful you even have a job or people even bother giving you a dollar or two. Tipping isn’t required so get over it. Rant over.

    • You’re so ignorant. “Tipping isn’t required so get over it”? The mark of ignorant people trying to make themselves feel better. You obviously don’t realize that servers make about $2.13 an hour, and after taxes are taken out, we’re left with nothing. Our income is based solely off how well diners tip. Even though you work in customer service, I bet you get paid hourly in addition. And as for the “go to college part”, have you not considered that most of us are working our way through college? Not everyone is handed thousands of dollars in financial aid or has a rich mommy and daddy to pay for everything. If you were a little more educated or had actually walked a mile in one of our shoes, maybe you wouldn’t be so annoyed. Go eat a McDonalds.

      • wow, who knew olive garden was such a heated topic? daaaamn…

        first of all, people who don’t tip are horse’s asses. complete, utter horse’s asses. making the argument for tipping poorly based on some hypercritical rationalization focusing on the server’s behavior to justify YOUR shittiness is such a BS cop out.

        the truth is, people who make the die-hard argument for not tipping are exactly the type of personality who goes to a restaurant looking for reasons not to tip. period. they are hypercritical, HYPOcritical, respsonsibility-shifting jerks with impossible standards and a sadistic streak.

        second, no, i am not a server, and no, i have never worked for olive garden. i am just another optimistic restaurant patron who truly loves food, in all forms, and understands that it’s not an easy business. even when the food sucks. which leads me to my third point.

        think your meal sucked? try working there. and then even after thinking about that for a while, if you still determine that your service was simply abhorrent and the food unforgivable…you still need to tip 10%. that is because servers pay taxes on your tips whether they receive them or not. and also, because YOU went into a dining establishment where tipping is the norm knowing full well that tipping is the norm. being ok with that going in hungry and then suddenly not being ok with that just because you’re full is a dick move. trying to place blame on the waitress for your dick move is an even bigger dick move.

        fourth, i neither like nor dislike olive garden. i love the soup salad and breadstick lunch for $6 but only go for it maybe once a year. and almost never get second helpings of any of it because a big bowl of soup, a side salad, and a couple breadsticks is A LOT OF FOOD.

        i’m not really a fan of their dinner fare and tend to think overcooked pasta and giant generic-tasting pasta bakes are really, really, really not worth $15-20. i’m sorry but they are not. i’m totally cool with dropping $25 on a good meal but find OG’s fare not reallly up to that standard. lunch is definitely worth it thought.

        fifth…anyone who claims that you need to spend more than $25 to get a fantastic, delicious, or authentic meal, and that spending $25 ON ONE MEAL falls into the realm of “you get what you pay for”, is retarded.i know you’re using that as one of your defense points for OG, but….it’s really no defense at all. it’s a terrible defense. stop using that now k? some of the best meals i’ve ever eaten cost $15 at a lovely, non-chain restaurant. hell, some of my favorite dine-in experiences cost $10 or less and have rave reviews from food critics (du’s grill pdx, what what!).

        i’m not saying a good $7 burger compares to a $60 four star restaurant. however if you think that OG tops quality in the $15-25 range that is just sad.

  137. HA! To the person above me. Tipping isn’t required? When you walk into a restaurant and sit your big butt into that chair you better tip or head onto your McDonalds. Servers get paid $2 dollars an hour. You’re probably one of those people who tip $2 on a @20 dollar check. Oh your idiocracy.

  138. i am amazed that so few of the respondents got it. this was total tongue in cheek, sarchastic humor. olive garden is a decent chain restaurant. i enjoy eating there occasionaly and don’t think i’ve ever had a bad meal there. something i can’t say about applebees, tgi fridays, etc. but if i want good italian food i have to go out of town and drive 30 to 90 miles. people get over yourselves and servers forget bitchin about corporate restaurants screwing over its employees. this is america for god’s sake, expect it.

  139. Wow. Just one side note that most people do not consider is that OG servers have mandatory tip out of 2.25% of total sales. So if your check total is $40 and you leave $5 (this is custom in the midwest) then in all actuality the server gets $4. Here is where it gets fun! If a server gets stiffed or has less than the 2.25% left, then the server has to PAY for the stiff. So if 12% is “good” (maybe for other chains where do not have any refills no salad, breadsticks, or soup) then consider leaving 14.25% next time otherwise your server is getting a 9.75% tip.

  140. Hey, I think I know you. Aren’t you the guy that came to El Pepe’s last week and ate two baskets of the complimentary chips and salsa and then left because you “didn’t like our menu”?

  141. Servers should complain about their tips, especially when they have to claim to the IRS that they’re making a certain amount–regardless of how much gratuity is left. Too, the person who commented before is correct. Servers work very hard. They just do a good job of making it look easy for their guests’ benefit. If you think it’s so easy, I challenge you to try working as a server for one month at any restaurant. Thank God you have a friend like Sophia who can knock some sense into you about doing something like sharing an unlimited salad. Would you do that at a buffet?? (Share a plate?) Name a restaurant that allows you to share any unlimited item they have? If you want a casual dining experience, you can pay for that. It’s a choice people make. For someone who evidently has zero experience in the food & beverage industry, your credibility is far beyond diminished.

  142. Are you guys retarded or just illiterate?? He clearly says that HE is the one that didn’t want to share and that he ends up liking Olive Garden after all. Jesus Christ. And he says the waitress “assumed” she’d get a bad tip… meaning he probably intended to leave her a good one. Which, he may have rethought when she started acting like a bitch.

  143. I love that every server on here is complaining about tipping because they make “2.whatever”/hour. Sorry that you live in a state where tipping is more than your wages, but this writer is clearly in/near Los Angeles, where servers are making a minimum of $8.00/hour. Let’s just put that one away right now. As such, if you aren’t a good server, you don’t deserve to be tipped particularly well. Personally, I tip anywhere from 15-25% based on how good my waiter was, how good the food was, and how big the check is. But when you’re already making minimum wage at least, tipping should absolutely not be a big issue, especially in the current economy.

    Like the poster above me said, nowhere does he say that he left a bad tip, he was the one who didn’t want to share food, etc. Stop getting all over this guy for no reason.

    The main thing that I wanted to say to all these damn former/current/whatever waiters and waitresses is, if you hate all these customers so much and you complain about your job the entire time and can’t stand that apparently no one leaves a good tip, GET A NEW JOB. If you can’t get a better job for any reason, then stop complaining. You’re making more doing this than plenty of people. I’ve read some people saying that they “make no money after taxes.” Then quit. Look for something else. Apparently you’re completely wasting your time being around obnoxious people and making “no money.” I don’t know how literal you’re being with that statement, since I’ve never worked in the restaurant industry, but clearly you’re not doing the right thing. Hell, work at a fast food place. You’ll at least make minimum wage there. Or move to a less shitty state, where you make more than $2.25/hr or whatever working as a tipped employee. I can’t stand how large of a proportion of comments are from complaining servers. You guys just sound like little babies, as if you aren’t smart enough to do anything else. But hey, maybe you’re not.

  144. I work in the F&B industry as a line cook, servers where I work on busy nights will rake in more than a cooks weekly pay in one night.. Yet for some reason they still complain, over only making $200 in tips. While we’re back in the kitchen sweating our asses off, cooking entire meals faster than most people can can microwave a TV Dinner, earning $9-10 an hour. However I will say the servers work their asses off for the money, and deal with snobby shitty people who complain, bitch, moan, and whine if one thing is not done perfectly for them, of if their blackened 12 0z NY Strip is medium, instead of medium rare, because their server was too damn busy with other tables to get their meal out of the hot window, before said window cooked the steak more.. The restaurant industry is a thankless job, both for front and back of the house staff. As far as Olive Garden is concerned? Its one of the better chains, I would pick it over all the other chain’s in town, I will say Crapplebees has good drunk food though… The Olive Garden I have in my town is great, the food is always consistent, tastes great, and is presented nicely, cooked right and the service has always been quick, and great.. Is it authentic Italian? I think the answer to that is pretty obvious… As far as having to wait for a table, that’s one thing that pisses me off when I go out to eat with someone, they bitch about waiting for a table, and waiting then waiting an hour on their food; when the damn restaurant is packed from the front door to the back door… Its obvious, look around, you’re not the only person in the restaurant… If you want to eat fast, well that’s what fast food joints are for..

  145. If you go to a sit-down restaurant and order just water and obsess over how much things are on the menu…..I’m sorry….you are cheap. Being cheap is for Wal-mart and the dollar menu. People come to sit-down restaurants for something a little better than that and you should know beforehand that it’s going to cost you a little more. Accept it….open your wallet…be nice…tip well(15% is minimum)…say “please” and “thank you”….enjoy your experience. If this isn’t what you have in mind, I promise you there is a nice fast-food chain around to meet your needs.

    As for the servers having to “run their asses off” to get refills for drinks, salad, bread, Never-ending-pasta-bowl, etc…. the solution is simple. Don’t be a glutton. Remember it takes 20 minutes from the time you put something in your mouth til the time your stomach acknowledges you’ve eaten it. Relax. Enjoy your time there.

  146. Waiters/waitresses seriously need a wake up call. So you make $3 an hr before tips. Lets say you get $7 an hour in tips (which i’m positive any waiter can surpass), you are now making $10 an hour gross, like any normal sales associate or beginner employee here in NYC. What the hell do you expect to get an hour total? a whopping $20-50 gross. Get Real! You would be then making more then someone interning at an actual high end business company. Waiters need to think realisticly on their tips. So you make a $2tip an hour from one stingy table, im pretty sure you’ll make it up through the other tables within that one same hour. And if not, so you make less one hour but make a crazy amount the next hour. Like I said early, all you need is $7 an hour in tips to be making what an average person is making in NYC. It all evens out day by day. At the end of the week, I am pretty sure you would have made what you could be making at any other job. Everyone works hard, not just waiters. You don’t deserve any more than anybody else. Let me make one more point…

    I don’t really understand why we tip waiters anyway. You actually don’t even have to legally if your waiter wasn’t of good service. So you better sprucen up if you do want your 15-20% tip. (20% really being in really upper class restaurants or to be really nice and appreciative) (so why are you even expecting 20%?) Anyways, do we Americans tip regulare sale associates at shopping centers? running back and forth helping customers, cleaning up the messes they make, putting everything back where they belong. The answer is NO! So what makes a waiter work any harder than a reg. sales associate. Therefore I understand and believe waiters technically need their tips since they do only get min wage to begin with, but don’t expect heavy tips from customers in this economy. Don’t expect everyone to go balls out ordering $20 meal per person. Get a new job if you’re going to come home and complain everyday about it. And do the math ahead of time.. Average out what you think you should make an hour e.i $10/hr X the amount of hours you worked a whole week. That is your gross amount. If you match that amount at the end of the week with tip and wage included. Then BE HAPPY, you just made a normal person’s average salary your age.

    • That was the dumbest comment ever made. My girlfriend made a total of $17 in a period of six hours the other night, because of stupid people like you. TIP YOUR SERVER.

      It’s even worse at olive garden. You get endless soup and salad, and breadsticks. They are making endless trips for your food. The cheapest meal is the most work, and they get the worst tips. It is a terrible set up for the servers, and then people like this come along and stiff her. Even though, she is always respectful and nice to customers, despite their stupidity. Her mangers, are even worse.

      • THANK YOU! I am actually a server at The Olive Garden and you are absolutely right. I give my absolute all to serving my guests and it’s almost a personal hit when they leave 2 dollars on 50, and you can never make it up if everyone thinks like the first post in this thread. One of our best servers walked with 70 dollars last night AND SHE HAD 1,000 IN SALES! She should have walked with AT LEAST 150. It’s really sad sometimes, because it is hard work.

        • So what makes you guys so special? you think you guys got it hard working in a building serving people for Minimum wage?My last job was campaigning for a politician and guess what? I made minimum wage walking house to house for miles in the blistering heat I walked anywhere from 5-10 miles in a eight hour day,and sometimes I had to work longer because our group wasn’t covering enough houses. I didn’t see anyone giving me tips.Instead of complaining about not getting tips be thankful that you even get them.There are plenty of minimum wage jobs that are worse then yours and none of them get tips.So i ask again what makes you so special?

          • your minimum wage is more that a servers minimum wage. retard.

          • Jessica Chapman

            June 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

            What I’m thinking is you must not be too smart to do that for minimum wage.

          • Why would anyone give you gratuity (tips) for coming to their door? Every day I experience people coming to my job and sitting down for my service, those people are coming to me. I depend on these tips as I am making only 4 dollars per hour, how much do you make per hour? Must of made your budgeting easier….

    • Your comments are extremely ignorant, I understand some of the things you said…but you need to walk in a waitors shoes before you ever generalize all of them into a category of lazy people who only complain. I’m hoping that I never run into your snide ass in a restaurant. I notice that people like you who assume things about your servers also seem to be the ones that expect them to be empathetic and understanding to you when you act like a snobbish asshole and to understand where you are coming from. Many people wait tables to make enough money to move on with their lives and move ahead from a sad past of poverty and no opportunity- and then get assholes treating them like shit from the beginning who are going to be unhappy no matter how much the server slaves away over making them happy- and no matter what will undertip them. Before you expect waitors to ‘wake up’ or whatever other ignorant bullshit you’ve spewed; why don’t you consider having a little empathy for the servers, since, you know- they should have some for you and your frugal-penny pinching ways. Anyways, fuck you, whatever, I’m done.

    • Wow that was so stupid. Servers go back and forth non stop bringing customers whatever they ask for and get treated like shit and still keep a smile so they dont offend you with their “your a cock sucker” facial expression. When customers such as yourself send the server back to the kitchen to get ONE ITEM at a time, the other tables service sufferes and not only does the server get a shitty tip from you but now you caused the other tables to tip shitty aswell. to top it off the server will more than likely clean up your table when your done, all the slop you combined, all the crap your children spill on the table and floor. There is so much more to serving than you obviously know. Oh and just so your ignorant ass knows…..a tip is not intended to be a compliment of their service, its not supposed to be you deciding whether they were good enough to deserve it. TIPS means To Insure Proper Service and is supposed to be given at the beginning of the meal- try that next time and see how wonderful your service is. better yet, dont eat out because you suck and no one should have to help you.

    • Being a server is living in the reality that is filled with people like you. For you information I make $2.13 and hour, I do not receive a paycheck ever, and sometimes I work for four hours and walk out with twenty dollars or less because of people exactly like you. Yes, I do have my good nights when I make ten dollars an hour, but if you only knew how hard I had to bust my butt, the kissing up I do to snotty people who don’t care how they treat me (I am NOT a servant I am a waiter do not snap at me do not just hand me things and expect me to know what you want me to do with it), etc. There is so much more that we do than fill your salad or soup or drink. We do far more than a sales associate. We are the reason the restaurant runs. We are responsible for filling, refilling in the kitchen, stocking, lifting, moving, running, endlessly walking, pleasing, cleaning up after YOUR kids, sometimes never sitting for more than 9 hours, and all so we can make your dining experience for 60-90 minutes pleasurable before you leave us a $2 tip. And you’re right in this economy it is difficult to expect a larger tip. However, if you can afford to come in, buy numerous appetizers, wine, higher priced entrees, desserts, and after dinner drinks, and then tip me 15%, I don’t want to hear ANYTHING about economy. It’s selfishness. It’s not giving a damn. It’s thinking you can get away with it because after all you’ll never see me again right? But who am I kidding? You’ll never care anyway. You are so extremely frustrating it makes me angry going into work tonight knowing I’ll meet a dozen people just like you. So I need a wake up call?! Sprucen my rear end dirtbag.

      • I concur!!!!

      • If the customer did not like the service i don’t think they are forced to give you a tip just because your work is hard. If its too much to the point of complaining then you shouldn’t be a waiter. Is this customer suppose to think “Wow her/ his work must be really hard, let me give a $10 tip” while at most jobs it is very unlikely for there own boss to give them a raise just because the job is hard. Many people can detect a good waiter from a fake one, and you miss are a fake one. Change you attitude and maybe you’ll get more tips.

    • sales associates get paid more, thats why they don’t get tips. You sound very unintelligent. Waiters and waitresses get paid 2.50 to 3 dollars an hour and wait on people hand and foot…that’s why they get tipped. Obviously you’ve never been a waitress or you wouldn’t be going on and on about it. Talk about something you actually know about.

    • first of all most waiters don’t get full time. restaurants routinely employ “too many” employees so that they will all be part time, :[

      consider also that in states where the server minimum wage is so much lower than regular minimum wage, usually there ARE NO OTHER JOBS AVAILABLE IN THOSE AREAS. especially for women. we’re talking rural missouri, small towns in BFE oklahoma, places in the desert that just got a couple chains. NOT LA. NOT NYC. of course, in those places, you could hang clothes at ross for $7/hr…but you’d get home just as sore and fucked up at the end of the day, the difference being that you will never make a varying wage for the effort you put in.

      the issue here is, when you go to a restaurant to sit down, YOU KNOW that tipping is the obligation FOR sitting down and being served. fast food? the reason you don’t tip there is because you fetch your own drink, get your own food when your number is called, and then empty your own table. all your utensils are disposable and your condiments come in packets. those people also do not pay taxes on your tipping.

      if you are honestly trying to make the point that sitting down to a restaurant with real plates, drink service, real cutlery, refills, hand-poured alcoholic beverages, and hand-taken and hand-delivered orders where you are expected to leave a tip (AND YOU KNOW THIS WHEN YOU WALK IN), is somehow on the same level with fast food dining where you are NOT expected to leave a tip, or the same as taking a no-performance job like folding sweaters, you are a fucking asshole and a cheapskate.

      you KNOW when you walk into a sit-down restaurant that the etiquette is to pay extra for service. to flip your own BS back on you — if you don’t like tipping, there are plenty of fast food restaurants for you to eat and gtfo. the whole “waitress with few tables, walk into an empty restaurant so i must get her attention every two minutes, super-high-paying checks, easy job, massive tips” is a myth. when it comes to a place like OG or applebee’s, it’s flat out non-existent.

      fuck, i tip when i pick up a sandwich.

      i’m broke as shit, but nothing pisses me off more than terrible tipping. it doesn’t matter what i’ve got in my wallet, because if i expect to sit down and be waited on, i’m tipping at least 15% and i know that before i ever drive there.

      even when your service is absolute shit, you are OBLIGATED to pay a 10% tip for the taxes they paid on you, and service. if you don’t want to tip, go somewhere that doesn’t require a tip. i suggest chipotle’s, panera bread (owned by Olive garden), quiznos, or baja fresh if you, despite your stinginess, still somehow can manage to delusionally see yourself as above the mcdonald’s menu.

      • typo!

        “first of all most waiters don’t get full time. restaurants routinely employ “too many” employees so that they will all be part time, :[”

        by that, i meant:
        …first of all most waiters don’t get full time. restaurants routinely employ “too many” employees so that they will all be part time, and therefore do not have to pay benefits like insurance, siack time, and vacation to their employees :[ this can’t be said for ANY full time job.

    • You obviously dont know that servers pay taxes based on sales so really when you stiff us were paying for it out of our pockets… jack ass

    • lily servers must pay taxes based on sales so yes it is expected to be AT LEAST 10% since that is what we are taxed on. If you cant afford to tip your server go through the drive thru or stay home

    • Lily that was a smart comment.

      The simple truth is that the snotty uneducated 19 yr old blondie girls who serve in these places shouldn’t expect to make any more money than the snotty 19 yr old’s at a walmart cashier or unloading truck.

      We don’t tip other “service” work, so waitresses are lucky to get the tip. The idea of an industry where WORK PERFORMEDvs PRICE CHARGED is not clearly spelled out, and is left up to a “aww, you really SHOULD” mentality is just a foolish industry that should not exist, and the only people that should surrender to this and enter its clutches ought to be those girls with the cheeriest and most nurturing personalities, that can truly charm their table and yes – THOSE GIRLS DO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY IN TIPS.

      The rest – what did they really expect?

      Totally agree with Lily. Of course, I’d like to be tipped in my job too. But I’m not. Tough luck. Oh wait – actually I’m glad, that’s how ALL work should be performed.

      Smart industries (jewelers, car salesman) are already starting to form these “no commission/no tipping” shops.

      Makes EVERYBODY happier.

  147. You know you’re really stupid. That’s all I can say this is really sad shouldn’t be a blog at all.

  148. Olive Garden’s deal is now $6 for unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks for two people, just fyi.

    • No it’s not. It’s $6 a person. If you share a salad or a soup, then you will be charged for a refill. just ya know, fyi. So don’t bring someone in and order one order of soup salad and breadsticks for the two of you. It won’t work.

  149. as an ex-olive garden employee I can personally tell you that the motto (when your here your family) is complete total bulls–t,the managers and even regional managers constantly bully,intimidate,discriminate (AGE)and (gender),harass, and generally treat thir employees like bad dogs!They are supposed tohave another motto which is who you are matters. another lie!!if older people ,handicapped people, overweight people knew what most employees knew what was said about them behind their backs it could be aon a national tv show such as 60 minutes!the other things that go on are also just as bad too!.drug dealing cooks.employees smoking crack in the bathrooms, sexual harassment to both male and female, male managers attempting to coerce females into uncomfortable situations,racist ,and sexual comments by managers

    • YESS, my girlfriend experiences at least most of these. She put in her two weeks a few days ago.. I’m so happy.

    • Lol. Apparently you work at the Olive Garden in South Central, or something.

      • i have a girlfriend who worked in an OG in a very, very nice mostly upper-class town, very secluded, and — despite your reference to south central which obviously is a nod to ghettos and minorities causing this problem — WHITE area. she had all of the problems listed above.

        get a lesson in life, please. you obviously don’t know how the job market works for people born without a silver spoon in their mouth.

        you must be new.

        • Thelittlemerboy@yahoo.com

          July 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

          I was all with you about servers needing to get tipped because they are hard working and deserve it, and maybe the OG that your girlfriend worked at really was like that, but don’t put words into the other guy’s mouth. I work at an Olive Garden and all of the employees are very professional and nice. Of course there will be off-color joking at times but you have that anywhere. It’s actually a really nice place to work if you’re just starting out.

    • It’s 100% true! I’ve been a busser for O.G. for 7 years now and I’ve got a journel FULL of stuff my olive garden management has done to me in Daytona Beach O.G. and others that is discriminating, racist, and down right morally wrong in every way! Every single cook on the line is either on pills, weed, or coke(which they do in the employee bathroom) Not to mention half the servers sell pot…but drugs aside, my managers would daily have me doing stuff they wouldn’t make the other bussers do. Me feeling singled out daily and discriminated against made me write a letter to the disctrict, which low and behold the disctrict before he became so came from the same store as my managers now so they are all buddy buddy. With that being said, my concerning letter to the district manager did not help, it did worse he instead came into our restaurant and literlly was yelling at ME in front of all my fellow employee’s! It was complete favortism/crooked corporate b.s. Ever sense that day my store manager and managers have been retaliating against me for going over their heads over a concern of discrimination with my managers, let’s just say NOTHING WAS AT ALL DONE and I was forced to transfer in ANOTHER STATE because nothing was done, and the district( Terry from Orlando) wouldn’t transfer me to the store that was actually closer to my home….Worse restaurant to work for EVER!! Fortune 500 so Darden gets a 5million dollar a year tax break to as they say, “to give more white collar jobs” but really for them to get this tax break Darden changed the tipping system to save some extra money and the bussers and bartenders (me) pretty much got our pays cut in half! Went from $7.70 an hour to $5 an hour over night! We lost all our raises we worked so hard for and to this day I still make half of what I used too. F*CK YOU DARDEN! I just need to get threw the rest of school and I can go out of that place with a #$*@(% bang!!

  150. Number one, to the know it all about how much servers make….we dont get $3 an hour…oh wait we dont even get a paycheck because of our taxes! Number two you can’t afford to go out and tip your server then don’t go out at all! Pathetic is what you are and the next time you want to act like you know everything try stepping in a servers shoes!! Rude customers such as your self, sloppy, and absolutely disgusting!
    Servers clean your mess up when you leave trash all over the floor….learn table manners sweet heart. When you have to put up with customers that sit there and tell you to your face there going to a bitch to you because they know everything like you do, of course you don’t want to serve them….but we have to make money to and some of us can’t afford to lose our jobs and say what we really want to say. Customers like you are the reason you get bad service in the first place…when you’ve been working in resteraunts for so long you know who’s going to tip well and who isn’t. We’re just like everyone else, tryin to pay our bills except we go through more than you can obviously ever handle…next time you want to bash bring your A game before you start spittin out words

  151. I generally think Olive Garden is a decent restaurant when I’m looking for some cheap, good pasta. Olive Garden has amazing deals/prices…. my entrees can generally come out to be less than $10, and you can get unlimited soup and salad. Not to mention the food is great. You were complaining about the tiniest things in this blog post. Sounded like a spoiled brat. You must be extremely picky or neurotic.

  152. Wow, I cant believe this post. I have worked at Olive Garden the past 3 years. I am also attending college. This is the best company I have worked for in my years (mind this: don’t get me wrong, I am in my twenties so not a ton of experience at many other jobs.) I have the greatest management and awesome caring coworkers. We were are all like a family. As for the comment on drugs, could just be that particular restaurant. We dont have anything like this going on. Only hard working caring individuals. Also, for the comment on the unlimited soup and salads, I do 10 times the work for a table and have just learned to expect a low tip because of the low bill. I’m used to it. Please realize people though that we do bust our butts, it is high stress job compared to something like a retail sales..(Trust me I know) We have to put up with the rudest people and a crazy FAST paced environment. We do our best and put on a smile. I do have to say, I take a lot of pride in giving a table the best service they could receive, you go out to eat to avoid cooking or just relax. I enjoy making peoples evening. All in all, Don’t bash hard working people.

    • Actually let me properly correct my rant..Lets start paying servers min wage or a touch more.. YOU DUMBASS will end up paying MUCH more per entree to cover the costs…MORE THAN YOUR 15-20% tips when it comes down to each meal..You would expect a 30% increase in EACH ENTREE YOU ORDER….. JUST THINK ABOUT THAT IDIOT. LETS THINK ABOUT THIS… LETS STOP paying 2.13 to servers and start paying 7.25 THATS OVER 200% increase in hourly to EACH EMPLOYEE…SO EACH ENTREE WOULD HAVE TO INCREASE BY AT LEAST 30-40% to COVER COSTS>…OH YEAH GENIUS…….TIPS ARE A PRIVILEGE FOR THE CONSUMER!!!!! THINK ABOUT THAT…TIP OR PAY MUCH MORE TO EAT OUT… I DO AGREE ON THE BAD SERVICE…IF THEY SUCK, THEY DESERVE IT!!

    • Another OG Server

      February 17, 2012 at 2:50 am

      Thumps up

  153. Servers: If you don’t like your job, then change it. But if your service sucks, expect 3 pennies on the table. If it REALLY sucks, I’ll put the .03¢ on the credit card.

    I’ve rarely felt the need to do that, but a tip is a bonus, not a given. And yes, I’m well aware of the laws that allow employers to deduct tips from minimum wage. The reason they get away with it is because you let them, by working there. Work elsewhere, if you feel it’s unfair, for an employer that pays minimum wage or better.

    • Jeff, Take a **** and stuff it in your mouth… I hope you dont go out to eat…I bet you are one of the people that get amazing service and still tip horribly…

      • ALSO THEY DONT DEDUCT TIPS FROM MIN. WAGE… WE MAKE 2.13 and HOUR SO TIPS ARE NOT BONUS>>>>>>THE 2.13 and HOUR WE MAKE DOESNT EVEN COVER TAXES>>>WE PAY IN A LOT AT THE END OF THE YEAR>.. I PAID ALMOST 1500 ADDITIONAL IN FEDERAL TAXES…I WORK HARD AND PAY MY TAXES LEARN YOUR FACTS….BTW I AM ABOUT TO GRADUATE AS AN ACCOUNTANT. (TAX FIELD) I KNOW THE LAWS IDIOT!

    • A tip is not a bonus dumbass it’s my only form of payment idiot. No paycheck, no tip equals no money. Bonus lmao get outta here.

      • If a tip is a bonus then where the hell is my given? If I give good service and have to count on you for my “bonus” then I’m screwed. You’re worse than that Lily chick. Ughh I pitty the server that has to kiss your ass.

        • for real, people who make the argement for not tipping purposely go into restaurants looking for reasons not to tip.

          …and then blame it on someone else so they don’t feel guilty about it.

    • you must be a conservative. i say this because it’s only “fiscal conservatives” who are willing to both take advantage of the system, while demonizing the system, and demonizing the regular people stuck in that system (which thanking their lucky stars it’s not them).

      you must be awesome as a human being 🙂

  154. First of all I work at olive garden and what you wrote us truly false. You can get soup and salad combo for 6.95 at lunch and 9.95 for dinner and if you can’t afford that then don’t go out to eat and sharing is ridiculous because the portions are per person so adjust your stupid blog and do not go back

  155. You sure sound like annoying, pretentious, stick in the ass person. Glad not to have the misfortune of knowing someone like yourself.

  156. I am a server myself.

    Expect what you work for. If you are a GOOD server you will make ABOVE minimum wage. If you are an EXCELLENT server, you will do much better. Impress every single table that comes in, and you will find that one big tip of the night. It’s a number’s game people, wake up. So what. You left their drink empty for 10 minutes and expect a really good tip? No. 15% is guideline, not mandatory.

    Be a good server and you can make $10-$15 an hour. At a higher end establishment, you can make a lot more. If you are as good as you think you are, apply for the higher end places. I was making on average $30 an hour before I moved. It was a high end place though.
    Wake up.

  157. You have all just made my decision for me. I feel sorry for the people that get stuck, and I do mean stuck and not too lazy to look for real work, working for tips. The food places like Olive Garden are no better than a McDonalds. If you want good service at a decent price with people who actually get a decent wage… Don’t go out. I rarely tip well. I, myself, have a low paying job, but the mental benefits of serving the public to help them are worth way more. I wish I knew exactly which restaurants pay their employees by tips because I would never go to them. The writer of this blog I would have to say is quite the snob, though. I’m sorry, but some of the crap he wrote just made me sick to my stomach. I share with my family at every meal we go out just because we can barely afford it, but like to get out and not have to cook at a decent place with good food. The places that sell “Great” food tend to, in my opinion, have the WORST food, most overly priced and snobs for waitresses/waiters. The way they look at you, too, when you walk in with your family and you can barely afford to give a mediocre tip disgusts me, hence the reason I don’t go to them. The places without waiters and waitresses serve just as good of food as these pricey restaurants. Not only that, but damn, don’t bring any kids because most people that are sitting in them are just as big of snobs as the help. It’s a sin to have a kid that doesn’t act like they’ve been beaten severely into submission. I was looking for a nice place to get together with a friend I haven’t spent time with in forever and I now know I don’t want to go anywhere with a waiter or waitress involved. As for all the people who enjoy being waited on, happy for you. If you can afford to go hang out at a place that may have people who are only nice to you to get a buck, kudos. I, myself, want nothing to do with it. I would rather go to a backhills truck stop with people that treat you like one of the family because they were raised to not judge people by their pocketbook. As for the rest of you speaking here, some of you have good points. I agree with a lot of points on here. Even the guy in the first reply on here. There are two sides to every story and no matter where you go you still run into snobs. Just do me a favor and stay out of my path, cuz I want nothing to do with it.

    • Shouldn’t your post read, “I myself rarely go out.”? Seriously, man. If you can’t afford to tip well because of your job, then get your ass to a grocery store and eat at home. Don’t make some poor schmuck work his/her ass off for you, hoping for a good tip, when you know you can’t afford it. That’s just low…

  158. Reliable Comment

    January 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Everyone has their opinion.

  159. Do you really want to mess with the people who bring you YOUR FOOD? Idiot.

  160. Best thing about Olive garden is complain over nothing and you’ll get your meal paid for and a gift card for next time. Management will always believe a guest over their worker anyday

    • Another OG Server

      February 17, 2012 at 2:45 am

      ^^First-class citizen right here^^ “How can I make this server feel like they are inadequate and get something for myself out of their suffering?” I mean top-notch. You in politics?

    • I get douche bags like this everyday. God, the clientele that Olive Garden has…

  161. Honestly guys get real. Servers require no education or requirements and they can make a decent amount of money for what they do. Want to make real money? Then go to school for a career. This is a JOB! Learn the difference. Also, like it has been said tipping is not required and it should be earned.

    • Another OG Server

      February 17, 2012 at 2:37 am

      Working my way through grad school and that means that I should be treated like a second class citizen? Even your comment was presumptuous and derogatory. I don’t even want to guess how you treat the mailman, the bus driver, the grocer, the gas station attendant, etc. I don’t need to guess. You’re better than them all, huh? Who needs them anyhow. I mean, they’re not trying to make something of themselves, of course. They chose this job. Got it.

      Grow up, Nicholas.

      There should be one day a year where pre-tipping is required. You sit down and tell me the percentage I’ll be getting if I do my very best. And when you respond 0%, I’m going to laugh. Good luck getting any priority, buddy.

      But sadly, you get to tip after I’ve already worked my ass off. All the while I’m thinking “10%, please!” And when you don’t leave anything, I can’t figure out why: “Was I a bad server? Did I offend you? What did I do wrong? How the hell am I suppose to pay rent this month? Oh shit, is tuition due THIS week? Why the hell am I doing this? Oh, yes. That is right. I’m a full time student and need a job that I can go to after class gets out at 4, and with this schedule my options really are this limited. Wow, one asshole ruins the night.”

    • Actually Severing in parts like italy is a career you have to attend school for that and I bet on your Job you won’t make as much as 630 a week which I have made a few times

  162. Another OG Server

    February 17, 2012 at 2:41 am

    I averaged my tips from the last month (for you lovely folks out there who think servers are racking it in). I made 6% of my sales. And on top of that, the majority of the individuals I serve are actually rude in addition to the petty change they leave me. I guess the rudeness was my bonus? I’m working my way through grad school and that means that I should be treated like a second class citizen?

    Had a teenage girl yell at me once. Her mom chastised her, mildly, and told her to be nice. The girl’s response was “She wouldn’t work here if she didn’t want to be treated this way”. I have never been so close to physically assaulting a minor.

    You had 3 soups, huh? And drinks? How many trips to the table did that waitress make? Did you get the food? Enjoy it? Sneak some salad? Have fun judging the server for the entire meal? Tip a dollar on a <$20.00 meal?

    There should be one day a year where pre-tipping is required. You sit down and tell me the percentage I’ll be getting for "good service". I'll give you the service I think that tip deserves–just like the other 365 days a year, you get rip me off for all those soups I rushed out for you. Next time, I'll walk slower.

  163. I work as a server in central/southern Ca – (wine country) and make $8 an hour + tips, CHA CHINGG!! 🙂
    However, I treat customers as if they were my own guests.

  164. I have read every comment on here and I have to say there are truly some very stupid people out there that have no clue what the real world is like. Sick of the opinion if you work tables you are not working a real job. A real job to all you jackasses out there is not one where u sit on your ass and get paid doing it. A real job is working with your hands and being on your legs all the time. A real job is when you work to provide for your family whether it be parking cars, serving, or being an accountant. I have worked as a server on and off for 20 years. Basically I worked my ass off 6-7 days a week and 4-5 of those days were doubles. Why because I took care of my customers and my reward was earning each week anywhere from 600-1000. Does it give idiots like what I have seen on here the right to say a tip is a privilage. You obviously have no brains or you just aren’t a decent human being! Making $2.13 an hour is not making money. Therefore when we run our legs off because we want to make your dining experience a good one, don’t humor us or think you are by leaving 3 pennies or $2.00 when you have a bill more then 20.00. I just hope that Karma isn’t real because if it is your ass has a lot to pay for. Tip your server based on the job they do, tip them based on your check as well. Thank God there are still some decent people out there that make doing what we do worth while because if there were many people out like there such as yourselves then we would all be in the poverty zone. Do I make my money based on my looks? No, I am a 41 year old mother of 3 whose husband makes over 160,000 a year at his job but I love working with the public even though at times I have to deal with asses like you!!

  165. when you walk into a restaurant you have to know that your going to tip a minimum of 15% regardless of service (unless the server deliberately ruins your meal or is rude) people make mistakes servers are only human. the question of whether or not you should tip is so fucking stupid. rather than try and make a logical debate on why you shouldnt give money to someone to who just did everything in their ability to make sure you and your family had a great meal and left you with a memory you should just understand that that is how the restaurant business is YOU TIP your server. done deal no question about not matter what. i have worked at olive garden for 8 months and before you say it isnt a hard job let me tell you this. i dont think i can recall more than a few times of myself ever crying and on one occasion in my first week of work a crazy old couple made me break and literally quit and move back out of state back home with my parents because i had almost lost all faith in humanity. that is the kind of stress put on servers as they server people their meals.

  166. Firstly, I work at the Olive Garden, and to the lady who is complaining about it in her post, you sound like a total asshole. Yes Olive Garden makes their own wines so NATURALLY they would like to sell them. We servers have to know all the wines, how they taste, whats sweet whats dry, so on and so forth and what goes with what because YES people do ask these questions and we do have to try to sell them because it is our DUTY as part of the Olive Garden. It doesn’t seem like your “19 year old waitress” was being rude to you guys because you didn’t want anything; sounds more like you two kept blowing her off while she was just doing her job in suggesting things. Just be normal, say no thank you, and move on. It’s not difficult to be nice. We have to deal with people like you too, and for days at a time.
    Oh and hey, servers do not make minimum wage. Here in NY I make 5.00 hr serving, so I rely on my tips to pay bills and pretty much exist.
    So let me ask you: While we servers are rushing to bring your coffee, hot tea, wines, breadsticks, check for refills, get your appetizer, bring the plates, check refills, prebus to clear for your entree, carry thirty pounds of heavy plates on our shoulder with one hand underneath the tray, serve you, refill drinks, check back on you, get your desserts, get coffee and wine to go with your desserts, prebus again, and then thank you for coming to Olive Garden and leave the bill only to check back a few seconds later…. that you greedy people can not leave a tip? Ok, why do you just go grab everything you need for your dinner? That’s right, you can’t.
    And the reason I serve is because I’m in school AND have an apartment AND a car AND electricity bills AND insurance. So if I have to wait until after I graduate school to get a ‘real’ job to start living, well, buddy, you’re full of bullshit.

  167. Although some of the comments are very disturbing, I would like to focus on the actual author of this blog for now. Did it ever occur to you that maybe you don’t like these kinds of places… because you are OBSESSING over how bad they are going to be? Here is a time line of your visit, from me seeing what you posted.
    1. You went in and immediately started complaining about the decor. You knew this was a chain, so it wasn’t like you went in expecting the waiters in tuxedos and someone in the lobby playing the piano. When I enter a restaurant that I have not been to before, I don’t go in going “omgoodness look how ugly these lights are. That painting is so cheesy” Sure I may notice big things like paint chipping off the walls, but not the second I walk in. Usually I only notice the really bad stuff if the food isn’t good and I start looking around. I know you don’t like chains, but to me it sounds like you went in already deciding you weren’t going to enjoy it.
    2. You mentioned the wait time. Although I do agree that being told 10 minutes and then waiting 20 minutes is annoying, you also mentioned there where a lot of families there. A 20 minute wait with that many people isn’t bad. If it was some fancy restaurant, that wasn’t a chain and everyone talked about only in hushed tones to other friends of the secret restaurant club, would you have been upset to wait that time? Also that buzzer thing is not used only at chains. I have seen it in “fancy” restaurants to. When you have a lot of people to sit it can be very efficient.
    3. You mention the noisy family. You also mention this is a family restaurant. Yes, hearing them singing happy birthday at the top of their lungs gets annoying. Should you punish your waitress for this? no.
    4. The wine. With a restaurant like Olive Garden, the servers are told to offer the wine and try to push it. Maybe she had been reprimanded for not selling enough wine, and she let her disappointment show a tiny bit. Did she hold it against you and stop paying attention, or did she still serve you?
    5. You are basing a restaurant’s quality over soup and salad, two of the most basic things to make. Let’s not share any pasta or anything that the restaurant is more known for, lets try something everyone makes and rate them harshly on it. And with the prices, if you were so concerned about cost you cold have looked up an online menu to see if you could afford to go there. You are being cheap.
    6. 3 bowls of soup each? I am assuming that you and your friend are not perfectly timed on each others eating times, so that girl probably made 6 trips to the kitchen. not counting the refills and checks and everything. She was working hard for you, plus the other tables she had to wait on (refer to the lots of families part), and making comments like “not let into or sorority” and how “she was pissed about a small tip”. Maybe she was kind of upset she couldn’t get you to order more. If she made big buck tips like some people on here say, she wouldn’t be. My guess is she was probably exhausted, and had many people tip her badly. Frustration not directed at you, but at the day in general.

    I do realize you said the soup and salad was pretty good. I am not saying you should have thought it was amazing or the most perfect dish ever or anything. I just think if you spent less time looking for the negatives in things and trying to read you waitresses emotions, you could have maybe enjoyed your experience more.

  168. I found this blog disturbing.

    Do most people act this way when to go eat out??
    Snobbish, stubborn, and biased opinionated before they even try the food?

    It’s funny cause, the author says the soup and salad was good…
    Too bad that’s the only thing they had there.

  169. Just wanted to let you know Olive Garden has unlimited Soup, Salad & Breadsticks for just $6.95.

  170. FormerRetailWorker

    September 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    God these servers on here sound like a bunch of whining brats. Here in California servers make 8 dollars an hour minimum, so there should be no sob stories about how their server makes only 2 bucks an hour.

    Retail/customer service jobs are not meant to be rewarding, that’s why you are paid so little and they require no education or work experience. One of the things that annoyed me the most about working in retail was the constant complaining from my fellow workers. Yeah you get rude people, but that is the nature of the job. I got out of working those jobs by going to school full time and getting a computer science degree, which has given me a career rather than a job. If this is not feasible for you, then consider learning a skill or training for the myriad skilled jobs available like becoming a CNA or a driver.

  171. Never screw with the people who bring you food. They will pour visine into any OG soup and salad cheap motherfucker eating piece of shits bowl.

  172. Wow, you sound like a very pleasant person. Calling someone celebrating their birthday at a restaurant a brat and laughing at them for celebrating. Really?

  173. I’m a server at the Olive Garden and let me enlighten some of you.

    1. I do not particularly think the Olive Garden is the best thing to grace the planet, but I personally think MOST of our food is amazing with a few exceptions and for the most part our guests get amazing service (with the exception of when things randomly go wrong with various things such as a wait time due to be being busy, the kitchen getting backed up or messing something up, you know, random bullshit that happens to us all at some point at our jobs regardless of what you do, shit happens.)

    2. You have no idea how many people come in and try to just drink water and eat free soup/salad/bread, it happens multiple times on a daily basis. Raggedy-ass people who are broke and have no money to tip more than like maybe 1-3$ (if that, a lot of times 0$) You have no clue how aggrevating it is to bend over backwards for these people trying to make their experience a good one so that they don’t complain about us on the GSS survey (which is a big deal to management and we’re constantly reminded daily to give our guests a pleasant experience so that the GSS numbers will increase.)

    This can be a little difficult to do, for instance. Soup/Salad is not free, it comes with an entree, and we’re not supposed to bring out plates/bowls for soup for people who didn’t order it, yet people are usually very quick to throw a fit if they don’t get their “free” salad/soup. So it’s either tell them “No.” and risk pissing them off and them complaining about us/the GSS, regardless of if we’re following company policy/in the right, depending on the management you can be written up and/or fired for a guest complaint/negative comments on the GSS, it’s your word against theres and ‘the guest is always right’ is a motto we have at the Olive Garden. So the other option would be to just give them what they want to avoid issues, yet if management decides to do a table audit and sees two people eating salad, but only being charged salad for one or only one entree rang in, you will be written up and/or fired because that’s considered ‘stealing from the restaurant.’

    So I’m left with the options of having to deal with a pissed off guest for about 40 minutes to an hour and a half and pretty much work for free since they most likely won’t tip as well as the chance of getting complained on for following rules or to just say fuck it and give them what they want and risk getting in trouble with management. Considering this happens multiple times through out the day to different servers, it gets old really quick.

    3. The pricing, you can complain all you want about the pricing of our food, but all entrees come with ENDLESS REFILLS of soup OR salad (another annoying thing guests do on the daily, they read the word “OR” and think it means “AND” and get mad at you for it.), as well as breadsticks. You’re getting your bang for your buck, I’d say about 60% of our entrees/apps/desserts taste AMAZING, another 30% are ‘Ok’ and maybe 10% I dislike. I eat at our restaurant multiple times a week and after working there for a year and a half still crave our food, when people tell me our food sucks I want to call bullshit because I personally love our food and eat it all the time. It’s very rare that tables order dessert because of all of the food we give. At lunch time our prices vary from about 7$-11$ and are smaller portions, at dinner time the prices are about 11$-17$ but are much larger, a lot of them are double in size. We also offer kids menus and their portions are big enough to fill me up and I have a pretty healthy appetite and most of them are under 5$ and come with sides, soup/salad, and bread. So yes, despite being “pricey” we are very generous with our portions and sides, you won’t be leaving the Olive Garden hungry I can guarantee you that.

    4. It’s apart of the Olive Garden standard to offer wine samples/do our best to sell the wine. Knowledge of the wine and selling it is a huge part of our job and we’re constantly encouraged to offer wine, which isn’t a bad thing and knowledge of the wine helps sell it, most guests get excited when I offer them wine samples/ask if they’d like to order a glass.

    5. The Pay. We make $2.17 an hour. I’ve worked there for a year and a half and the biggest paycheck I ever received was around 6 or 7$ from a weeks work. We have to claim all of our tips every single shift, it auto adds in any credit card tips and when we go to clock out it estimates our cash tips, we can correct it to the exact amount as well. Because we are forced to claim our tips and it’s against the law to lie about it (risk getting audited) taxes take out pretty much all of our hourly pay, 80% of the time my paychecks are 0$ and that other 20%? 1-4$ a week. So no, you can’t figure getting a 4$ tip every hour will equal out to minimum wage because we never actually see that 2.17 an hour that we ‘make.’ 99.99999% of my money comes from what people decide to tip me, which kind of sucks sometimes but working at a restaurant gives you the opportunity to make more than a minimum wage and for the most part I usually do. Which is why I chose to work in a restaurant, because being a college student that lives on his own and goes to school, it’d be kind of hard to survive working at say, walmart.

    It’s very random, I’ve had nights where I went in and worked a 6 hour shift and walked out with 120$ (Not often at all though) which equals out to about 20$ an hour, which is freakin amazing! Too bad that rarely ever happens in my area due to lack of business/raggedy people that don’t feel the need to tip us anything. On average a 6 hour shift yields about $70-$80, which is still a lot better than a minimum wage job, but there are also quite a few shifts where I’ve made only $20-$40 after being slammed busy and working my ass off for ratchet people that treated me like shit and didn’t tip shit, it’s all in the luck of the draw. Some nights you’ll go in there, be slammed busy the whole time, treated TERRIBLY by the ‘guests’ and receive either no tip, or $2-3 tips all night, it sucks being that unlucky server that gets all of the ratchet tables, but the hosts must follow a rotation and some nights you’re just unlucky.

    6. What does our job entail? We have 3 table sections, which doesn’t seem like much, and that is not much at all for OTHER restaurants, but the one that that differs with Olive Garden is refills. Restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings you get 4-6 table sections, but the only refills you have to worry about there are drinks. At the Olive Garden all 3 of our tables need refills on drinks, salad, soup, bread, and right now we’re doing a Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion as well. Some nights we’re slammed busy and 10 different servers all need salads/bread/soup at the same time, our oven only holds so much bread so I could have a table request bread, go to the kitchen and see 6 servers all attacking the bead oven and by the time they move all the breads gone and I have to wait another 5 minutes before theres anymore, which does not make for a happy guest, this process can repeat itself depending on timing and I could go back when it’s done and be too late yet again and my table could be waiting 10 minutes, which translates to “I get to work for free for this pissed off table because all the other servers took the bread, but i cant be mad at them because they needed it too.” Also waiting your turn for your salad based off how quick you rang in the refill can be time consuming too. Soups arent bad because we can fix those ourselves and its just a scoop and done, but on some nights we don’t have a person scheduled to do the bread and/or salad and we have to do all of that ourselves, that REALLY slows us down and gets us in what we call ‘the weeds’ (aka being really backed up.) When you’re in the weeds and need say a salad and 2 refills on water for one table, refill on bread for a table thats been waiting 7 minutes as well as a dessert, and another table of 6 people who all just got sat and are waiting to be greeted/orders taken, it can be very stressful.

    Most guests think the server is responsible for anything that goes wrong when in fact most times it’s hardly EVER the servers fault (unless they’re just raggedy and fail at life) and we’re the ones who suffer when the kitchen messes our food up/takes too long, the salad lady messes up/takes too long with salad and making bread, or say we run out of a certain item because it was either ordered a lot more than usual that week or the management didn’t order enough, their mess ups can translate to us working for free because in peoples mind its our fault and they don’t have to tip their ‘bad’ server even though we have no control over any of that, while the kitchen worker/salad lady/management have no repercussions whatsoever since they make an actual hourly rate and don’t live off tips.

    I’ve had people cuss at me, say really harsh/mean things to me over something that wasn’t my fault and even been complained about when they received excellent service for something minimal such as the carpet not being ‘clean enough’ or “our service was bad because the food wasn’t very good.” How that makes any sense? Don’t ask me. Servers deal with more bullshit than you can imagine and it takes a toll on us physically and emotionally a lot of times especially during the busy weekend rushes. I don’t really get how people cannot sympathize for us, but I guess most people don’t really use their brains and think things through before jumping to ignorant conclusions and taking it out on us.

    I’m making it sound like the worst job ever, but despite all of the bullshit that comes with it I do make more than people who work minimum wage jobs and I meet a lot of cool/nice people who brighten my day up as well and understand what it’s like. I work with some really amazing staff and I do get SOME benefits as well as a very flexible schedule that works with me going to college, so you have to take the good with the bad, but for the most part I do like my job, just sometimes I come very close to walking out after being treated like a peasant. Why people treat someone who handles their food so badly? I’ll never understand lol, but some of you should try thinking of the poor 20 year old college sophomore just trying to make bill money and support herself through college before you flip out on her/get her fired over your breadsticks not being fresh or having to wait a few minutes for a refill.

  174. Something people should consider is that servers do not retain all their tips. They are automatically deducted so a fraction of their tips goes to bussers, bartenders, and sometimes cooks. So when you leave someone a $2 tip, they’ll probably see less than a $1 of that.

    I work at OG as a Busser.

Leave a Reply