Olive Garden

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1.5 out of 5, based on 26 ratings and
82 reviews & complaints.
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Olive Garden
1000 Darden Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32837
407-245-4000 (ph)
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No Common Sense
By -

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Date of Incident: 10/17/2010. Time of Incident: around 10 pm to 10:05 pm. Location: Olive Garden restaurant on 1545 Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89119. 702-735-0082.

On the night of 10/17/2010, our party of six arrived at Olive Garden restaurant around 9:20 PM. There were very few people in their waiting area and the Hostess came and talk to our group at least 3 times to let us know that they have not forgotten about us and they are preparing our table. We asked them if we can go ahead and order our food even before we got seated, and the Hostess proceeded to take our order which was great. Our party of six (we are all Filipinos) was the only one in their waiting area and finally we got seated after 15 minutes.

We got our main entree and appetizer served in our table after another 20 minutes. Our waiter was a gentleman who is either Hawaiian or Asian descent. We just now got our hot food and proceeded to eat. My sister in Law (**) now decided she needed to get a sweater in the car because she was cold. It was taking awhile for her to come back and my other sister in Law (**) received a call from ** stating that she is outside the front entrance of the restaurant and the staff would not let her back in.

** went to the front entrance to talk to the staff and she returned angry because they will not let her sister back in. **'s boyfriend also went to the front entrance to talk to the staff and he also came back angry because they would not allow ** back in. I finally went to the front to talk to the General Manager and hostesses. The Hostess kept apologizing to me.

The General Manager proceeded to tell me that he cannot let ** back in because it's Olive Garden's policy that they do not let anyone in after 10 PM for employee safety. I tried to reason to the manager that she did not know this but all he kept saying was it's for employee safety and that if he lets her in then he would have to shut down the whole restaurant. He said this with such an uncaring attitude.

I would like to make a comment regarding Employee Safety. Are Olive Garden employees safer at 8pm, 9pm, 9:30pm, 10pm, 10:01pm etc. I don't remember anyone asking me whether I was carrying a weapon on me when I walked in the restaurant. How do they know that they were safe? Are the Olive Garden employees walked to their car after they get off from work for safety or is the INSIDE of the restaurant considered the "HOLY GROUND"! I have eaten in a lot of Olive Garden restaurants even in different states and not once have I seen security in the premises.

The General Manager never once mentioned Customer Safety €”which makes it more apparent that Customer Safety is not important to Olive Garden! He also told me that I shouldn't be rude to him. I guess locking someone outside the restaurant while her hot food was waiting on the table WAS NOT RUDE! I was so distraught €”I told the manager that Olive Garden wasted my time to have dinner with my family that they should pay me for coming to Olive Garden instead of me paying them.

I told the manager that I want all the food on the table packed and I am not paying for a single penny. I saw one of the Hostess whispered something to our waiter. Apparently the manager OK'd it because our waiter packed up all our food. We all left the restaurant very upset, distraught, humiliated, and emotionally stressed.

I can't believe that this is Olive Garden's policy? Where is the Safety of the Consumer? A young lady locked outside the door of the restaurant by herself at night-- it was also misting outside. My 10 yo daughter was with us. What if I had asked her to get something in the car then this young girl would also be locked outside the door due to employee safety. What if I forgot my wallet in the car? I don't think Olive Garden will have a problem then of me stepping out of the restaurant to get my wallet so I can pay them. Oh but I can't go back in the restaurant to pay due to employee safety.

Wow what a novel idea to get free meals at Olive Garden (wouldn't the WWW love to know about this!) Now--maybe you're seeing how stupid this policy is. It's unbelievable that this is happening in this century and this country. I served over 8 years active duty Air Force and several years as a reservist and I have never had this emotional trauma of disrespect, injustice, stupidity, and uncaring attitude towards another fellow human being. It is false advertisement for Olive Garden to promote the concept of Family Dining. How can you have Family dining when your family member is locked out of the restaurant in the parking lot while her hot food is on the table!

Other details of this incident: I recorded every detail right outside the restaurant parking lot in my Iphone because I don't want to forget any specific detail of what happened and I want an accurate description of the incident. ** states that as she was going out of the door €”there were other customers that was also going out of the door. ** states that one of the Hostess asked her if she is done with her dinner and she said "No, €”I'm not done, I just have to get something out of the car" then she stepped outside the door. No one stopped her nor told her of the restaurant policy. They knew we just got our food, otherwise, why would they bother to ask her that question.

If this is a strict policy€“ they should have told us while we were sitting in the waiting area for 15 minutes since they know we are late customers and there is a possibility that one of us would step outside the door after 10 PM. If this is a strict policy - why is the Manager now standing by the door of the restaurant to make sure that I do not let ** in but he didn't bother stopping her as she was going out. Was he just waiting to whip out his Olive Garden Policy and enforce his power! He must get a kick out of this.

Now you might say, what is the big deal--it's only food. Well, put yourself in this situation. You go to Olive Garden to have a nice dinner with your family and your starving because it is already late at night-- then your sister, your mother, your brother, your daughter/son, or yourself steps out door at 10:01 pm to smoke or get something in the car, well, guess what-- YOU'RE SCREWED!

Where is Consumer'€™s Rights? Olive Garden lets me order my food but I can'€™t eat it? Olive Garden enforces a policy but not inform customers about it! Olive Garden only cares about employee safety €”but totally ignores Customer Safety! Olive Garden promotes Family Dining BUT without your Family! What went wrong? No Common Sense!!! If you don'€™t have one, then you shouldn'€™t manage anything!!! You should not be a Manager. Otherwise just put a robot by the door to spit out policies and see how many customers comes back for more. It is time to wake up Olive Garden. Your Garden needs to grow Common Sense! Very Peeved Ex-Customer!

A depressing day in Kingston
By -

My friend suggested the Olive Garden in Kingston for lunch and never having had the experience I went along with the suggestion. The restaurant looks like a Lionel train set version of a restaurant with all the accessories that make it ' Family Dining' (don't you just love that?) It is actually a cover up for its faults. The bread sticks that they are so proud of are so salty it makes your face itch. The salad was passable and the service friendly.

When they came around with a bottle of Bordeaux cradled in the crook of the server's arm I nearly fell off my chair. I ordered a diet coke instead which was 7/8ths water from the Hudson River. The scallop and shrimp pasta was so salty a slimy as to make it inedible but a Hostess did come by to ask..'how is it so far?' as if to imply something terrible is about to take place.. The bill came to the standard $45 which seems to be the luck number these days.

Information for the complainers
By -

My name is **. I have worked for Olive Garden for several years, and just came across this website. I am currently frustrated with my job due to harassment at work from another co-worker, but upon reading some of these complaints, I felt the need to comment back to some of your people. First of all, working at any place that serves food is probably one of the most difficult and demeaning jobs in this country. No matter what goes wrong, everyone thinks its the server's fault.

Whether the food doesn't taste very good, or if it takes a long time, all of these things are completely out of the server's control and it's very frustrating for us to listen to your complaints and then you take it out on us by stiffing us. Here are a few things I would like to say though, before you all go and complain some more.

  1. Servers don't cook the food. We are more than happy to get a manager and have the cooks re-make your meal, but please do not get mad at us, as we had nothing to do with it. Don't forget that the cooks are paid hourly, they really don't care if you like your meal or not. 2. YES there is an up charge for salad. We don't hand out free salad, we are not a homeless shelter. It comes complimentary with every MEAL (which does not include an appetizer, even if you're eating an appetizer as your meal). If we don't charge you and we get caught, we get fired. If you don't like it, talk to a manager.

  2. YES there is an up charge for Alfredo sauce, and the cooks won't even give you Alfredo until you ring it in. It's very expensive, and we're sorry, but there's nothing we can do about it. If we steal it for you, we can get fired.

  3. Soup and Salad may be great, and I agree, it tastes wonderful. But it is the most difficult thing you can order, because we now have to run back and forth and back and forth just to get refill after refill after refill. And the worst part is, you don't tip us on all the extra work we're doing, because you don't realize how much work it actually is.

Imagine all 3 or 4 of our tables, each person ordering unlimited soup and salad... if each table has an average of 3 people, and I have 4 tables, that's 12 people I'm constantly refilling soup, salad and bread for. By the time I come back to your table, you're ready for something else, and so is everyone else in my section... it's hard. We don't mind doing it, but please don't complain when you don't get your refill right away, we are VERY busy. And tipping $2 for all that work? That's a slap in our face.

  1. I'm sorry that you're upset that we are a popular restaurant and that there are lines, and that you may just have to wait. It means we're popular, that's a good thing for Olive Garden. 6. At 4 pm every day, there is a shift change over. It's usually about 20 minutes of complete disaster and chaos, but this is probably the worst time to come to OG. 7. Coming in 5 minutes before we close means you are going to get the bottom of the barrel of whatever you order. It's like that at every restaurant- your food will probably suck.

  2. Please don't forget that we make our money based on what you give us. That's how we pay our bills... if you're going to be cheap, or you can't afford to eat at a nice place, then go to Burger King and have it 'your way'. But this is a place of business, where we depend on tips to survive every day life. Thank you and have a nice day.

Harassment and Rudeness Allowed by Managers at This Location.
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE -- The managers are idiots that allow their cooks to harass the new employees like it is a game. I walked out on a Saturday night after working there 4 months and putting up with too much rudeness and harassment from a coworker on the line that I quit.

I told ** about the harassment from my coworker but the GM didn't care, he has no balls, and no backbone. He allows this distasteful, harassing behavior to go on at his restaurant and than wants to act like an **, calling me on my cell after I walked out on a busy Saturday night telling me I'd better get back in and work or I may be fired if I don't. Gee that really makes me want to come back in and work with another ** on the line that you refuse to talk to about getting in my face and cussing at me, putting me down by treating me like a **.

I am 6 years older than him, and he isn't going to treat me like dirt, because he is good at what he does and feels like boasting his ego. Well, I know he just didn't like the fact that I am an awesome worker, smarter and more efficient and just better at my job than him, and he been there 3 years. I don't and encourage others to never put up with harassment of any kind from anybody at any job EVER! I don't care if you have bills, a house payment, 10 kids, 8 baby mommas, and 5 child support payments, QUIT the job and find a better one!

Don't allow yourself to be degraded or put down, or harassed! I am so glad I quit, **, the general manager, or should I say the general **, has no integrity, no balls, and desperately needs a tic-tac. Not trying to be mean but seriously dude, you talk to guests all day and night, freshen your breath. And teach your veteran employees, one in particular that I won't mention his name because all in all I actually like and respect him despite how mean he was to me, I believe in forgiveness and second chances.

But for the management to not give me my job back and not address the issues at hand... just shows what kind of managers run that restaurant... the kind that have no compassion and no people skills whatsoever. I told them about the issues I had, they tried to bury it and act like they like me working there so it be best to just let the dude harass me, because they don't stand by the true Darden code of conduct like they are supposed to! I hope justice gets served someday and they realize the sins they have committed and the pain they put my family and me through now that I have to look for another job, instead of them handling the hostile employee, they let me go.

Olive Garden Come To Princeton, WV!
By -

We here in Princeton, WV need an Olive Garden. One reason is if you come to Princeton, WV, you would get a lot of business. There are a couple more reasons why we need an Olive Garden. The first reason why we need an Olive Garden in Princeton is because it would be good for both of us. What I mean when I say for the both of us is because you would get more business and money and we would have a lovely Italian restaurant. Not just that but you would be able to get more workers because a lot of people especially me, love to cook, be a server, or any job you decide to give us to do.

For that reason, and others, because some of us are getting fired from our job people would be lining up just to work at your restaurant. In addition, we all know that a restaurant's goal is to have more than one in a state or sometimes within a country so if you come not only would you have one in Christiansburg, WV, two in Charleston, WV, and one in Roanoke, VA and many more I don‘t even know about. My point is that it would promote your business and you would be able to brag that you have 6 Olive Gardens in WV. Besides Princeton is a growing and we are on the interstate so you would make business from tired, hungry travelers.

Second, we need an Olive Garden because we all have to drive all the way to Christiansburg just to enjoy your amazing food. Almost all of us here in Princeton, WV love Italian food but we have to drive a long time just to get there so we would come even more often if you would come to Princeton, WV. Also, the gas prices are going up and we are starting to not be able to drive all the way to Christiansburg but if you come here we will be spending the money that we had to on gas at your restaurant.

In addition, don't forget that some elderly people love Italian food but they cannot get to Christiansburg they can barely get around town so you would get more business and they would probably take advantage of your awesome addition where people can order and take their food home.

Finally, we need an Olive Garden because you have healthy food. For example you know the salad that you bring before our main dish comes well that's healthy and delicious and since you have healthy food and a lot of us try to eat healthy we would eat here more often as the second paragraph brought out if you were closer because we need delicious healthy restaurants and you could be one of them. Also, your healthy food is pretty cheap so we spend money on delicious cheap food but it's so far away so if you come some might even come once or twice a week.

In Conclusion, we in Princeton, WV need an Olive Garden because it would be good for both of us we have to drive all the way to Christiansburg, and you have healthy food. Not only would you get more business but we all would greatly appreciate it and spend money just to eat your awesome food! Don't forget that if you come to Princeton, WV, you will not regret it! Remember Princeton, WV's population is 4,500 so if you come you might be seeing that many people come to your restaurant! Sincerely, a hungry 6th grader.

P.S. You won't regret it! Remember if you come you will get business, money and workers! P.P.S. Please write back.

The most poor customer service I've ever experienced in my life...
By -

Hi my name is **, one of my good friends came back into town after the holidays and we decided to go eat at your restaurant in Lynnwood to celebrate. Little that I know I was making the worst choice of my life. The wait was OK for a busy day once we got sat at the table this one lady came and asked for our drinks orders after bringing them she started with the food order. We went around telling her our choices. She asked each one of us "soup or salad?" We all answered even the ones that ordered just appetizers.

They even asked "does it come with it?" and I said "I don't think so" but ask her. She said "Oh yes it comes with it." so we thought it was included on the price since she said so. After ordering the food we waited waited waited for exactly 17 minutes for the salad and soup (which was cold) to come. We were very hungry and impatient at this point. Once we started trying to enjoy our meal the server who it was a guy now came with the food. We all looked at him like hmmm we haven't even take two bites of our salad yet. He said "Is there a problem?"

I explained to him that we waited almost 20 minutes just to get the salad and soup and now the food arrives and there's obviously no room at the table for it. He said "well I can take it back then if you want," which for all of us sounded rude and at the same time meant that our food was just going to sit there for how long getting cold and nasty. We told him just to leave it and we decided to stop eating the salad and soups. We were eating our meal and 7 minutes later people at our table wanted more bread since there was only enough one for each of us and we waited waited waited to see our server again to ask for bread and refill on water.

I really got irritated cause I didn't think this was the way of serving people at a restaurant. I had to stand up go to the front door to talk to someone and asked the lady to help me find my waiter cause we needed more bread. After a few minutes he came asking if we needed anything??????? I looked at him and said "yes bread please!" He brought it. I tried to forget about everything and just enjoy my meal. We never saw him again for God knows how long still glasses empty at this point. The manager came and apologize for the inconvenience and offered desserts on the house. We said, "Oh well whatever."

I guess it's something for the wait. Desserts took about 15 minutes to come to the table! Something that is already made and only needs to be served. The ones that were supposed to be to go didn't come in a box. Then the bill we told him we needed split in so many ways he brought the bill with wrong items in them. After we explained to him which ones go with which he came back charging two of them with the soup and salad that at the beginning we were told were included. We asked about it again. He said that girl shouldn't have said that cause it's an extra charge that it doesn't come with their two choices.

We said "look we asked in case we heard wrong she repeated herself and said yes it comes with it." At the end he was so tired of coming back and forth that he said he'd waived the charge. We got at the restaurant at 6:45 pm and left at 9!!!! And the majority of time we spent it just trying to get our food and bill the right way..... what a disappointment..... never again...

I Sure Did Get Treated Like Family!
By -

TEMPLE, TEXAS -- My co-workers and I were so excited when a new Olive Garden opened up in our town, we had been going only on special occasions to an Olive Garden over 30 minutes away. Our excitement has died down considerably as going and eating at this location is much like playing the lottery when it comes to service, and we are usually on the losing end.

On this particular Friday afternoon we were coming up on the end of a very stressful week at our job and wanted to treat ourselves to a nice lunch. When we arrived we were promptly seated and given menus. We then had two separate servers come over and introduce themselves, one of them we never saw again. Our drinks arrived several minutes after we ordered them and we were all slightly confused when the waitress stood at one end of the table and had us pass the drinks to the 8 plus people sitting at our table.

We shrugged it off and decided what to order. After we ordered she brought one salad to our large table and when we requested another one for the other end of the table she informed us that there are unlimited refills on the salad.
We informed her that we knew the salad was unlimited but we would like to have one salad per 4 people at each end of the table. At this point we were a little annoyed but it wasn't enough to ruin our experience at one of our favorite restaurants.

This was of course until she brought out our food, (our HOT food) and had us pass plates. She then refilled our drinks and AGAIN had us pass them down the table. The best part came when she brought myself and another person at the table's drink she said "I can't remember which one's diet and which one's regular, is there a way you can tell the difference?" To which I replied "I guess we could taste it" she then said "whatever" very loudly. After recovering from our shock we flagged down a manager that was making the rounds asking certain tables if their experience was good.

I explained to him the situation, he looked shock and assured us we would take care of the situation and that he was very sorry. He offered no discount, no free dessert, nothing, whatever. Our server then came back to give us our checks and pick up our plates, she didn't say two words to any of us. She THEN asked us to pass down the entire table's dirty dishes to her so she could put them on her tray. I almost lost my cool, she then handed out everyone's bill and walked away.

At this point I was furious, and was going to talk to the manager AGAIN on our way out the door. She then brought us back a stack of our credit cards in the folders they put them in, she then SAT the stack in the middle of the table and told us she didn't know who was whose and walked away. After signing our credit card slips and leaving I stopped and asked for the manager again. I then told him what had happened.

He again looked concerned and said "I will take care of it" at this point my co-workers and I were furious AND confused, wouldn't you offer something to a customer who just told you they had an awful experience at your restaurant? Instead he stood there, I finally lost it and asked "how are you going to handle the situation, you told us that before and then we ended up busing our OWN table?" He then ASKED us what we wanted. I walked out of the building as he then gave 4 of my co-workers a $5 gift card each. I feel like our $5 gift card was more like a tip for serving and busing our own table at a restaurant.

I don't know that I would even do this to family, but you certainly don't expect to do it at a restaurant where you are paying not only for food but for service. I have since given away my "tip" as I will not be returning to Olive Garden for a long time.

Extremely Poor Service
By -

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN -- I am writing this review as a way to vent some frustration. Let me say that Olive Garden is one of my all time favorite restaurants and still is. A vast majority of the restaurants have excellent or at least good service and quality. My complaint is with one particular restaurant that just happens to be the closest to my home. The Olive Garden on Ford rd. in Dearborn needs to seriously revamp their service policy.

After going to my daughter's musical, I asked her what restaurant she would like to visit. She informed me the Olive Garden because she loves their breadsticks. After driving through yet another lovely Michigan blizzard of 9 inches of snow, we arrived to a 20 minute wait. There was 6 of us total. Despite having one large section totally closed off, I found this not to be a problem because we love Olive Gardens, and this was not an excessive wait. Once we were seated, the waitress introduced herself and proceeded to take our drink orders.

After waiting 10 minutes, we finally received our drink orders (5 cokes, 1 beer, 1 coffee, and 2 waters). She said she would be back to take our food orders. Once she left, we noticed the coffee, 2 waters and all the straws were missing. After unsuccessfully trying to flag down our waitress, I asked another employee (who I mistakingly thought was the manager), if he could help her because she seemed to be having a problem waiting on all of us. He promptly said he would help and brought us out what we were missing.

After another 10 minutes, we were still waiting for our waitress to take our food order. She finally took our food order which included salads and breadsticks for all of us. After waiting another 10 minutes, she finally brought out the breadsticks. 1 basket of 7 breadsticks and no salad to be found. After 2 minutes when all of the breadsticks were devoured, we asked another waitress if she could please tell our waitress to bring us out another basket of breadsticks and our salad.

This other waitress proceeded to ask us questions such as did we know our waitresses name, what does she look like, what color is she, rather than going to the back and simply finding out who was waiting our table. After being interrogated and having the waitress go to the back, we noticed the table next to us received their salad and they were seated 20 minutes after us. After not being able to take much more of this, we proceeded to walk out of the restaurant after laying money down for the drinks. We checked with the greeter and it showed that 1 hour and 7 minutes had elapsed between the time we were seating and the time we walked out. Still with no salad.

I honestly cannot fault our waitress but I blame the managers. This waitress was not rude in any way but clearly was in way over her head and should have had more training. The managers are responsible for making that happen. If you are in the Detroit area I strongly urge staying away from the Olive Garden on Ford rd. in Dearborn. As a final note, this was not the first time we had substandard service from this location but this was definitely the worst experience.

StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE -- The woman who answered the phone Jennifer was very rude. She did not have very good customer service and was not knowledgeable about their menu. The food was disgusting. I don't know how you can mess up soup and salad, but they did. The chicken gnocchi was very thick and under flavored, it tasted like salted flour. The salad had limp lettuce and the tomatoes were soggy, they should not have even been put in the salad. The bread sticks were stale and the other two orders of the chicken Alfredo was cold. I will never go to this Olive Garden ever. My sister told me that they sucked when she worked. I should have listened.

Unprofessional And Not What It Used To Be
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

JACKSON, MICHIGAN -- Olive Garden is definitely not what it used to be. There are policies in place but are not followed. The store manager walks around with hickies on his neck and is dating a bartender in his store. Needless to say the bartender gets away with things that anyone else would be fired on the spot for... Drinking on the job, free food daily, just about anything she wants... she gets.

The store manager/any manager is not supposed to have inappropriate relationships with employees per policy in the employee handbook. Employee relations has been notified but nothing has been done. Darden definitely isn't the company they used to be and I'm embarrassed to say that I worked for this company. The manager and bartender have been walked in on by another manager in the manager office on two occasions. They are both still employed there, despite the inappropriate actions and behavior that they display.

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