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Will not allow display of American Flag
Posted by Peterc1253 on 10/07/2011
The Olive Garden in Oxford Alabama would not allow the American Legion at a reserved lunch display the American Flag . This is pathetic.

Veterans and Veterans families and friends all over the US will be boycotting Olive Garden once this story hits the veterans e-mail network

Remember, Golden Corral who endorses veterans is just next doo to this establishment.
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Posted by FlitteringFirefly on 2011-10-07:
Have you contacted corporate to ask what the issue is? Golden Corral also has a tendancy to be very homophobic. No restaraunt is going to please every one.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-07:
I can't recall seeing an American flag displayed at a restaurant. In my opinion it isn't necessarily unpatriotic not to do so or turn down a request to temporarily display one. It could set a precedent for any group to have a flag of its choice displayed, such as the Rebel flag.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-08:
What kind of flag are you talking about? Little table toppers on the reserved tables, or a huge flag hung on the wall in the main dining room?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-08:
trmn8r> +1000 on your precedent comment...you took the words right out of my mouth.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-08:
I agree j4all, excellent comment tmrn8r. It was right to the point!
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2011-10-08:
I've heard the same homophobic story about Cracker Barrel. Still, displaying the American flag depends on the owner or manager of the establishment, and not all restaurants fly the flag...in fact, I have seen very few that do.
Posted by southern to the bone on 2011-10-11:
THIS IS AMERICA. Make no excuses and Expect no less. WE ARE AMERICANS - The Flag is our banner of the investment and sacrifice of generations past. LOVE AMERICA or LEAVE AMERICA. ACCEPT NO LESS.
Posted by Alain on 2011-10-11:
Maybe Logan's Roadhouse on Ali Way will work with you?
Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-11:
I don't think not hanging a big flag in a place of business is unpatriotic. By thinking that those who wouldn't do it are unpatriotic and should leave America is intolerant and uninformed.

Patriotism is like religion... Some like to practice it quietly, while others like to shove it down others throats while saying "if you don't believe what I believe, then you are wrong".

Remember that America is the land of the free, and we are free not to hang flags in our businesses. THAT, MY FRIEND, IS THE INVESTMENT AND SACRIFICE OF GENERATIONS PAST. The flag is simply another piece of cloth - a great one at that - that represents part of that past and our future.
Posted by rebel1961 on 2011-10-11:
The flag was only being used for a luncheon. It's not like they were trying to hang a huge flag on the wall and leave it.
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Information for the complainers
Posted by Lizzie72 on 02/15/2010
My name is Lizzie. 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.

3. YES there is an upcharge 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. Its 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. Its like that at every restaurant- your food will probably suck.

8. 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.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-15:
" because we now have to run back and forth and back and forth just to get refill after refill after refill."

That is part of your job description...right?

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-15:
You have some good points. But I agree with Steve. It's part of your job description to get more soup and salad
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-15:
I also agree. These are fine comments that people should remember, but I'm not concerned with your issues regarding the soup and salad.

And while asking us to not "forget that we make our money based on what you give us" is fine and all. You should also remember that we don't just give away our money because you need it. We pay extra for quality service. (I actually cannot remember a time when I've received poor service. Oh, yeah, IHOP.)
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-15:
I hear what you are saying Lizzie, but keep in mind that for me, the customer guy, you are the face of the company during the meal. I'm not chatting with the cook. I'm not asking the CEO for iced tea. It's you. While I try to be understanding, including how much something is going to cost if I go "off the menu" for a bit, I still have to count on you for my experience to be good. I shouldn't be the one realizing my food is wrong. You should. When you do that well, I tip well. When it's done poorly, well, it goes the other way. If that's not an environment in which you find yourself happy and successful, chances are you need to try and take another route in life.
Posted by Inat on 2010-02-15:
i am a frequent defender of The OG... and i like the soup & salad quite a bit. I tip a minimum of $5.00 regardless of meal price (I was a server/bartender in college) but all the same, you must remember that most people live and die by the 10%-20% - and for soup & Salad, that is about $2.50 max . . . you dont make your money one soup & salad, or one beer, or two apps... you make your money on the big meals and from those of us who tip more than the minimum.
Posted by andbran on 2010-02-15:
i love OG. when the food doesnt turn out well i know its the cook not the server. you make alot of valid points. i dont see why anyone comes in toward the end of the day. they are boumd to get whats leftover.
Posted by Starlord on 2010-02-15:
My first wife worked at a posh sit-down restaurant, and I remember one night in particular. They had a party of 40 from a well-known religious organization who kept the waitstaff running with special requests. When they left, the girls started cleaning the table. Under each plate was a tract. I guess the party thought that was an appropriate tip.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-02-15:
I see where the OP is coming from. What she's saying is that even though soup and salad lunch doesn't cost much, the extra work involved in the service of bringing it to you should be considered in the tip. Cheap dinner shouldn't always mean low tip. You tip for service regardless of meal price. Anyway I also agree with yelling at servers, or cashiers, or anyone not equip to properly deal with complaints. I would never stiff or complain at my server for a wrong doing in the kitchen because I'm intelligent enough to know my issue has nothing to do with them. It's a shame others aren't quite that bright.
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2010-02-15:
Ok this might be a little long. I agree with this OP in a few areas. 1 If you ask for something extra it will cost more they have no control over that (but they should inform you of the cost) 2 Most of the time your server does not run your food to your table so they will not know if it came out right or not. (yes the server that brought your food should make sure but do you double check your co workers work for them) 3- I understand that most people tip off the total amount but if the server is doing more work for your table (unlimeted salad) you really should take that into account when you tip) 4 your server is just that your server if there is a problem do not take it out on them (if it is not service oriented Ie I didn't get refills and even then it might be managements fault as they gave that server to many tables)as they cannot do anything for you ask for the manager/owner as they have the power to make things right. In ending all I ask is do you want to be paid for the work you do on commission (after all that is what a server is paid on) the more they do for you the more you should tip them as long as they take care of you and do not punish them for things outside their control (your food took long due to the kitchen...etc) as you would not like it if the roles were reversed
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-15:
Haha...my ex FIL would tip precisely 10% no matter what type of restaurant he was in or what type of service he received. I don't know how many times I had to sneak back in and leave more of a tip.

Great post, Lizzie...and I don't know how it works at OG, but many restaurants require the waitstaff to share their tips with the cooks and the dishwashers, and I doubt most patrons even consider that when they get their calculators out and determine precisely what percentage they should tip (yes, I've seen that on many occasion). My general rule of thumb is to double the tax and throw in a couple more bucks, more if the service was above average.
Posted by merope on 2010-02-17:
Your job is to "run around." We are not required to support you. And as for those nasty born again crazies, read the book Nickel and Dimed. These loving Christians are known for stiffing waitstaff.
Posted by Connoisseur on 2010-03-01:
Off the bat you are doing your job, so you should not expect "tips" for doing your job. If you depend on "tips" to make ends meet..call your employer cheap for exploiting you. Yes, it is hard work, but the fact that you are not compensated for your sweat equity properly, again look toward your cheap employer, not to the customer whose without patronage you wouldn't have a job, because your cheap employers restaurant would go under. Tipping is a courtesy....not your right to have. Because of attitude like yours, I have long stopped tipping. I pay for my food if you don't get it on the table.....I walk out.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-03-01:
personally i really like the soup and salad one too
but i also believe in tipping well (and if i can't afford to tip i can't afford to go out anyway)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-01:
I never go out unless I have money left over for a tip.

Posted by JessieDanni on 2010-03-06:
Any non server that commented on here, missed the whole point when they said "that's part of your job description, right?" She said she didn't mind doing it-she knows that's her job-she just wanted customers to realize that sometimes it takes a minute to refill your soup or salad. She was also saying this to make people realize that soup and salad, while a cheap meal for guests, it is ALOT OF WORK, and deserves more than a 20% tip. I live in South Carolina, where the natives think it perfectly fine to tip 10%.......IT IS NOT! She did an eloquent job explaining server pay, and the work we do. Don't eat out if you can't afford to tip!
Posted by Connoisseur on 2010-03-13:
Nobody should get a tip for doing their job. That is what they get paid for. Tips is a curtesey. Now people expect it and call you cheap if you don't give. "Don't eat out if you cannot afford a tip?" I should deny myself a small pleasure? I think not. I will go out to eat. Order what I can afford. Pay for what I can afford and you will serve if you want my patronage. Or I will take it to the guy down the street. This is not the first place I read you waiters demand tips.......gives me all the more incentive not to give, to ingrates, who call people who give out of the goodness of their heart. Call me cheap all you want. Your tips that you demand is my salad and glass of wine...which is usually half full and cost as much as one bottle of domestic wine. Ingrates get nothing from me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-13:
Connoisseur, if you are truly a 'connoisseur' you know that servers are lucky if they even make minimum wage.

"Call me cheap all you want." I am calling you cheap and if I was a server I'd tell you to pound sand and go somewhere else.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-03-13:
Are you kidding me? Servers are paid LESS because they are expected to make tips. It is technically part of their JOB to get tips my friend. I will call you cheap until the cows come home, since I call my own husband cheap for being a stingy tipper.
Posted by Connoisseur on 2010-03-14:
Here's the deal, I know someone who OWNS a restaurant. She graduated out of Cornell. Parents had a summer home as well as the condo in NYC. Vacation every year, and yes, a three car garage in the upper crust neighbor of Long Island. Yes, her parents owned that cash cow of a restaurant. And, yes, they paid poverty wages to the waiters........how else could they afford the finer things in life? There is no such thing as a poor restaurant owner(unless they just started out). Established restaurants are a gold mine and like bankers, they exploit their workers by paying them peanuts(no pun intended.) Restaurants "institutionalized" tips..and that is how they get away with paying dirt....by having the customer make up for the lack. I guess I am cheap because I do know just how restaurateurs operate. Err..........like cheap b****. I have no intention of being their stupid patsy of supplementing their sorry pay scales. If you waiters were smart....you would band together and demand what you are worth, or think you are worth.
Oh, and those tip jars????Tips for what? for working the cash register?? Get real. Yes, I am cheap for you, but very generous to the "charities" of my choice. AND none of you service people are charity cases in my eyes. Stupid for working for poverty wages and letting yourselves being exploited...but not charity material. Soooooooooooooooooooooory.
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-03-14:
Understand most people should give tips to the people that provide us with any services accepted to us. Just like the guy who brings me my food at the table & refills my drink if they do a good job & i am satisfied with my service than i will tip. Now if things were not as i had wished them to be i would request for a manager & explain to them the real issue i have so that it wont be repeated next time i come. Its not the servers fault the food isn't cooked right or they are out of bread sticks. BUT it is there own fault if they do not smile or greet you with courteous behavior & if they leave your drink empty the whole time you were there eating.
Posted by Server on 2013-07-28:
LOL. Server wage by law is half of min wage. But no, we don't deserve equality. whats that..
Posted by jacob on 2014-04-18:
I have had very good experiences in Leominster Ma. and Manchester N.H. during the past 3-4 years. Also in Nashua N.HY.
To lizzie72 (we), I appreciate you very much. You are very special and I appreciate all you do and what you do not do! You deserve much more that you receive. Keep on!
Thank you for what you do! : )
Jacob "Orlando" Billger
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Maggot in Pasta
Posted by JBuffalo1 on 01/06/2006
BUFFALO, NEW YORK -- I was in the Olive Garden by the Galleria Mall in Buffalo about a year ago. I was there with my family and we were enjoying a pleasant meal. The service was excellent and I was having a good time. When I was about half way done with my pasta and garlic dish (I don't recall the name of the dish) I noticed an unusual item. I picked it up with my fork and noticed that it was a maggot. I didn't get sick or anything like that, but it was gross. We called the waiter over and explained what had just happened. We showed him the "specimen" which I had on my fork. He had the nerve to say "It looks like an olive." First of all, there were no olives in this dish and second of all, it had two eyes and tiny little legs on it (I'm not sure if it was a maggot or another kind of bug, it looked like a maggot though). They called the manager over who took her time getting there. I don't remember exacly what she said but I do remember having to tell her that we were not paying for our meal because none of us felt like eating any more even though there was a lot of food still left. In fact, none of us had much of an appetite to go eat somewhere else either, even though we were all still pretty hungry. I will never eat at the Olive Garden on Walden Ave by the Galleria.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-06:
Maggots don't have legs. You sure have a lot of bad luck at restaurants. Try Micky D's, I hear that they are pretty consistant with their filet of fish sandwiches.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-01-06:
For Pete's Sake! You're eating in Buffalo, New York! Enough said, I rest my case!
Posted by NeveragainAmazon on 2006-01-06:
I am surprised that they did not charge you extra for the added protein.
Posted by Ponie on 2006-01-07:
If the 'maggot' was darting his eyes back and forth, he was probably looking for the wadded paper in Applebee's chicken.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-01-07:
zzrokk, you beat me to this. I read this before anyone else could comment, but didn't have time to comment. I agree, maggots don't have legs or eyes, they are like worms.
Posted by RVRBOATKNG on 2006-01-09:
I find it odd that you are just now complaining about something that happened a year ago. I hope you have eaten by now. It's gross and unfortunate but get over it.
Posted by Beard277 on 2006-10-19:
This sounds like a disgruntled busboy who is mad that he got fired for stealing tips. Get a real job sally
Posted by amyhinmn on 2006-11-05:
Do you have any idea how stringent Olive Garden's food safety/cleanliness rules are? What you are claiming is absolutely impossible. I would believe it once you had the "specimen" examined. People do this all the time to get free meals. Cheap.
Posted by tickytack on 2006-12-05:
Debtorbasher, I LIVE in Buffalo, New York and will tell you that there are some absolutely OUTSTANDING restaurants here. The letter writer's problem is not the location of the restaurant at which he ate, it's the restaurant itself.

Though I have been to that particular Olive Garden - not recently, as I don't generally eat at chains - but that location is very clean and I don't believe this OP's claim for a second.

And stop knocking cities with which you aren't familiar.
Posted by dimplepie on 2008-01-20:
salad with a maggot, let's call Bob Saget!!!
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If You Only Knew
Posted by Y even go on 11/10/2010
PGH MILLS -- I was recently let go as an employee of Olive Garden, I was a dishwasher who did not believe in the unethical practices of the servers and the indifferent attitude of the management.......I witness on numerous occasions servers serving customers off of dirty plates to avoid making customers wait, and also servers sampling their customers dishes, and fishing unwanted items....(Mushrooms/meatballs/) out with their bare fingers.....When I confronted them I was reprimanded and on the next offense I told the manager as instructed and the problem was not addressed, I was let go from this establishment.......

I will say that this practice hardly was adopted by the older servers.....But the ratio to teenagers leave most their customers eating off dirty plates or picked thru food.
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Posted by clutzycook on 2010-11-10:
Did you happen to report this to the Dept. of Public Health?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-10:
From the review, it appears the OP did attempt to confront not only the employees doing this, but also took his/her concern to management as instructed...not sure what else s/he could have done.

Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-10:
This complaint brings up a serious issue. Sounds pretty darned gross to me.

I am blown away by the thought a dirty plate would knowingly be used to serve food. If you told management about this, and they didn't take effective action, my next step (after looking for a new job) would be the health department.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-10:
My son had an afterschool job at a local restaurant and the nasty horror stories he brought home were unbelievable. And myself having worked behind the scenes as a repair tech...it is simply AMAZING at what goes on that the average consumer is unaware of. It's one of those situations, where you truly are better off not knowing the truth.
Posted by madconsumer on 2010-11-10:
this is really helpful info!!
one reason i dislike eating at resturants.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-11-10:
This kind of stuff makes fast food restaurants seem like a safer choice. At least you can see most of what's going on instead of the kitchen being behind closed doors.
Posted by leet60 on 2010-11-10:
I worked at several restaurants when I was younger over a period of years. You would also be suprised how often things like bread/rolls that are left uneaten on the table end up back in the warmer to be reserved.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-11-10:
I have heard of horror stories about food handling at fast food joints as well, including cases where I witnessed employees not washing their hands after using the restroom, or picking food up off the floor and putting it on the plate, unknown to the customer. I believe in "waste not-want not", but rescuing food from the floor, or handling food with dirty hands, will scare me away from a restaurant. There was even one incident where a teenage McDonald's employee was arrested because he spit in a Coke that a police officer ordered from the drive thru window.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-11-10:
That's one of the reasons I never use the drive-thru. I pay close attention to what the employees are doing while I wait in line. It's not perfect but better than everything being done behind closed doors, as I said. If I let myself think about all the things that go on in restaurants, I'd probably never eat out again.
Posted by ok4now on 2010-11-10:
This appalling disgusting unsanitary food handling unfortunately does exist in some restaurant kitchens. The problem does seem more prevalent in the chain and fast food restaurants where kids are employed who are underpaid and simply don't care. The problem also reflects on poor management. In previous comments I have said that by frequenting local restaurants where the owner is present you'll find the food quality is better and this situation rarely exists. The owner's livelihood depends on repeat business so he/she makes sure they get it right.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2010-11-11:
Excellent and succinct review. This dishwasher obviously is educated and should will be better off away from Olive Garden.
Posted by jackiedavis87 on 2010-11-20:
i was a server in another reastraunt and i can say that its not just olive garden that this happens at. the place weher i worked at is a lttle chain in Texas, but honestly i'm sure these kind of things happen more than you would like to believe
Posted by CP on 2012-05-16:
A new store has recently opened in Oklahoma a state that seems to believe that labor laws only apply to 16yrs or younger, why is this? Why is a company working there employees to death for the mighty dollar? A happy employee is a happy customer...All employees working 6 hours or more should have a break especially in a high demand business....why the poor training practices? Businesses don't survive on bad word of mouth reviews and when you kill your employees over the mighty dollar it will take a long time to recover your business..
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Really Bad Food/And Service
Posted by Your highness on 05/11/2009
My son took me to the olive garden for lunch. I had not been in one for yrs. because of awful food and poor service. Well I said okay lets go, give them another chance, bad chose. this one is in Tyler, TX. I ordered something ravioli stuffed with something we waited 50 min. for our food and mine was raw.

Just awful and very pricey. could not get drink order correct 3 times. Just sorry.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-11:
Go to a family owned restaurant for good Italian food. You'll get better food and better service.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-11:
Can you get something ravioli stuffed with something at family owned restaurants?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-11:
Try Carribas, they are a little bit more expensive but the food is superb.
Posted by your highness on 2009-05-12:
you find me a family-owned in tex-mex area and i will go
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Posted by Grandma Joy on 03/11/2010
TOPEKA, KANSAS -- I went to Olive Garden in Topeka Ks today with six friends for a birthday party. I was shocked at the small portions and big price. I normally eat 1/2 of my meal and take 1/2 home later at most restaurants - but there was barely one portion on my plate. My friend had a birthday and so we told the waitress. They came to sing but did not bring a complimentary dessert to her. Thankfully I ordered dessert and we shared it.

My advice - don't go there hungry - and be prepared to pay a large bill.
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Posted by madconsumer on 2010-03-14:
5 star resturants give very small portions for a very high price.
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Service and Food
Posted by Schlessmann on 04/27/2009
MANASSAS, VIRGINIA -- We had a luncheon with about 50 people at Olive Garden the other day. The luncheon was in honor of my husband. The waitress was not happy that my husband and I only ordered water and no other drinks. She tossed the straws in front of us and slammed down the glasses with the water. When it came time to order, the next waitress just stood beside us, but did not speak to us. It is normal to ask: "Are you ready to order?" We thought she might want our order and gave it to her. When the food came, it was too salty. We were unable to eat the bread sticks, because of the amount of salt used to create them. The food was too salty also. The salad was good. We shall not eat there again.
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Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2009-04-27:
Good for you. Go to a local Italian restaurant not the big chains. At the locally run restaurants the owners actually care about the guests. To a big chain you are just a bunch of dollar signs to them. VH
Posted by Ben There on 2009-04-27:
There are plenty of nicer places to eat than the Olive Garden (and Applebees, TGI Fridays, Chilis, etc...) They might cost a little more, but it is well worth it. Last time I ate at Olive Garden the waiter did non even know how to open the wine bottle we ordered... and they call themselves "Italian".
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-27:
I always wanted to check the dumpster at an Olive Garden. I'm sure it's full of empty Banquet and Swanson frozen food boxes.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-04-27:
I would never view the experience of dining with 48 other people as atypical of what a restraunt could offer. To me, that's basically a banquet seating, and banquets are almost always lousy eating and service.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-04-27:
Boki, great point.
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Disturbing Disservice & Thoughtless Consideration For The Handicapped
Posted by Patjeanlw on 04/01/2008
ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA -- On March 31, 2008 around 1PM, My Aunt and I decided to go to Olive Garden in Ontario, California on 4th street for soup and salad.

My aunt just underwent surgery on both her feet one week prior, so she painfully hobbled in on crutches. We left her wheel chair/scooter behind in the car because we were both aware of the close tables near the entrance in the bar area.

As we both approached the front hostess, we asked the greeting hostess if we could be seated in one out of three empty booths near the front which we could clearly see. The front hostess informed us the bar area was not available and closed although we could see several people eating.

After 8 minutes of waiting, I again asked her to make an exception with my aunt in pain and needing to take her medication with food and the response was, oh well, sorry.

The hostess had us wait for more than 15 minutes total and finally a new server came in to take us back to the restaurant, several yards away from the front and more steps than my aunt was able to walk, so my Aunt changed her mind and wanted to leave, , so I again asked and also asked for the manager, who never did appear to talk with us. The new server who could clearly see my Aunts pain and discomfort placed us at the exact booth we asked for nearly 15 minutes prior to the wait.

I noticed as others were walking in the entrance of Olive Garden, the front hostess was filling up those empty booths in the bar area with no wait.

My Aunt and I were told by one of the servers that if the hostess would have known My Aunt were handicapped she would have then accommodated her... {How is two feet wrapped up on an elderly lady who is walking on crutches not handicapped?}

This unpleasant experience at Olive Garden gave me a new understanding of handicap discrimination, it is deplorable and disturbing that Olive Garden does not have a policy or procedure in place to accommodate the elderly or handicapped. My Aunts situation is just temporary, although it disturbs me that millions of people with disabilities are also being treated disrespectfully and humiliating as my Aunt was.

Possibly the front hostess was handicapped herself with ignorance and rudeness, however, The Olive Garden Hired Her to Represent Them.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Yes, your aunt was treated thoughtlessly. Yes, you were lied to. And STILL you stayed to eat there. You must really love Olive Garden's faux, frozen 'Italian' food.

I am more concerned about the quality of care provided by your aunt's doctor. Operated on both feet of an elderly woman...and gave her crutches on which to ambulate when away from her scooter/wheelchair? No walker? Maybe he was looking forward to treating her broken hip after she fell. No? Let me guess...it was a podiatrist?
Posted by Principissa on 2008-04-01:
If anyone treated me or my family like that we would have left. I would have talked to a manager and left. Nobody, handicapped or not should be treated so callously.
What concerns me more is that your aunt had surgery on both feet and is using crutches. Why is she not using a walker? I would seriously take that up with her doctor. If she is unable to bear weight on both feet, she could fall and seriously hurt herself.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Does Ontario still smell like cows?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Not anymore but Norco still does.
Posted by CrystalSword on 2008-04-01:
Unfortunately many restaurants do not leave more than one or two tables...if that...for those using wheelchairs. Another problem I have encountered is the employees who will stand there while you struggle through an outside door with a wheelchair, and then often times there is a second set of doors before you are actually inside the restaurant, and they stand there and snicker under their breath...while a paying customer gets up from their table, letting their food get cold, while they hold the door for you.

Also, a host or hostess can see you have a cane, crutches, or a walker and they put you at the table or booth furthest from the door and often times on the opposite side of the restaurant from the rest room, "so you aren't in anyone's way".

Handicapped people used to be kept shut in at home, where no one could see them, granted, some handicaps are not readily noticable but things have changed. You gotta get out of the house occasionally, not just for doctor appointments and trips to the pharmacy.

The larger stores and 98% of the grocery stores now have automatic doors, this has made shopping a pleasure for those who can't manipulate the doors and handicap device at the same time. Not all Michael's stores have the automatic doors yet, but I see it happening as more and more "differently abled" people venture forth into public view, not to be hidden away at home.

A disability is nothing to be ashamed of, my husband was extemely fit, held down a good job, and enjoyed boating, motorcycling, fishing, and camping...all that changed in a split second....it can happen to ANYONE!
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-04-01:
Yes, Alley she did mention there was a wheelchair in the car. I have an aquaintance who uses a wheelchair/scooter usually when she is in public. It's so much easier for her not trying to walk long distances. Sometimes she elects not to use the scooter if the car is parked at the restaurant door and there is a table nearby, once inside. Someone always goes in beforehand to make certain she can be seated.

Patjeanlw, since this was a new situation with you I know it never occurred to you to walk in first. Since there were tables available you and your aunt should have been seated immediately. I've said it before, we never know when we might find ourselves in the same situation. Shame on this Olive Garden location.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Crystal, you make a good point about how some places will seat you. Families with small children, elderly and other groups will at times be seated by the kitchen, their "attic" and/or towards the back of the place. They want young vibrant looking people up front for their "window dressings" like the commercials will show.. Sad and maddening but true.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
It's interesting that this topic came up today: We had a lady come in to ask us if we had a wheelchair to use for her relative and one of our associates actually drove the electric wheelchair to the car for easy access! It was very thoughtful of the associate and that is the kind of help that should be expected and freely given.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
I spent 6 months in a wheelchair after an accident. It sure changed my perspective of being disabled. I could not believe how rude people can be. Most of the time, they simply cut in front of me. When I spoke up, they ALWAYS said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you."

Yeah, right.
Posted by MRM on 2008-04-01:
Doc J, I ask this question with sincere: are you now healed and able to walk again? Six months confined to a wheelchair can certainly change your perspective about your body, how you can do anything before the tragic accident happened.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
I'm in pretty good shape now. I run daily. Still a bit of a limp. Best of all, I also learned a huge lesson in the need to be considerate of the disabled. They may get the 'good parking places', but they have no picnic among the able-bodied. Thanks for your concern. All best.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-04-01:
My grandfather had polio and spent his life on crutches and in a wheelchair. I have so much more sensitivity and respect for the handicapped because of him. It sickens me that people will treat people with a disability like freaks. People would cut in front of him, walk into his chair and their excuse all the time was "I didn't see you there." Disabled people are just like you and me, if you wouldn't treat an able bodied person that way, why do you treat disabled people that way? Poor policies and service on Olive Garden's part. Now that I know how they treat people with disabilities, I will make it a point not to patronize that restaurant. I've done it to places that treated my grandpa like he was garbage because of his wheelchair.
Posted by Starlord on 2008-04-01:
I want to thank my lovely wife and the others for their comments. Fortunately, there is an answer for these people who think it is a sport to make the 'cripple'as uncomfortable as possible. Ask the offender for their full name. When they ask why, tell them you need it for the subpoena list. When they then say what for, tell them it is for the federal civil suit for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and that you are suing the business and them personally. It is bad enough to be invisible, but when people go out of their way to make it hard on you, let them know about it. We were at Sea World, in the shark exhibit, when some woman grabbed my rented wheelchair, pulled me back and stepped between me and the railing, making a comment that, "cripples didn't need to see." Touching a person's wheelchair is assault, just as touching the person's body would be. Had I known this at the time, I would have had her arrested for assault. As Crystal points out, we are all just a split-second from being crippled for life.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-04-01:
i would like to hear the side of olive garden. there are always two sides to every story.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
I sat in the front booth of the bar at Olive Garden one night. I left handicapped.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2008-04-01:
I've been on crutches for almost 4 weeks and I can't stand them anymore. I'll be so happy when I don't need them anymore, they are annoying. I almost ran some lady over while in Walmart. She came out from behind an aisle by the checkout. She came out of nowhere. I had stopped and looked both ways and when I saw that the coast was clear I started forwarded when she rounded the corner and never even looked. I said to her "excuse me!" and she just looked at me. I told her that she needs to pay attention cause I almost ran her over, she said that she never even seen me, which I believed her. She never even looked down towards me when she moved. I told her to be more careful, she just looked at me like I was crazy. I never realized how rude some people can get until I had to ride that scooter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
zzrokk hit the center of the target. The first seats visible to the public are always reserved for the 'good looking people'...cripples need not apply. Folks with crutches are not good window dressing.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2008-04-02:
I find the restaurant personnel's behavior appalling. I too am also concerned that your Aunt's walking around on crutches vs using a walker or wheelchair. For her own safety, she should use her chair, scooter or a walker at all times.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-02:
It is really sad the way that people today treat each other, especially the handicapped. To put these already disadvantaged people in back while the "pretty" people are out in front in full view makes me sick! The behavior of the Olive Garden staff is inexcusable. If you see someone struggling, help them out. Seat them, open the door for them, offer whatever assistance they need to make them comfortable!
Posted by FormerOGwaiter on 2009-11-07:
To OP:
I'm sorry you had a bad experience but I will look at this situation objectively:
1) One reason why you couldn't sit at the booth right away is because that section has no server, each section of tables has a server assigned to it. And it is company policy that only the maximum of three tables can a waiter be serving, hence all sections have only three tables each. And if no other server was available at that time, you were basically out of luck until that server started his shift. Unless of course the sever arrived early and is informed that his section is requested and that if he/she can start early. However this is not a guarantee since servers are not obligated to start early unless they are on call. When that server started his shift you and the other parties were seated at that section.
2)I don't find any evidence of discrimination based on your aunts handicap. All OGs are ADA compliant since they were all built after the ADA was signed into law, hence all hallways are wide open and you will ever rarely see any steps in an Olive Garden.
3) If you're aunt was in pain I would suggest not to eat out until she was able to wait and maybe walk a little bit. If she couldn't walk and if that was the cause of the pain then she should have been in a wheelchair. All four tops (tables that are not booths) are wheelchair accessible.
4) The manager failed to address this issue. You should call the GM of the restaurant or corporate (number is on their website olivegarden.com) They should send you a $25.00 gift card and a letter detailing that they received your complaint.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Poor Quality of Food
Posted by Jmiller0121 on 12/21/2013
I have had several meals at this restaurant. Very Good. Last night (12/19/13 was the exception. The food was left under the heater lamps, over cooked, or just plain dumped on my plate. The bread sticks were hot but pasty white and the salad skimpy. The ticked # 21269 was paid by my friends credit card.
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The Most Horrible Service I Have Ever Had
Posted by Jfowler222 on 12/02/2013
BEACHWOOD, OHIO -- Our server took three reminders about drinks, he was slow, and one of us had asked for light sauce brought it with heavy sauce then brought it back to kitchen and didn't return with it until one of us approached him. At that point the rest of us were about done eating and he gave the person that asked him attitude. When the food finally arrived he stopped at a table by us for yet another conversation and made us wait even longer. After we received our check an enormous amount of time went by and we all dug up cash instead of our cards and got ready to leave. I stayed behind to find him and let him know the money was on the table and he continued to ignore it and took dishes from another table leaving about 200 dollars on the table. I was embarrassed to have suggested the restaurant for a very special birthday and I will never return. Since there were a number of people with us I am sure word of mouth will effect people visiting there.
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