Olive Garden - Page 2

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76 Reviews & Complaints

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Bread Sticks for "To Go"
Posted by Milfordb1 on 08/05/2013
RIDGEMAR MALL FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Ordered two meals "to go" and was told that only two bread sticks came with a to go order. When my wife ordered she asked the young lady. I Asked the manager "a very rude manager" how many bread sticks am I allowed if I "eat in". The answer "unlimited" Ask for more bread sticks for "to go" and was rudely denied. We have patronized Olive Garden since they opened this location but will never again.

I should have cancelled my order and left the sack sitting on the bar, if I had it to do over that's what I would do, but for some reason I just don't think that sneaky, but let it be known, I will never set foot into Olive Garden again.

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Posted by cwazychicken4u on 2013-08-05:
Well you would think they would at least offer 5 breadsticks or a basket full and not just 2....But the take out to go does not offer unlimited breadsticks, thats only if you eat inside.
Posted by azRider on 2013-08-05:
well it makes sense. if your ordering something to go you get a set to go the meal. however, if you wanted more bread sticks they should have told you that two only come with a meal then offered to sell you more if you wanted them. I mean if you really want them that bad , just sell them to you. for me the main part of the meal is what i order not the bread sticks, but to each their own.
Posted by olie on 2013-08-06:
Olive Garden also offers unlimited soup or salad with a meal. How would you propose to package *that*?
Posted by andbran on 2013-08-06:
they are not being snick y. if you want unlimited you have to eat in.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-08-06:
So you will never set foot into their establishment because they didn't make an exception for you on a policy that applies to everyone else? Your reasoning doesn't make sense.
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Dirty Illegals in the Kitchen
Posted by Tk.angeleyes30 on 07/08/2013
Olive garden in the Wausau rib mountain area hires illegal immigrants to cook in their kitchen. One by the name of Jorge [snip] molested a 16 month old baby and still working there! No integrity for Olive Garden. I will never eat there again.
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Food Was Awful Tasting and Expensive
Posted by Fangs61783 on 04/14/2013
DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS -- On Easter I had brought my sister and mother to Olive Garden for dinner. I had ordered the Chicken Alfredo which the chicken was slimy and burnt and the Alfredo sauce tasted awful and noodles tasted as if it wasn't fresh and had been made awhile ago and reheated and for my sisters meal, she ordered the spaghetti and meatball which was not appetizing as well. Also the prices of our meals were outrageous considering it did not taste good. I will never go back and recommend Pa Raffas.
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Posted by ok4now on 2013-04-15:
This chain joint keeps getting consistently worse. They have raised the prices, have noticeably smaller portions and the food quality has gone down. I refuse to return.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-15:
I don't go to chains like this anymore. I occasionally visit BWW, because it is hard to screw up chicken wings, fries and celery sticks. They did manage once, by putting the blow torch seasoning on my chicken in error.

Olive Garden used to be passable to me years ago, but after a few bad experiences I began passing it by. I have no regrets.
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First Time and the Last
Posted by Thenderson682 on 02/04/2013
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- My boyfriend took me to Olive Garden in Wilmington, NC off of Market Street for my very first time eating at the Restaurant. Waitress was rude when she took our order. When she brought out our salads, we asked for extra ranch and she said they were out. Let me remind you we visited the place to eat at 11:30 am. How can they be out of ranch before lunch even hits. I've seen many people ordering ranch with their salads... Now we also ordered the chicken parm sandwich, OMG I would rather have vommitted in my mouth. I'd rather go to Hardees and order a six dollar burger, than eat at Olive Garden again.

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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-05:
Yes, you are correct in your assessment (IMO). A place like Olive Garden is in that unfortunate position between fast food and real food. There are a lot of stinkers in this class (Applebees is near the bottom of the barrel), and on a sub-par day Olive Garden is as well. I gave up hoping for anything special there, and hence I'm happy to drive right past.
Posted by ok4now on 2013-02-05:
My thoughts exactly 8r. These two chain joints have hit a new low. I'm being redundant but after giving them both many chances at different locations they are horrible. Applebee's was an easy write off. Consistent bad food, bad service and poor management. Olive Garden is now a big disappointment. At one time they offered real value with decent portions, not the pathetic over priced appetizer portions they are now ripping people off with. You are correct, they are becoming fast food. I refuse to return.
Posted by cat on 2013-03-05:
I used to love Olive Garden...the last two times I have gotten lousy tasting food...zuccini squash should have a taste of its own perhaps with salt only maybe pepper but not drowned in spices that mask the fact that there is food underneath..bad results the last time...the last time! ! !
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Over-Priced Entree
Posted by Originator1994 on 01/19/2013
GRESHAM, OREGON -- Right before Christmas 2013, a friend and I met up for lunch at Olive Garden. I ordered the lasagne, judging by the picures that it would be a decent sized meal. Not. Very disappointed at the size of it on the plate. It was more of an appetizer than a real meal. Don't plan on going back. Service great. The beverages are over priced also along with not getting enough of the bread sticks when first brought. One always has to ask for more. And along that ling, how come only 3 black olives in the big salad they bring? Really stingy with the olives and that has never changed.

For what one gets as an entree, it is way over priced. Either plan on eating before you go or don't patronize this restaurant chain at all. Try Applebee's..they have great deals plus appetizers for less than Olive Garden.
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Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-19:
Olive Garden (a Darden chain joint) needs to wake up before they loose their customer base. Scaling back dinner portion sizes to appetizer while raising prices does not retain customers. Then they go cheap with the soup and salad. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants, now they lost me as a customer.
Posted by leet60 on 2013-01-19:
I also don't care for Olive Garden. I wanted to note that the picture of an entree or other item will never be representative of what you receive. This is the same whether it is a fast food outlet or normal restaurant. These pictures are not of an actual item, rather, they are created by food stylists - much like makeup artists their job is to make the representation look appealing - it is rarely if ever what you actually receive.
Posted by Karnamay on 2013-01-19:
I was told by a server at OG many years ago that their company policy is one olive per customer!
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-01-19:
The portion sized at my local OG have been adequate. after I'm done with the bread sticks and salad I always end up getting a to-go box.

But I guess it depends on the location.
Posted by wjk898 on 2013-01-19:
You guys can have my olives. Yeccch!

But you've been paying way to much for a 40 cent dish or two of noodles and a basket of 10 cent breadsticks for years. Why all of a sudden all the complaints? OG and similar noodle parlors are such a ripoff - always have been.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-20:
Those breadsticks are horrible - loaded with salt and oil.

I used to get extra black olives on the side - I bet they charge for them today if they will even bring them.

It has been widely mentioned that OG downsized its portions a few years ago, when food prices went up and we were still in the recession.

I woke up an realized the food was horrible and service often the same at my local OG, and simply stopped going 3 or 4 years ago. I don't miss it.
Posted by anonymouse on 2013-06-17:
you meantioned this was lunchtime- it's the lunch menu/portion !!
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Very Poor Service
Posted by Suebowman215 on 01/16/2013
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- My bridge group has gone to Olive Garden twice for lunch. Both times the service was poor. The 2nd time it was so poor we reported it to the manager who came around to ask how we were doing. Our server was very slow, it took at least 15 minutes for our drinks to arrive, 15 more minutes for him to take our orders, 15 more minutes for him to bring two of the meals (soup and salad) then 15 more minutes to bring the other 2 meals (only because we asked him what was going on).

The manager came back and brought $5.00 coupons for each of us. We told him that we wouldn't be coming back. Then we waited for our bill....it took at least 15 more minutes! The manager came around to see if things had improved since the last time he'd seen us and we said that it hadn't. Then another manager came and he decided that we didn't have to pay for our meals. That was very nice, but we won't be going back.

We were there on a Thursday afternoon at 1:00...it wasn't busy. We didn't leave until 2:30.
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Posted by Obsfucation on 2013-01-16:
At least it shows that it pays to speak with the management WHILE you are at the restaurant.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-16:
I ditched Olive Garden about 3 years ago, and I haven't missed it. A few horrendous service experiences followed by reports the servings were downsized led me to have no interest in returning.
Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-17:
Sounds like my last trip to Olive Garden. At least they are consistent with the poor service. Then after you finally get your food they are consistent with the smaller portions and inflated prices. I refuse to return, they have burned me too many times.
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I Would Not Recommend Ordering Lunch to Go on Sundays
Posted by Vnacagilevu on 01/07/2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I ordered lunch to go over the phone at 12.30 pm on Sunday for pick up at 1.30 pm. When I picked my food up I was told that I was being charged for dinner (not lunch) - this was not told to me when I first ordered over the phone. I was really shocked and inquired about it - was told that the special order of $25 was different - I was not told this on the phone. I ended up paying more than what I bargained for. The food was small and not worth the amount paid for. I had asked for extra salad and breadsticks but was not given any of it. The only good thing were the salad and breadsticks we were given.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-07:
OG has downsized its portions. I don't go there anymore for other reasons.

As for the price, I'm surprised they did not give you a total over the phone.
Posted by danny54 on 2013-01-07:
Many restaurants, especially the chain restaurants, do not provide lunch menus on Sundays. I'm not saying it's right, but that's the way it was in all the restaurants I've worked in.

One question I have is did they not give you the price of your order when you called it in? That would/should have been a clue that something was off and might have averted your poor experience.
Posted by bargod on 2013-01-07:
Olive Garden. Some call it "classic italian" I call it " Plastic italian"
Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-07:
I would not recommend Olive Garden at anytime. As 8r stated that have down sized their portions while raising the prices. The service is slow and they no longer offer the value they once did. For what they are now charging I can go to a real Italian restaurant and get better food and decent sized portions. Plus I can usually get a table right away compared to the usual 30 minute wait at Olive Garden. They have failed to earn my business.
Posted by shayen on 2013-01-07:
I have not been to OG in a couple years, so I am glad to have read the above comments alerting me to the downsizing of portions. The OG's that I have frequented didn't even have a lunch menu, period. I agree that most restaurants that do offer a lunch menu, do not have one on Sundays.
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Poor Management
Posted by Juanitareid19 on 12/09/2012
BIDDEFORD, MAINE -- I recently was eating at this location, when I asked if they were hiring. I was told yes and the manager actually came to table to talk to me. He told me how to apply on line. I went home and applied. I had told The manager that I lived 6 hours away and was currently working and would need to give 2 weeks notice to current job but ....was going to relocate when I had secured a job In the Biddeford area.. I was called in for an interview a week later and drove back..(12 hours) round trip...All went well and I went back to work at present job waiting to hear from Olive Garden. I was called back for a secondary interview ..and again..drove 12 hours round trip.

I know for a fact that I have great references....17 years experience as waitress....manager.....and bartending.

I never got so much as a call as to say they weren't interested. I have since then relocated and we went to the location and one of the "new" in training waitresses, forgot our appetizers...and upset a full glass of soda all over the table...

Kudos to the Manager of the Biddeford Olive Garden...You got a good eye for who you choose to represent the Olive Garden..

I had told the manager to not contact current employer because they didn't know I was looking for another job....and sure enough that's just what he did...I later found out the person he spoke to was upset I was leaving and spoke out of turn....My other references were people I had worked for years and gave me a rave review.....Maybe you need to rethink your current management...

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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-12-09:
This is the way it is with some employers - if they aren't interested you don't hear from them.

On the other hand, if they are interested, you will know about it.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-12-09:
Olive Garden did you a favor. If you have 17 years experience as a waitress, manager and bartending why would you want to work at this Darden bottom end chain joint? This is beneath you. Apply elsewhere where your talents are appreciated and you are better compensated.
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Again They Were A Disappointment
Posted by Ok4now on 11/22/2012
Olive Garden used to be a decent restaurant with reasonable prices and generous portions. They gave you your monies worth. The menu prices are much higher now with noticeably smaller portions. We visited them about four months ago and were not happy with the meal. Maybe they just had a bad night. Not anxious to return we were given a $50.00 gift card so we gave them another try.

Went on a Monday night at 8:00 pm and we still had a 20 minute wait for a table. The service was very slow. Our server took over 15 minutes just to bring the soup & salad and he forgot the beverages. After that he disappeared and we still had not ordered. Finally he returned but seemed unsure about the menu. They have mostly kids working there.

Fast forward. I ordered the Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara for $16.95. When served it consisted of a small portion of pasta, 5 baby shrimp and 4 very small bite size pieces of chicken. It was more like an appetizer.

My wife ordered the Steak Toscano, a 12 oz center cut strip for $20.75. The steak was not tough but it was dry and had no flavor. It needed some gravy as did the mashed potatoes which took another 10 minutes to get. By this time the steak was cold.

Conclusion: We are done with the Olive Garden. For the prices that they are now charging with small portions we can go to a real Italian restaurant and get much better food. They lost a customer.
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Posted by Alain on 2012-11-22:
We had a $25 gift card for Olive Garden. I gave it to my sister-in-law. I really hope the Olive Garden here is better than the one you went to or I'll never hear the end of it! Thanks for the review!
Posted by BigAl on 2012-11-22:
This review brings to mind a question I have had for a long time. Why do people give gift certificates? Who would rather have a $50 gift certificate instead of $50 cash? I know a lot of people consider cash gifts as "crude" but I do not agree. Furthermore in this day and age if you feel cash gifts are crude would not a pre-paid $50 visa be considered a gift certificate which can be used anywhere? Sorry folks but to me gift certificates are just stupid.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-11-22:
I gave up on Olive Garden about 5 years due to declining food quality from what I would also call "decent", as well as service that had become sketchy.

From what I am reading, the OG experience has become worse overall in the last few years. I have no interest in returning to witness this firsthand.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-11-22:
Posting where this particular Olive Garden was located would have been helpful.

While portion size and price may be common among all of the Olive Gardens the service would have been a local issue.

Where did this occur?
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-11-22:
I went to Olive Garden for only the second time a few months ago. The service was slow. I ordered a shrimp appetizer and it was so salty. My friend ordered soup which she said was salty. The breadsticks were soggy and salty. I will never go back.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-11-23:
I tend to get good service when I go to OG. Its all about location I guess.

Good Review, OK
Posted by ok4now on 2012-11-23:
tnchuck100, The O.G. location was at 2328 W. Moreland Rd, Willow Grove, Pa. To be fair we have tried other O.G. locations with the same poor results.

Example: In Philly located at 9280 Roosevelt Blvd is the busiest O.G. in the country. No matter what time you go, day or night, it's packed with extended wait times. On the weekend it takes about an hour to get a table. Once you're seated be prepared for slow service and over priced mediocre food. The only explanation I have for this is the majority of patrons have not had really good authentic Italian food to compare it to. It's like saying Taco Bell has great Mexican food. I'm done with this chain joint.
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Unemployment Benefits
Posted by Jtm0n3y7 on 09/11/2012
CHRISTIANSBURG, VIRGINIA -- A sprinkler system malfunctioned in the freezer, management recorded and threw the food in the dumpster. My girl friend sat it aside to ask later if she could take it home. But before she did that, the district manager says he seen her, and then fired her before she could ask if she could take it home. After this she applied for unemployment benefits. Well Olive Garden appealed the ruling, so now she has to pay Olive Garden back the money. My point is Olive Garden makes billions dollars of profit. And they are fighting her over $150 dollars a week. How sad is that.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-09-11:
It sounds like your girlfriend was fired for misconduct. That would disqualify her for benefits. My point is, I don't believe OG did anything far out of line.

Profits and relative cost really don't come into play IMO - it is a matter of principal.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2012-09-11:
It's a liability issue and your girlfriend likely knew about it if she worked there. The food should've gone into the dumpster as per SOP. I know it seems wasteful, but in today's litigious society, you can't chance it.

Also Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden posted $648 million in profits last year among 14 brands. That's an average of about $46 million per brand. Not the "billions of dollars of profit" you mentioned, not even close.
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