MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT -- So I decided to make this more informative, rather than a complaint. Hubby wanted to go to Olive Garden for dinner last night. Since I agreed to let him pick, no complaints about restaurant choice from me. The wait was about 25 minutes, not bad for Saturday evening. I guess the first thing I noticed was the exaggerated, grandiose if you will, manner in which we were greeted. It was almost comical but, I'm sure, unintentional. Anyhoo, no harm, soon enough we were seated.
Waitress was pleasant enough. Hubby got the Eggplant Parmesan, gnocchi soup and a glass of white wine. I got the spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and a diet coke. Noticed that the prices had increased since the last time we were there. Higher food costs, gas prices, etc, etc... OK, got it. I don't mind paying more if the quality remains the same. Unfortunately, it just wasn't there. The salad "seemed" to have enough dressing, yet it tasted bland. Did they dilute the dressing? Had to wait 15 minutes for my drink refill but I did notice the party of nine that just grabbed our waitress' attention. No big deal, I understand. I can wait.
Our main courses arrived and dang it! Even the portions were noticeably smaller. Hmmm, if I'm paying more, why are the portions noticeably smaller? Boo! Even the spaghetti sauce was not as flavorful. Hubby thought his eggplant was nice and portions seemed adequate, but after all, it's a vegetable and thus not as expensive to make as a meat dish.
We did decide to get dessert. He got Tiramisu and coffee. I got Zeppole, partially swimming in some of the coffee our waitress spilled on them. She offered to replace them but by that time, it seemed a moot point. I was already underwhelmed by the experience. Didn't spoil it for hubby, but it was just disappointing. Tipped and thanked our waitress appropriately but I doubt we will be back soon. Perhaps not even until hubby is craving Olive Garden again, and even then, he can be swayed if necessary...
WACO, TEXAS -- We arrived at the restaurant around 6:20pm, Sunday, 7 Nov 2010. And my wife approach the black female Hostess and white male host standing by the counter to ask how long the waiting time would be to get a table for a party of 6. It was for me, my wife, our 2 teen girls, and wife's sister and her husband. Both of them said something, the waiting period is around 15-20 mins, w/c we agreed to wait. I notice there were 3 other groups in the waiting area besides us. A party of 2, a party of 2, and a party of 3. Well, 15 mins, past we saw a whole bunch of groups leaving the premises from different party.
I counted around 14 or more people. So we thought it will be a few seconds now we'll get our table, but at the same time I watched 4 different groups came in, party of 3, party of 3 party of 4, and a party of 2. The male host handed them a beeper lights, and a few seconds later all their lights came on. I didn't think about it at first. I notice my watch and it passed 20 mins. 4 white blondes came in, and talked secretly to the female Hostess, and I overheard the female Hostess said "We do have table for 6 available now, and there's only 4 of you." The other blonde said "We do have another friend coming in but we're not sure."
So, the female Hostess ran back inside, a couple seconds later she appeared and waved the blondes to come in and follow her to their table. By this time, my wife & I, and our relatives noticed, this isn't right. So my wife went over to the white male host and ask again, how long more before we can get a table, and he started staring at us and looking us down, saying, "It'll be 15-20 minutes wait." By this time it was already 30 minutes of our time.
So, I was really getting irritated by the whole situation, I grab the light beeper slammed it down to his desk stared at him and never said a word, I walk off the restaurant. The rest of my party followed me. My best advice, if you're not white, you're better off going somewhere else. I mean what do you expect? It's Waco, TX.
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA -- In April of this year, my father was dying and we had several guests over to offer their sympathies. Rather than try to prepare food ourselves, it was decided that we would place a takeout order with the local Olive Garden Italian Restaurant. I battled rush-hour traffic to get to the restaurant and was greeted by a "gentleman" who told me that my order was ready. I paid by credit card and even included a tip. When I asked the "gentleman" if he was certain that the entire order was in the bags, he assured me that he had "checked it himself" and that it was "all there". I fought the same traffic to get back home and was dismayed to find that one of the entrees was not in the bags.
Not wishing to fight the traffic again, I immediately called Olive Garden to complain. A young lady said to me that "You left before your order was ready". This angered me greatly, but I controlled my emotions and just told her that I wanted the missing entree removed from my credit card ticket. The young lady assured me that she would take care of the problem. When a month passed and my card had still not been credited, I called Olive Garden again and asked to speak to a manager. A "gentleman" listened to my problem and apologized for the inconvenience. He took all of my pertinent information and promised to take care of the matter personally.
It has now been four months since that night and I have not received my credit. This is the worst excuse for customer service I have ever seen! The employees of this establishment have lied to me and have taken money from me without delivering what they promised. Don't let them do the same to you! If I can keep just one person from being treated the way that I was treated by this establishment, I will feel vindicated. But if I can keep a hundred from being mistreated, it still won't be enough!
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- On this particular visit, our server told us of a peach tea and a raspberry tea, so my husband ordered a raspberry tea. The server brought out a peach/raspberry mixed tea with a peach in the middle. Luckily my husband noticed it and returned the drink because he is HIGHLY allergic to peaches! The server apologized for not being clear about the tea because she was naming too many fruit teas and lemonades at once. Had he drank that, he would have had to go to the hospital because he would not have been able to breathe!
When she brought out my husband's soup, she forgot to bring his spoon. About 10 minutes later, she returned with a spoon and realized she still hadn't brought out the plain tea he ordered. It took another 5 minutes to get his drink and it was NOT even remotely busy at the time. We ordered an appetizer and entrees and midway through my salad, I noticed a WORM in my salad. Yes, a LONG, very thin, WORM with head tentacles on my lettuce, which is NOT native to vegetables. It took everything to keep me from throwing up in the restaurant, I turned white and immediately called over management.
We did not stay for our entrees and the manager merely apologized and gave us a $20 gift certificate. Yes, a measly $20 gift certificate, which can't even cover one person's dinner, for making me completely nauseated and disgusted for the next 2 days. He took down my information by MY request in case I got sick and told me there was no form I could fill out.
I threw up twice when I got home, and I could not eat anything else all day and I will NOT be returning there anytime soon. I have told my friends, family, and business associates about the experience and they are completely disgusted and appalled. I am highly disappointed in the service and food safety itself and am still completely grossed out.
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 through food.
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.
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.
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 vomited in my mouth. I'd rather go to Hardee's and order a six dollar burger, than eat at Olive Garden again.
GRESHAM, OREGON -- Right before Christmas 2013, a friend and I met up for lunch at Olive Garden. I ordered the lasagna, judging by the pictures 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 overpriced also along with not getting enough of the bread sticks when first brought. One always has to ask for more. And along that line, 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 overpriced. 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.
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.