Olive Garden - Page 3

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1.6 out of 5, based on 21 ratings and
77 reviews & complaints.

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Portions Have Been Downsized!!
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- The last time we went to dinner at OG we noticed the portion sizes had dwindled. My nephew (age 14) and a spaghetti lover, ordered spaghetti with meat sauce and it looked like a child's portion. Way smaller than the last time we ate there. I ordered chicken parmesan. The breaded chicken looked like it came from the freezer (not hand prepared) It had less than a tablespoon of tomato sauce on it with a dot of parmesan cheese the size of a nickel in the middle! The side dish of spaghetti was very small. Apparently they are trying to economize at the expense of losing customers.
As always the service was good. With Carrabba's right across the street this is a bad move.
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Anonymous on 08/19/2012:
Huge portions are why so many people are obese. What they are giving you are actually normal size portions
spiderman2 on 08/19/2012:
I'm betting you that it wasn't hand made and did come from a freezer.
Mrs. V on 08/19/2012:
I don't mind the smaller portions so much, but they need to drop the price if they drop the portion size, I think.
melissa253 on 08/19/2012:
I agree with you 'littleshorty'
trmn8r on 08/19/2012:
Yes, this has been publicized (through comments like yours) for many months now. It is likely an effort to not raise prices and scare people away. It does irritate a percentage of customers, but probably not as many as if prices went up 10% or more.
clutzycook on 08/19/2012:
Perhaps, LS. But the OP didn't feel they got their money's worth.
Anonymous on 08/19/2012:
If they are going to downgrade the portion then they need to reduce the prices. But honestly after I'm done scarfing down the bread-sticks and salad I don't have much room left for my entree anyway but that's besides the point.
Bill on 08/19/2012:
I ate at Olive Garden two weekends ago and had the Shrimp/pasta special. The portion size was adequate but unfortunately the shrimp was frozen.
I guess for $15.00 you can't expect too much.
ok4now on 08/20/2012:
I never found the portions huge but ample and I got my money's worth. Now the prices have gone up and the portions are cut in half. This is not a good value. The salad is now mostly lettuce and onions. While the soup is still good they frown upon ordering seconds.

On my most recent visit I ordered the stuffed chicken breast with a cheese topping for $16.00 When served it was the size of an appetizer. Five bites and it would have been gone. I sent it back. Olive Garden is going to loose a lot of customers if they don't change their portion sizes.
yoke on 08/20/2012:
Went to OG a few months ago and noticed the same thing. I did not mind the smaller portion, but was surprised how much the prices had gone up. The waitress was very stingy on bringing another salad and breadsticks. Had to ask her several times for refills before she finally got them. It was not just our server as we saw other customers having the same issue when wanting refills on salad.
CrazyRedHead on 08/20/2012:
I agree with littleshorty on this. They are probably what normal sized portions should look like. The food industry has spoiled this country in the past.
Prince Caesar on 08/20/2012:
The way I look at it, is what others said....if they want to dwindle the sizes and keep customers, they better dwindle the bill too....For 16 dollars for an entree, you should be full.

Whether its a "normal" size, if people are still leaving hungry then there is a problem. Especially since its an italian place....most italian meals are big in portion......

The last time I went to OG I had the unlimited soup and salad for a late lunch early dinner....I go before lunch is lunch is over and dinner is switched over.
Moly on 11/30/2012:
Waycross, Ga. Olive Garden. Talked husband into going. Shocked when they sat our plates down! I ate tiny bites and sat fork down. 1/2 cup serving. 2 people 32.00. Last time and telling all my friends. I do W.W. and serving size is larger. Lesson learned!!!!!
totallyforgiven on 12/09/2012:
The last time we ate at Olive Garden, they had downsized the portions so much, that you felt like you were kidding a kids meal, they were not a normal serving size. Granted, some restaurants do give extra large portions, but Olive Garden seems to go the other way. I think a lot of restaurants try to make bigger profits, so rather than slightly raise their prices, they reduce the portion sizes.

Our food was so lousy, along with the service that we don't ever want to go back, we used to love to eat their. HMMMM, they better learn from the restaurant chain ChiChi's, lol, they were doing the same thing, and they went under. Wonder when the restaurants are going to realize that without us, the customers, they will go under?
Ladybee313 on 08/12/2013:
I went to olive Garden on 8/2/2013 and the dinner portion looked like the same amount I used to get with the lunch portion! I could see the different in the portion and the price was the same! I used to take home some pasta every time and was never able to eat the whole meal!!!
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Best Manager Ever
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
WOODBURY, MINNESOTA -- My dad and niece were here from Colorado visiting. I took them to the Olive Garden to eat because we all love the food. We had a waitress that was slow. We waited 25 minutes at our table and still had no salad. I got the manager and explained the situation. The manager not only corrected the problem, she served our entire meal to us. When we were finished with our meal, I asked for our bill. I was still going to pay for our meal no matter if we started out on the wrong foot. The manager insisted that our meal was on the house, and we owed nothing. I told her no, that I wanted to pay because the food was excellent and her service as a manager {for only 3 months} was outstanding. She still insisted that our meal was at no charge. I wish every restaurant had managers like her. From our family to the people of Olive Garden, thank you. We would appreciate it if you would recognize her. Her name is Ashley from store # 1672 in Woodbury Minnesota. Thank you from Jay and Dan Ostrom [snip]
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trmn8r on 06/23/2012:
That is first class customer service on the part of the manager. Nice of you to recognize her efforts.
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Nosy, Nervy Server
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- On the 13th, I dined at the Olive Garden restaurant on Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL. For many years, I have dined at Olive Garden restaurants and have received excellent food and service. However, the 13th was quite another story. Our server introduced himself and then made several comments as to his guess of how we spent our time that day. He was both nervy and extremely rude. You should tell your servers that if they are lonely, they should commiserate with the staff or their friends after they leave work. I do not appreciate wait staff who are trying to pin down exactly what my day was like. As far as I am concerned, this is over-the-top rudeness. It will be a long time before I return to this location, which is on the return route from my doctor's office. I may, in time, consider another Olive Garden location. Your staff needs training badly.
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TLSmith on 06/15/2012:
What did the Server say to you that you felt was "over the top rude" ?
Anonymous on 06/15/2012:
I've had cashiers and servers ask me how my day was or ask me what I was doing that day. I don't think they are being nosy. They are just trying to build a friendly rapport with customers
trmn8r on 06/15/2012:
It sounds like the server was just trying to be friendly. Without knowing exactly what or how he said it, and how long this line of questioning continuing, it is hard as a reader to assess. Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for more information...

If the guy was persistent in his nosiness after being rebuffed, that would be rude.
Anonymous on 06/15/2012:
I don't think its that big of a deal. They are just trying to be friendly.

Better than the ones who hate being at work and won't even acknowledge you.
I love my son on 06/15/2012:
It cracks me up the complaints on here where one person complains that workers are to chatty or to nosy but don't state what was said to them or the people who complain that the workers were rude cause they didn't hold conversations with them.. Everyone is different and takes things differently and gets offended or upset over different things..I was working at my job and me and a customer were talking about my tattoos and how I was getting another one soon and he said well please don't get one on your boobs you have very nice boobs..He has never seen my boobs... but I didn't get offended by his comment where many woman would..
ok4now on 06/15/2012:
I would have kept the "boob comment" to myself. To make that statement was highly inappropriate. What business is it of a customer where you decide to get a tattoo on your body?
ktisnumeroUNO on 06/18/2012:
As a manager in a clothing retailer who requires my people to ask open ended questions in order to get to know our customer/ make them feel more comfortable working with us, this probably was a part of his training. I'm confused as to why asking about your day and if you did anything fun or exciting is "over the top rude". People who hate social interactions should really wear a sign around so we can be warned. This guy probably thought he was being nice trying to converse with you. And I too have always wondered why people complain if they don't get a greeting, or service with a smile. But then people want to complain when workers are trying to wait on them and converse with them in a friendly manner, saying they are being nosy or harassing.
Nohandle on 06/18/2012:
If it bothers you so much then ignore the server. Feel free to be rude if that suits your needs best and makes you feel better. I've had a few I thought were going to draw up a chair and join the table. Most servers are told what to do upon greeting customers. Many will realize after moment or two you don't want to socialize with them. I've never been rude to any server because it's not my nature.
CowboyFan on 06/18/2012:
Tampa,St. Petersburg,Clearwater area gets thousands of tourist a month. To me the server was simply being nice asking about their day, and if they are tourist perhaps making suggestions. The customer can always say some non-committal response, such as running errands. I don't find this to be rude at all, unless the server started cross examining them about their day.
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Olive Garden Is Not What It Used to Be
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
EASTON, MARYLAND -- Today my husband and I had dinner at Olive Garden in Easton MD.
This a brand new location and we were happy to try it.
We have frequented Olive Garden restaurants for many years and always enjoyed salad, soup and entrees.

Today I ordered the Parmesan crusted Talapia it was the equivalent to a child's portion. In a way it was a blessing because the fish was tasteless and not fully cooked. They served the fish with a handful of pasta and vegetables, that too was tasteless.

Olive Garden is losing it's reputation of being a family restaurant.
Someone really hungry will have to order a double portion to be satisfied. My husband's chicken Parmesan the portion also drastically shrunk in size.
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trmn8r on 05/12/2012:
This is beginning to sound like a theme.
ok4now on 05/13/2012:
I just posted a similar review about the small portions. The word is getting out about the Olive Garden. When I go out for dinner I expect a good meal for my money. I don't want to fill up on soup and bread sticks to compensate for the small portions they want to serve me.
Anonymous on 05/13/2012:
portions notwithstanding... was Olive Garden ever a place one should eat at? Eeeww
Anonymous on 05/13/2012:
I have never dined at an Olive Garden, and I've been dying to try the one that recently opened in our city. However, the continuously negative reviews are somewhat putting a damper on that anticipation. I suppose I will have to go out of mere morbid curiosity.
old fart on 05/13/2012:
I'm not a pasta freak so I have rarely used Olive Garden. The last time was 2004. Apparently I have missed nothing!
ok4now on 05/13/2012:
Let me be fair here. Olive Garden until recently offered good food and portions at a fair price. There was always a waiting line to get in. In the past year I have tried them at various locations and the portions have gotten much smaller while the prices went up. They no longer offer value for your money. With great regret I now place them with Applebee's, at the bottom of of the chain restaurants. Don't waste your money.
whythelongfaces on 05/13/2012:
I have the opposite experience. I love Olive Garden. The soup, salad and bread special is worth having, and their lasagna is good.

As for portions, people have gotten spoiled on eating large amounts of food that they do not realize the portions that are being served now are actually the size that are dietary recommended servings. People really do not need to gorge themselves. But in this economy when everything is so expensive, gas being the main price driver, restaurants can no longer afford to load down the plate. I wish people would sometimes remember when they did load up your plate for a small charge, and say THANK YOU for the times when they COULD, and be understanding now that they can't.
ok4now on 05/13/2012:
When I want dietary recommended servings I'll join Weight Watchers. When I'm hungry and go out for dinner I want the large portion that I'm paying for. If restaurants can no longer afford to load the plate down they should lower the price to reflect this. I'm very understanding that I can still do this, just not at Olive Garden.
whythelongfaces on 05/13/2012:
I was just saying OK. Think about how much your portions cost you in your grocery bill. It ain't no cheaper for you than for them.
Churro on 05/13/2012:
Food costs have skyrocketed in the last few years. These plastic corporate chain restaurants have already squeezed every last penny out of their supply chain so they're left with two options. Either significantly raise menu prices or reduce portions (or a combination of the two). We got used to ridiculously low food prices but those days are gone. This is the future for all restaurants. Sucks I know but what can you do.
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The Portions Are Much Smaller
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
I'm not a fan of chain restaurants because of the lack of consistency. You could have a great meal one time then the next time it's horrible. Olive Garden is not a great Italian restaurant but the food is usually decent and the prices are reasonable. They give you soup and salad which saves on ordering an appetizer.

The soup was served luke warm and the salad was mostly lettuce & onions. They really failed here. My wife ordered chicken & pasta for $11.95. It consisted of 3 small chicken breast slices and pasta with sauce. This looked more like an appetizer than dinner. I order the stuffed chicken breast with three cheeses for $15.95. OMG the portion was so small it would be gone in 5 bites. I immediately sent it back and had it removed from the check.

It seems that Olive Garden in their attempt to keep menu prices low has really down sized the portions. They no longer give you your monies worth but charge more for less food. They lost a customer, I will not return.
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Anonymous on 05/12/2012:
In my experiences with them they made up for the small portions with the bread sticks and salad you get with your meal.
Alain on 05/12/2012:
The last time I ate at Olive Garden was at their location in Fredericksburg, VA, and that franchise was pretty good, but that was a few years back. For me, I'll pay a bit more to get a decent sized portion. Seems like a lot of places are cutting back these days. Good review!
Anonymous on 05/12/2012:
I am not a fan of Olive Garden. I ate there once, and that was enough. I'd rather eat spaghetti out of a can than eat there again.
madconsumer on 05/12/2012:
I remember recently restaurants looked into how much food was being placed into 'doggie bags' and taken home. one thing discovered, most restaurants served far to large of portions. many acted upon that and reduced their portion sizes.
trmn8r on 05/12/2012:
I threw Olive Garden into the chain restaurant ash can 5 years ago, and haven't regretted the decision. As you say they are too inconsistent.

The salads always have been mostly lettuce and onions, in my memory. Throw in some croutons and a few olives and dressing. Soup should be hot, portions should be larger than brunch. Good review.
Karnamay on 05/12/2012:
Our Olive Garden server told us they are to serve one olive per customer in the salad. The quality of the food has definitely declined in the last few years. Last time I complained and I was sent a $25 gift card. The food was even more disappointing the second time around. They will no longer get my business.
trmn8r on 05/12/2012:
That is yet another problem with chain restaurants Karnamay. The old coupon to make up for incompetence trick, and then the repeat slap in the face. Been THERE, done THAT.

Fool me once, fool me twice...
DebtorBasher on 06/01/2012:
ONE olive per customer salad???????

Heck, they need to change their name then!

I never cared for Olive Garden, there's no choices on their menus and what they DO have on their menus are all over priced and you get so little!

You get better food for better prices at Mom and Pop restaurants!

Marianne on 06/22/2012:
You can ask for more olives and they will be delivered to you, but, yes, we are to deliver one olive per customer. Also, one ring of onion so not sure where the onion complaint is occurring.
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Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA -- I visited the Olive Garden restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia on Sunday 5/6/12. There was a party of 13 celebrating a birthday party. We had two waitress assigned to our table. The service started off slow and went down hill from there. We complained to the waitress several times about missing items from our meal. Half of the party arrived @ 4:15 and the rest @ 20 minutes later. We watched as the other guest around us received & enjoyed their meals. Around 6pm we FINALLY received our food. Shortly thereafter I asked to speak to the manager. I asked Mr. B if he would have a seat next to me where there was an empty chair. He refused so I went on to voice my concerns. I was SHOCKED and offended to hear the negative comments made regarding my concerns. For example, I was told that I should have raised the concern earlier. WHAT ???? Also, Mr B's voice tone was very loud and I had to ask him to lower his tone. At that point, he really started grand standing for the other customer to see. Horrible experience for a birthday party !!!! I believe management and staff are in need of some additional training at a minimum.
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Anonymous on 05/07/2012:
Your complaint is a little confusing.
lexophiliac on 05/07/2012:
Corporate might be more sympathetic and proactive than the management at that location.

Olive Garden Corporate Office | Headquarters
1000 Darden Center Dr. Orlando, FL 32809

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Roller Coaster
Posted by on
QUEEN CREEK, -- I have never done this before, however my wife and friends frequent the Olive Garden In Queen Creek, AZ. On Monday 6/27/2011 we had dinner at your restaurant. It was like being on a roller coaster that kept accelerating with no end in sight. The food was fine, but the atmosphere and service was something else. We all felt like we were on an assembly line, drink, eat and move on.
Needless to say I won't be returning for quite sometime.

I hope you make it, but when I dine, I would like to have a more relaxed atmosphere!!

Best, Robert
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jktshff1 on 06/29/2011:
Good review
Venice09 on 06/29/2011:
I've only been to Olive Garden a few times, and it was never a relaxed atmosphere, but that wasn't what I expected either. All of these chains are more of an assembly line than anything else. There are some exceptions, like my local Chili's, where the atmosphere and service is more relaxed and personalized. But, in general, I think 'assembly line' is an accurate description of chain restaurants.
Anonymous on 06/29/2011:
I enjoy OG.
Venice09 on 06/29/2011:
Wally (did you change your name?), the food and service was good, but it did feel like an assembly line. It didn't stop me from enjoy my visits though.
trmn8r on 06/29/2011:
Yes, Venice, Wally changed his name two days ago I think. Can't remember exactly.

I agree with you - OG and many of these chains are an assembly line atmosphere.

Their motto isn't reflected in the experience, IMO.
fast327 on 06/29/2011:
I disagree-It doesn't have to be that way. If I am paying to eat, I will do so at my own pace. I have eaten at both Olive Garden and Red Lobster and my wife and I both tell the waiter or waitress to not enter our order for the main course until we finish our salad. We then enjoy our meal and resist the pressure to pay even though the check my lay there for a while. Again, unless they are donating the meal, I refuse to be rushed.
Venice09 on 06/29/2011:
I find it easier to just go where the atmosphere and service is more to my liking.
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Posted by on
BAYTOWN, TEXAS -- Me and my wife came into the Olive Garden the other night and we got one of the best servers...Kimberly...she welcomed us and took care of us from the first glass of wine all the way down to the dessert...she was very efficient and friendly. Anything that was needed to refills to napkins she gladly brought to the table. The wine that she suggested was excellent, and my wife was very pleased, it was her birthday, and we couldn't have gotten a better server. When we stop by for dinner again I will request her. I know I told her the other night, but, Thank You, Kimberly for the excellent dining experience!...Baytown Tx.
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Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
Good review. Do give her props to the manangement also. I too on occasion have asked to be seated in a particular server's section due to prior excellent service.
Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
Way to go Kimberly!!!
Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
hmmm....Now I'm in the mood for some OG myself! Look out OG, here I come for unlimited soup salad and breadsticks lunch!
Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
I read somewhere recently that OG is now publishing recipes on their website. I've only eaten at OG a couple of times and was not impressed with the food at all, but I will say they always seem to be packed so they must be doing something right.

Good review, glad your wife had an excellent b/day dinner.
Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
Thanks for sharing. That's nice of you to take the time to write about her. I'm sure she would appreciate that.
Anonymous on 04/18/2011:
Not a fan, but, I agree with JC. The ones I see are always packed. It's nice to recognize good service.
CrazyRedHead on 04/18/2011:
I have never had a bad experience at my local OG. The servers, so far, have all been excellent, and now I'm also hungry for some OG.
madconsumer on 04/18/2011:
great review.

very helpful.
trmn8r on 04/18/2011:
I'm glad to see a customer be treated great at OG. It didn't happen the last time I was in one, but hey, I'm not selfish.

Good review.
ok4now on 04/19/2011:
Finally a compliment for this Darden chain restaurant. You were fortunate to have such an attentive server. This greatly contributes to your dining experience. I have noticed in my last few visits to the Olive Garden that the portions are now smaller. They are reluctant to raise their prices and loose customers so they just give you less. This is still a price increase because you receive a lesser portion for your money. During my last visit the waitress gave us a hard time about a second order of soup & salad. Any other time this was never an issue. Again they want to give you less but charge the same. Please be aware of this.
john_usca on 05/22/2011:
I don't recommend anyone to dine in these restaurant at all. The foods there are suck. Those cooks apply too much salt in them. Even we request for less salt but the cook still threw in an extra salt. However, at least they have better waiters there. We tipped the waiters but we won't come back there again for good.
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Birthday Song
Posted by on
COLUMBIA, SC, SOUTH CAROLINA -- February 19 2011. We have two daughters 26 and 24. All birthdays we have gone to Olive Garden for dinner-food not bad although somewhat expensive. One of the main reasons was they enjoyed the birthday song since they were very young children. They still know the words. Was informed that they no longer sang because it was too noisey and bothered other customers. Have you ever sat through dinner at a quiet Olive Garden-very loud in side. Any way we normally spend about $200.00 twice a year plus other dinners and business lunches etc. My rough calulations around $20,000 to $25,000 over the last 26 years. Manager addressed problem to explain and said that no one even knows the song any more so my wife and daughters sang it for him. He said thanks and asked if we wanted to order dessert. We will not be spending any more money at the Olive Garden and were really not looking to receive any compensation-ex fan
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saj80 on 02/25/2011:
I, personally, don't like listening to birthday songs when I am eating, so I may now become a fan of Olive Garden. As for your complaint, you obviously like the restaurant, so I am not believing you will stop going there because of this issue, especially when your children are now young adults.
jktshff1 on 02/25/2011:
I don't like the songs, clapping etc while I am eating.
Anonymous on 02/25/2011:
Your daughters are not young children anymore. It is likely that they are now embarrassed by it, but go along with it because it means so much to you. Start a new tradition.
Anonymous on 02/25/2011:
I don't mind birthday songs when I'm at a restaurant. It's festive. What's wrong with festive. In fact I usually join in. If I wanted to eat in cold stone dark silence I'd eat at the ghost town known as AppleBees.

Unfortunately as the baby boomers get older this kind of KILL-JOY will become more and more prevalent. They had their fun now they want to kill it for the rest of us.

Great review!
momsey on 02/25/2011:
I have no problem with birthday songs in restaurants. There's a really nice Spanish restaurant near us that we love and they must sing 10 or more times a night whenever we're there. They just sing happy birthday, but it's fun.

But to stop going to a place that you clearly love (I can't believe that you're only going there for the birthday song) because of the lack of a birthday song seems extreme. But that's your prerogative!
Anonymous on 02/25/2011:
I too am not bothered by restaurants that recognize birthdays. I'm disappointed in OG that they would stop this tradition due to noise complaints. If I wanted absolute quiet while I eat, I'd stay home.
Ytropious on 02/25/2011:
Having worked at Chuck E Cheese you'd think I wouldn't mind birthday songs but I DO. It's been a long time since I've been eating somewhere when a birthday song comes on but I hate it. Friday's used to be the worst because the people doing the song would scream at everyone "ATTENTION EVERYONE BLA BLA BLAAA". I don't care if it' Bill's 50th or Madison's 8th, leave me alone so I can eat my food that I'm paying good money for.
Skye on 02/25/2011:
I don't know if I would stop going to a restaurant I enjoy, just because they stopped singing some birthday song.

But it's your money.
clutzycook on 02/25/2011:
I have a soft spot in my heart (just a spot, mind you) for restaurant birthday songs. See, Hubby proposed to me on my birthday in a Japanese Steakhouse (August 6, 2005; if you can understand the irony in this situation, I applaud you). Anyway, the wait staff came out and sang their birthday song and then sat in front of me a cheesecake. But, instead of it saying "Happy Birthday," It said "Will you marry me?" Then I turn to find Hubby on one knee. It was probably the most romantic thing he had done before (or since, LOL).

That being said, it would not upset me a bit if all the restaurants in the world got rid of their birthday songs.
momsey on 02/25/2011:
I had to ask my friend Google about the irony of your birthday/proposal/Japanese steakhouse, so I don't think I deserve applause. But that's cute (other than the ironic part)! I love good stories like that where there was a good amount of planning put into it.
andbran on 02/25/2011:
if you still know the words why don't you sing it to them?
dan gordon on 02/25/2011:
if that's all it takes for you to be upset with a restaurant something is wrong. I'm not a big fan of singing in restaruants. I hate singing, the smell of Fajita platters, and loud obnoxious families.
Anonymous on 02/25/2011:
Your review only confirms the fact that I'm not missing good food at Olive Garden.
DebtorBasher on 02/25/2011:
I never knew they had a 'Birthday Song'...I know of other places just singing the usually, Happy Birthday...

Anyway, I never cared for Olive Garden, they are overpriced for the small portion of food they give you and they really don't have much choices on their menu.
karleebarlee on 02/25/2011:
I'm not a fan of super loud restaurants, but I have no problem with somebody singing a birthday song. I find that they generally engage most of the restaurant in a good way, and I've never seen anybody get up and leave because of one.
PepperElf on 02/25/2011:
Perhaps you could hire someone to perform for your children.

From what I've heard many places are cutting back on the free extras such as free songs, free cake etc.

The only problem they're having is that some people have gotten accustomed to the freebies and think it's something that they are entitled to have.

as for 20k in 26 years... I suspect that's not a lot compared to their net income. if it was perhaps 20k in a single year then yes, it might be noticeable but... that's not even the salary of one employee.
ChuhBaca on 02/25/2011:
I have to agree with the OP. Olive Garden is casual, family dining. I think anyone that is that bothered by hearing a birthday song should not be going Olive Garden, Bennigans, Chilis, Lone Star,...People that grouchy really shouldn't be out in public.
madconsumer on 02/25/2011:
I too do not want to listen to that crazy song while I am eating. I am glad they stopped it!

if you want a birthday song, have a celebration at home!
trmn8r on 02/25/2011:
I agree with Skye's sentiment. OK, they stopped singing the song. But your daughers are well into being adults now, and you obviously have enjoyed going to OG for many years. Is this a good reason to stop?

Does your family really know an OG birthday song? In any event, isn't the rest of the family singing it to the girls more special than some servers you see twice a year?
trmn8r on 02/25/2011:
Many of these signature songs are the most annoying thing imaginable, akin to Muzak. I wouldn't want to hear them while going to the bathroom, let alone eating. Maybe this is related to why they stopped.
Ytropious on 02/25/2011:
DB, a lot of places do have a special birthday song that's different from happy birthday. I think this is because Happy Birthday is actually a copyrighted song! I'm not sure on the law about singing it in public, but there might be royalties involved. At CEC we had several different birthday songs. We even had to dance...

You're a birthday star at CEC, you're a special guest we all aim to please...OMG MAKE IT STOP.
Anonymous on 02/25/2011:
From me to you my friend...

From the pasta we make
To lasagna we bake
Ba ba ba ba
We’re wising you a happy birthday!

We hope you will remember
This fond event forever
We’re wishing you a happy birthday!

It’s like family and friends
At the Olive Garden
In the true Italiano way
Hey! Hey!

So if youre looking for some fun
Try Hospitaliano
Have a happy happy day
trmn8r on 02/25/2011:
And to think that the OP's family remembers this diddy. That's incredible!
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If You Only Knew
Posted by on
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.
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User Replies:
clutzycook on 11/10/2010:
Did you happen to report this to the Dept. of Public Health?
Anonymous on 11/10/2010:
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.

trmn8r on 11/10/2010:
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.
Anonymous on 11/10/2010:
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.
madconsumer on 11/10/2010:
this is really helpful info!!
one reason I dislike eating at restaurants.
Venice09 on 11/10/2010:
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.
leet60 on 11/10/2010:
I worked at several restaurants when I was younger over a period of years. You would also be surprised how often things like bread/rolls that are left uneaten on the table end up back in the warmer to be reserved.
GenuineNerd on 11/10/2010:
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 through window.
Venice09 on 11/10/2010:
That's one of the reasons I never use the drive-through. 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.
ok4now on 11/10/2010:
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.
Disaster Worker on 11/11/2010:
Excellent and succinct review. This dishwasher obviously is educated and should will be better off away from Olive Garden.
jackiedavis87 on 11/20/2010:
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
CP on 05/16/2012:
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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