DEARBORN, MICHIGAN -- I am writing this review as a way to vent some frustration. Let me say that Olive Garden is one of my all time favorite restaurants and still is. A vast majority of the restaurants have excellent or at least good service and quality. My complaint is with one particular restaurant that just happens to be the closest to my home. The Olive Garden on Ford rd. in Dearborn needs to seriously revamp their service policy.
After going to my daughter's musical, I asked her what restaurant she would like to visit. She informed me the Olive Garden because she loves their breadsticks. After driving through yet another lovely Michigan blizzard of 9 inches of snow, we arrived to a 20 minute wait. There was 6 of us total. Despite having one large section totally closed off, I found this not to be a problem because we love Olive Gardens, and this was not an excessive wait. Once we were seated, the waitress introduced herself and proceeded to take our drink orders.
After waiting 10 minutes, we finally received our drink orders (5 cokes, 1 beer, 1 coffee, and 2 waters). She said she would be back to take our food orders. Once she left, we noticed the coffee, 2 waters and all the straws were missing. After unsuccessfully trying to flag down our waitress, I asked another employee (who I mistakingly thought was the manager), if he could help her because she seemed to be having a problem waiting on all of us. He promptly said he would help and brought us out what we were missing.
After another 10 minutes, we were still waiting for our waitress to take our food order. She finally took our food order which included salads and breadsticks for all of us. After waiting another 10 minutes, she finally brought out the breadsticks. 1 basket of 7 breadsticks and no salad to be found. After 2 minutes when all of the breadsticks were devoured, we asked another waitress if she could please tell our waitress to bring us out another basket of breadsticks and our salad.
This other waitress proceeded to ask us questions such as did we know our waitresses name, what does she look like, what color is she, rather than going to the back and simply finding out who was waiting our table. After being interrogated and having the waitress go to the back, we noticed the table next to us received their salad and they were seated 20 minutes after us. After not being able to take much more of this, we proceeded to walk out of the restaurant after laying money down for the drinks. We checked with the greeter and it showed that 1 hour and 7 minutes had elapsed between the time we were seating and the time we walked out. Still with no salad.
I honestly cannot fault our waitress but I blame the managers. This waitress was not rude in any way but clearly was in way over her head and should have had more training. The managers are responsible for making that happen. If you are in the Detroit area I strongly urge staying away from the Olive Garden on Ford rd. in Dearborn. As a final note, this was not the first time we had substandard service from this location but this was definitely the worst experience.
My friend suggested the Olive Garden in Kingston for lunch and never having had the experience I went along with the suggestion. The restaurant looks like a Lionel train set version of a restaurant with all the accessories that make it ' Family Dining' (don't you just love that?) It is actually a cover up for its faults. The bread sticks that they are so proud of are so salty it makes your face itch. The salad was passable and the service friendly.
When they came around with a bottle of Bordeaux cradled in the crook of the server's arm I nearly fell off my chair. I ordered a diet coke instead which was 7/8ths water from the Hudson River. The scallop and shrimp pasta was so salty a slimy as to make it inedible but a Hostess did come by to ask..'how is it so far?' as if to imply something terrible is about to take place.. The bill came to the standard $45 which seems to be the luck number these days.
SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE -- The managers are idiots that allow their cooks to harass the new employees like it is a game. I walked out on a Saturday night after working there 4 months and putting up with too much rudeness and harassment from a coworker on the line that I quit.
I told ** about the harassment from my coworker but the GM didn't care, he has no balls, and no backbone. He allows this distasteful, harassing behavior to go on at his restaurant and than wants to act like an **, calling me on my cell after I walked out on a busy Saturday night telling me I'd better get back in and work or I may be fired if I don't. Gee that really makes me want to come back in and work with another ** on the line that you refuse to talk to about getting in my face and cussing at me, putting me down by treating me like a **.
I am 6 years older than him, and he isn't going to treat me like dirt, because he is good at what he does and feels like boasting his ego. Well, I know he just didn't like the fact that I am an awesome worker, smarter and more efficient and just better at my job than him, and he been there 3 years. I don't and encourage others to never put up with harassment of any kind from anybody at any job EVER! I don't care if you have bills, a house payment, 10 kids, 8 baby mommas, and 5 child support payments, QUIT the job and find a better one!
Don't allow yourself to be degraded or put down, or harassed! I am so glad I quit, **, the general manager, or should I say the general **, has no integrity, no balls, and desperately needs a tic-tac. Not trying to be mean but seriously dude, you talk to guests all day and night, freshen your breath. And teach your veteran employees, one in particular that I won't mention his name because all in all I actually like and respect him despite how mean he was to me, I believe in forgiveness and second chances.
But for the management to not give me my job back and not address the issues at hand... just shows what kind of managers run that restaurant... the kind that have no compassion and no people skills whatsoever. I told them about the issues I had, they tried to bury it and act like they like me working there so it be best to just let the dude harass me, because they don't stand by the true Darden code of conduct like they are supposed to! I hope justice gets served someday and they realize the sins they have committed and the pain they put my family and me through now that I have to look for another job, instead of them handling the hostile employee, they let me go.
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.
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 affect people visiting there.