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Nosy, Nervy Server
Posted by Bridgettefrench on 06/15/2012
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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Posted by TLSmith on 2012-06-15:
What did the Server say to you that you felt was "over the top rude" ?
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-06-15:
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
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-06-15:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-06-15:
I don't think its that big of a deal. They are just trying to be friendly.

Better then the ones who hate being at work and won't even acknowledge you.
Posted by I love my son on 2012-06-15:
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..
Posted by ok4now on 2012-06-15:
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?
Posted by ktisnumeroUNO on 2012-06-18:
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 harrassing.
Posted by Nohandle on 2012-06-18:
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.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-06-18:
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 Lbaddour21 on 05/12/2012
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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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-12:
This is beginning to sound like a theme.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-05-13:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-05-13:
portions notwithstanding... was Olive Garden ever a place one should eat at? Eeeww
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-05-13:
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.
Posted by old fart on 2012-05-13:
I'm not a pasta freak so I have rarely used Olive Garden. The last time was 2004. Apparently I have missed nothing!
Posted by ok4now on 2012-05-13:
Let me be fair here. Olive Garden up 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.
Posted by whythelongfaces on 2012-05-13:
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.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-05-13:
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.
Posted by whythelongfaces on 2012-05-13:
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.
Posted by Churro on 2012-05-13:
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 Ok4now on 05/12/2012
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2012-05-12:
In my experiences with them they made up for the small portions with the bread sticks and salad you get with your meal.
Posted by Alain on 2012-05-12:
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!
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-05-12:
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.
Posted by madconsumer on 2012-05-12:
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.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-12:
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.
Posted by Karnamay on 2012-05-12:
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.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-12:
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...
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-06-01:
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 resturants!

Posted by Marianne on 2012-06-22:
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 occuring.
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Posted by Rknight12 on 05/07/2012
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2012-05-07:
Your complaint is a little confusing.
Posted by lexophiliac on 2012-05-07:
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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Best Service
Posted by on 04/19/2012
Best service ever at Bakerfield's Olive Garden by Cynthia last Tuesday!!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-04-19:
Wow. Thanks for taking the time to post a compliment. Awesome review.
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Business Not Being Prepared For Problems
Posted by RED TOP on 01/11/2012
TEXARKANA, TEXAS -- My grandchildren wanted to take me out to eat. It was for my 79th birthday. It was to be a night with my wife, son, and 3 grandchildren. Waited for 1 hr and 45 minutes. Told them just to fix it to go and bring me the bill. Gave a tip to the young lady and left. The meals were about 1/2 the normal size and rushed when fixing them. Worst 2 hours I have spent in a long time. Your staff was not prepared and needs some instructions.
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Posted by Kris10 on 2012-01-12:
Sorry, I don't understand what happened. Could you let us know?
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Management Policy Regarding Display of American Flag
Posted by Patrick7moran22 on 10/16/2011
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- If one Olive Garden refuses display of American Flag I assume "all" Olive Garden restaurants do the same. If this is their policy I don't plan to ever visit a Olive Garden restaurant anywhere in this world ever again. Plus I will do all that I can to make sure all of my immediate friends and relatives know about this policy. They (O. G.) should not be allowed to conduct business anywhere in the United States.
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Posted by andbran on 2011-10-16:
i think this complaint is getting very old. i went to Olive Garden with my mother and the food is ok but not great. Macorini Grill is better.
Posted by clutzycook on 2011-10-16:
+10 andbran
Posted by Starlord on 2011-10-17:
I think this has been run into the ground enough. Let's quit abusing the poor deceased equine. The whole ridiculous fiasco was due to a misunderstanding. The policy is not to allow the HANGING of flags or banners, not the display. the groups that wish to display the flag have to bring their own. I for one have never see any restaurant flying the flag, and do not feel they are anti-American or anything else. Let it go, already.
Posted by Nick on 2012-01-03:
Really man ? Really ? That's just rediculus ur gonna dog a company or restraunt because they aren't flying an American flag . I'm from Texas and were big patriots don't get me wrong I like seeing old glory but there's places where it's approiate and where it's not . Now I can see going to a steakhouse or grill or something . This is way over the top.
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Unamerican support
Posted by Blen391 on 10/13/2011
I can't imagine what Olive Garden's management is thinking. I am a long time loyal customer of Olive Garden and was looking forward to the new restaurant in Derby, KS, but now am going to avoid patronizing them. Am totally bummed at their anti-American policy.
A sad prior customer
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Posted by Kris10 on 2011-10-13:
Can you clarify? What anti-American policy?
Posted by MRM on 2011-10-13:
What is going on with the rash of Olive Garden complaint? I find it hard to believe that Olive Garden is anti-flag or anti-American.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-13:
I think a group such as the American Legion or something had an event, and was denied permission to plant a flag in the floor for a luncheon. Got their dander up and this is the unfortunate result.

This too shall pass.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-13:
I think you need to clarify your complaint. I see nothing "anti-American" about Olive Garden unless you mean the Italian food...
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
If I drove around looking for a place to eat, that also had an American flag draped on the outside of the establishment, I'd go hungry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
I read up on this yesterday. It seems OG has a policy that unless a location has a private dining section that can be reserved, no flags, banners, party favors, etc can be brought in. Churro then solved the mystery when he pointed out OG's apology statement on their website. OG amended that policy by stating it was true...other than the right to bring in an American flag, and that management at the location in question had misunderstood.

Everyone can go back to OG now and bring their flags with them. End of story.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
I'm of German heritage, married to a Native American (Navajo), and I'm in the mood for some Mexican food, and eating on American soil...when did the world become so complicated? *head spinning*
Posted by SteveWiginowski on 2011-10-13:
The thing about this is that they weren't being un-American. They won't allow people to hang up a banner or flag. The flag happened to be an American flag. Had it been a Mexican flag, they still would not have allowed it. Had it been an Italian flag, they still wouldn't allow it. It's not being un-American.

If the policy should allow flags to be hung, that's another debate, but I won't get into that.
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-13:
I have no idea what it means to be 'Un-American'. I agree this wasn't an issue of hating the USA or disrespecting the flag. This is simply what happens when you have managers of big corporate chains that are either too incompetent to understand the community/market they serve or are not empowered to make rational decisions that might be at odds with corporate policy.

If you manage a restaurant in Oxford Alabama that is hosting a meeting of the Kiwanis Club composed of seniors, retirees, civic leaders, church folk and veterans the last thing you do is refuse them a US flag for their meeting. This is a no brainer because if you do refuse them and you are in eastern Alabama then there will be heck to pay and your bottom line will suffer accordingly. Now if you're in business to make a political statement about private property rights then by all means tell them "Hell No". Stand your ground until you finally go out of business. BUT if your goal is to make money then the easy answer here is to allow the flag. It's just that simple.

The free market spoke and Olive Garden acted accordingly. That's a beautiful thing. And as always the free market knows better than any corporate policy wonk or restaurant general manager.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-13:
Churro, I agree with what you say, but I am not so sure if it was the free market that spoke, or a very vocal minority.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-13:
The interesting part, assuming the comments above are true, is that this too HAS passed, and OG lets all flags in now. I just need to find one of those flags with weed on it - wouldn't that be fun...
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
trmn8r: Marijuana flags:


I especially like the first one, the Medical Marijuana flag.
Posted by oldisgood on 2011-10-13:
ENOUGH with the OG being UnAmerican. Geez, they are not UnAmerican. This is as bad as the protesters on Wall Street. Half the people do not even know what they are protesting about, but , let's join them. This is how vicious rumors get started.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-13:
oldisgood, we do have a TOS as well as some unwritten guidelines. It is usually pretty easy to figure out why comments are sent to the cornfield. I have had it happen to me, more than once. I can always figure out why my comment was moved. A "good post" is a subjective term.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
I avoid Olive Garden because of the tasteless food. I could care less if they let people hang flags or not
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-13:
yaya, I am with you all the way on this. I know some people love going there, but I don't know why. They could hang flags with naked women on them, and I wouldn't eat there.

{edit} If they had a flag with Basher on it, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-10-13:
I also concur. Other than the bread sticks and salad I have never found anything worthwhile on their menu. Have not been back to an OG in years, Unless someone I know tells me they have re-vamped their menu and dropped all of the weird lousy tasting concoctions they call Italian food I will stay clear. We have our favorite local family owned real Italian haunts we like.

As for the flag issue? It's on OG if they want to look like idiots or not, not an issue with me.
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Anti American
Posted by Rwright2brn21 on 10/12/2011
The policy for Olive Garden is not to offend anyone. Since Americans can't display our colors in your restaurant I will make everyone aware of Olive Gardens policy. Neither I, nor anyone in my family will be attending an Olive Garden ever again. It would be un-American.

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Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-12:
I have a feeling every restaurant in Oxford, Alabama is going to have flags everywhere. Flag napkins, flag table clothes, flag place mats, flag uniforms. That way everyone in Alabama will know they don't hate America because whether one displays a flag is the only way to judge if someone is patriotic.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-12:
You have made me aware that Olive Garden doesn't cave in to pressure to display flags in its restaurant, which I think is awesome. I don't connect anything having to do with patriotism with restaurants.
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-12:
trmn8r, absolutely incorrect. Olive Garden released this statement on their website.

"Olive Garden Italian Restaurant: We've had some questions about whether or not guests can bring the American flag into our restaurants. We are very sorry for any misunderstanding about this issue. We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office. As a company we take responsibility for that and we regret it. We take pride in how we communicate to our restaurants and we are correcting this so it doesn't happen again. Like all Americans we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes, and we welcome anyone who wishes to bring the flag into our restaurants. In fact, we periodically provide American flag collar pins to our employees to wear while serving guests."

Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-12:
I wonder how quickly a group will try to bring in a Confederate flag, or maybe an Italian flag, or a rainbow flag... I guess they have to let all flags in now.
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-12:
Olive Garden's only goal is to make money and for as long as possible. Policies should serve to enable that goal. A policy that doesn't is a bad policy and should be changed. That's the case here pure and simple.

Good grief who in their right mind thinks its a good idea to tell a bunch of seniors who are veterans and/or active in the community they can't display an American flag at a civic function being held at Olive Garden in eastern Alabama. BAD IDEA as OG quickly learned.
Posted by ticia232 on 2011-10-13:
You really have something against them don't you? What was the real problem? Now it's that you can't bring the American flag inside? Were you told to leave? (Which I believe you should be, since you are HARASSING Americans who work for the place!)

And as the wife of a soldier, I feel the need to tell you that you are probably embarrassing your child. I've seen marriages go up in smoke due to the spouses trying to cash in on military status.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-13:
Churro +100.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-10-13:
Churro +1000 well put. Thanks for the research. Let's hope this puts an end to it.
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Anti American
Posted by Tmc72743 on 10/12/2011
We definitely will not be returning to the Oxford, AL Olive Garden which does NOT honor the American flag.
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Posted by saj80 on 2011-10-12:
Olive Garden did not say they don't honor the American flag, they only said it couldn't be displayed in their establishment, due to possible discriminatory issues if other groups would then want to display their flags. While I don't particularly care for Olive Garden, and don't particularly agree with their decision, this issue continues to grow.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2011-10-12:
I wonder what other 'groups' they're talking about. You're either American or you're not. Since this is America, there shouldn't be any issues about displaying the American Flag.
There are ethnic resturants that display their flags HERE in America....I don't see the problem displaying the American Flag IN America!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-12:
This whole thing has absolutely nothing to do with discriminatory issues and everything to do with a policy that doesn't allow flags, banners, party favors, etc, unless there is a private dining section that can be reserved....the particular OG location in question does not have a private dining section, therefore the answer was No.

I love how these little instances get worked up into such an outrageous frenzy that now OG is anti-American.

If people would only get this worked up about the things that really matter.
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-12:
It has everything to do with an OG manager making a boneheaded decision and then another OG mouth piece following up with a silly policy defense.

The proper way to handle this issue is for OG to issue an apology, invite the group back with flags in hand, and comp them some marinara and/or alfredo for their bread sticks. OR they can continue to be slaves to an inflexible policy that could possibly result in this particular store going under. This is one them common sense 'the customer is always right' scenarios.

Keep the fight to them my friend. They'll cave.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-12:
LOL, you're hilarious Churro!
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-12:
OG rep issued the following email.

"“We are very sorry for any misunderstanding about this issue. We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office. As a company we take responsibility for that and we regret it. We take pride in how we communicate to our restaurants and we are correcting this so it doesn’t happen again. Like all Americans we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes, and we welcome anyone who wishes to bring the flag into our restaurants. In fact, we periodically provide American flag collar pins to our employees to wear while serving guests.”

Once again in the end the customer is always right.


Posted by andbran on 2011-10-12:
churro something tells me you are not policy follower. i dont have to be around an American flag to be proud of my country. but the thing is OG has the constitutional right on whether or not to display the flag. everyone also has the constitutonal right not to go to OG.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2011-10-12:
Now, if Olive Garden would work on getting some decent food to choose from on their menu. I've been there three times and all three times I couldn't find much to choose from...and what I did get was way over priced for the little bit they put on the dish. Why did I go three times? It wasn't my choice, I went with our manager, the company paid. Knowing what they offer and the price, I never went there on my own choice.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-12:
Well as usual, you called it Churro. Now if I were someone that ate at OG, I would now boycott them for caving in and apologizing.
Posted by Churro on 2011-10-12:
Andbran, it's never been against OG policy to bring in an American flag. The manager at this particular OG misunderstood corporate policy. It's stated so on the OG website. www.olivegarden.com .

Mark this one as resolved!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-12:
So they say it was a "misunderstanding." For all we know this is the first time anyone made a stink about it...what else are they going to do? Actually uphold their policy or say it was all a big misunderstanding?

I'm going to OG tonight and I'm bringing my Canadian flag with me.
Posted by OldRetCop on 2011-10-13:
Olive Garden's Corp office is covering their own asses. They know Americans will be very upset with that OG in Alabama refusing to allow Kiwanis to fly the American Flag. I'm outraged that even an individual would refuse displaying the Nation's Flag. Where they an American? I have to wonder. The refusal is a slap in the face to every American and any American who makes excuses or agrees with OG should be ashamed of themselves.
I would love to see a restaurant manager refuse to allow the nation's flag displayed in China, probably would get a trip to prison.
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