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Portions Have Been Downsized!!
Posted by Diannagym on 08/19/2012
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 nickle 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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Posted by Anonymous on 2012-08-19:
Huge portions are why so many people are obese. What they are giving you are actually normal size portions
Posted by spiderman2 on 2012-08-19:
I'm betting you that it wasn't hand made and did come from a freezer.
Posted by Mrs. V on 2012-08-19:
I don't mind the smaller portions so much, but they need to drop the price if they drop the portion size, I think.
Posted by melissa253 on 2012-08-19:
I agree with you 'littleshorty'
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-19:
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.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-08-19:
Perhaps, LS. But the OP didn't feel they got their money's worth.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-08-19:
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.
Posted by Bill on 2012-08-19:
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.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-08-20:
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.
Posted by yoke on 2012-08-20:
Went to OG a few months ago and noticed the same thing. I did not mind the smaller portion, but was suprised 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.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2012-08-20:
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.
Posted by Prince Caesar on 2012-08-20:
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.
Posted by Moly on 2012-11-30:
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!!!!!
Posted by totallyforgiven on 2012-12-09:
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 use 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?
Posted by Ladybee313 on 2013-08-12:
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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Bad Service
Posted by virgilio265 on 07/06/2012
They had bad service, it took more than 45 minutes to get our food, they didn't ask if we needed anything else. I am never spending another dollar on this place again. That was the most terrible service I've ever seen!!! :O
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Posted by ok4now on 2012-07-08:
Welcome to the New Olive Garden. This chain joint in an effort to save money now employs mostly kids and the good managers have all left. Have you noticed how much smaller the portion are? So what you had to wait 45 minutes for your food, make sure you leave at least a 20% tip. This is their attitude and they are loosing business. They lost me as a long time customer.
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Best Manager Ever
Posted by Dostromcowboy1 on 06/23/2012
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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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-06-23:
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 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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