Server (Former Employee) – Vienna, VA – August 11, 2015
Cookie cutter restaurant serving mediocre food. Management and benefits are good since it is a chain, but the amount of work put in for the money you get is disproportional. Guests find ways to save money and don't tip (through seasonal deals). Don't work here if you don't want to be serving only soup and salad at $6.95 a person.
Culinary Professional (Current Employee) – Cary, NC – March 10, 2016
I have learned a lot from this company since i have done almost every position. I loved working in the front of house and making a difference in any experience. I got the promotion to key manager about a year and a half ago, and then i transferred to back of house. Since this is a laid back company, there are a lot of things that don't get done correctly just due to employees unwillingness to get them done the right way. After i moved to back of house, it because clear to me something in their server training was flawed. We were having the same mistakes, night after night and it all began in front of house. The management needs to be a little more productive and strict on how they train their employees.
SERVER (Current Employee) – Virginia Beach, VA – March 17, 2016
Olive Garden is a good place to work at. It is a stable, flexible job.I serve meals to guests and try to make their experience dining at the restaurant as enjoyable as possible. The staff and management are friendly and easy to get along with. Here, I learned how to effectively communicate with guests, as well as other employees, and how to work as a team. Although the work can be stressful, plentiful, and tedious, as guests may have specific and/or plentiful needs, it is satisfying to know when guests appreciate the work and care you have done for them so they can enjoy their experience at the restaurant.
I recommend Darden to anyone to work for. Management is very nice and there is a big culture of work. Training is extremely great. The menu changes a lot, sometimes is not good because guests get very disappointed when dishes come off the menu. A lot of the GM's and directors are very family oriented and understanding. Great place to work if you have kids and a family.
Very family oriented with quality of life as a Manager
Hard to get promoted to a GM or other higher position
Hostess (Former Employee) – Queen Creek, AZ – December 6, 2015
A typical day starts at 8-11 depending on your position. Hours are long and breaks are short if you are even given a break. I have worked 10 hours straight without one many times. The management is hit or miss. You do not have a very good chance of advancing unless you are a favorite. The hardest part is having to work your butt off for little pay. It is like you are still in High School because the co workers do nothing but gossip and the management as well. The most enjoyable part is being able to work with those people you actually like. You only get benefits if you work a minimum of 32 hours on average.
Worked for this company for 3 years. They focus on a vs t (actual waste versus theoretical) which is fine. The problem is you have to keep waste at a certain amount yet you give everything away. I had tables yell at me, tell me I would give them as many pints of sauce as they requested or else they would call corporate on me. So you do this then get told there is no way to account for this its just the "cost of doing business", the companys favorite quote, yet then they turn around and write you up for having high waste. This company talks out of both sides of their mouth all the time. They look for ways to make management fail yet let employees do whatever they want. Absolutely the worst, most stressful company I have ever been associated with. We were told to comp gift certificates to use when ziosks froze up then they terminate people for doing that exact thing. They were sure to terminate three days before the end of the period so I didn't get the bonus I busted my butt for over the prior three months. Disgusting work practices.
Olive garden has a set of great workers thats all about teamwork
Server (Current Employee) – Florence, SC – February 19, 2016
A typical day at work is normal not too hectic. If is business is normal everything flows well and the shift is good. I learned to tailor needs to every single guest everyone is not the same. The hardest part of my job is when business flow is heavy sometimes we run short on some materials needed to make each guest happy. Management is helpful and there if you need them. My co-workers are all about teamwork and are very helpful. The most enjoyable part of the job is the when the guest are very happy and return on a weekly basis.
Server Trainer/Server (Current Employee) – Lexington, KY – March 23, 2016
Great people to work with. Team work is just amazing, everybody wants to help everybody and you will never feel like an outsider. Management is always willing to work with staff whenever it comes to scheduling availabilities. Job can get pretty stressful but I had a great team that I got to work with. It's a very positive environment =)
Server (Current Employee) – Oshkosh, WI – February 11, 2016
Servers at Olive Garden are not your typical servers found in any restaurant. Since nearly everything is refillable at no charge at all, the servers have to constantly be on the move to suit all of their guests needs and provide satisfactory service. In order to work at this restaurant, you must be able to communicate well and work with a team because there are many times where you will need a hand during busy hours. Management is accommodating and helpful when it comes to scheduling and solving problems/hiccups during dining. This job is enjoyable because it is fast paced and the coworkers are fun and friendly. However, it is less enjoyable having the wage of only $2.33 per hour because most of it is taken out of your paycheck. This means that servers rely solely on tips as their salary, which is of course never guaranteed. With nice, appreciative customers, working as a server is enjoyable. There are times though, that you lose money tipping out to bussers and bartenders after a table never tips you at all after your hard work.
Cook (Former Employee) – Liberty, MO – March 2, 2016
Fast pace for both cooks and servers however it fun if you like the challenge. they are family oriented and in a great environment. Advancement is available if you seek the opportunity. can be very stressful at times but its the nature of the beast working for a face pace company. the management has a lot of respect for their employees. i really enjoyed working for this company
fun, exciting and fast pace
some people cant handle its fast pace and they tend to get grumpy
Certified Trainer (Former Employee) – West Hartford, CT – April 6, 2016
They offer a great training program that is very thorough. The benefits start day one (seriously!). You can advance well if you really put forth the effort and continue to exceed standards. Every location is different which is unfortunate for consistency. Management varies and they're easily replaced by another.
Although Olive Garden does particularly well at having you fill out an availability form, they are not so well at following it. There are constantly scheduling mistakes that need fixed. Management shows obvious favoritism toward employees. Its a constant headache. way too much to even begin to have time to type about.
discounts on food and other business
long hours, low pay, poor management, poor training
Waitress (Former Employee) – Henrico, VA 23231 – February 28, 2016
Money is inconsistent. Some days you do okay like a holiday or party but these only come every so often.. Management is even more inconsistent letting some things fly with some and choosing to punish others for the very same thing.
Discount lunches, leave with money in your pocket
Long hours, hardly take breaks, management shakey, money inconsistent
Server (Current Employee) – Indianapolis, IN – January 15, 2016
Ill start off by saying if management was stronger, the store would operate much more efficiently. Lack of communication and leadership and the willingness to help understaffed areas is completely unprofessional. Besides for the management issue, mainly speaking of the GM, Olive Garden is a great place to work. The environment is nice and the co-workers are all very friendly. I'm a people person so the fact that my job is just to talk to people all day and run them food is nice. Great job for someone in school or not decided on what career to pursue.
Fast-paced, great co-workers, lack of management, excellent customer care.
Server, Trainer, Bartender, Sevice Professional (Current Employee) – Fairfield, OH – March 21, 2016
Taking detailed orders and serving the guests needs at a fast-pace. I learned leadership skills and how to properly train new employees. Management was dysfunctional and lacking the skills of leadership. The hardest part of my job was having to pick up the slack, as people have begun quitting each week. I was next in-line for management training but our General Manager has pushed too many employees away. My favorite part of this job was being able to make an impact on the multiple groups of guests that fluctuated in diversity. And having the freedom to increase my income by up-selling high-end products and offering what's best for the guests.
Hostess/Server (Current Employee) – Tucson, AZ – April 4, 2016
Coming in for a morning shift, you don't really know when you'll leave. It could be early if we're slow or it could be well into dinner time if we're busy and/or the managers forget that day workers are still on. If you're scheduled a double shift, the managers can choose whether or not you get a break to eat or if you have to work 12-14 hours straight. Sales are being pushed and if you don't sell enough, they put you on probation and then eventually fire you even if you're excellent with guests. That's the worst part: feeling like sales is more important than guests. This pressure has made me learn more about sales though. I can read the guests to figure out if they're wine drinkers or favor cocktails more, see if they want desserts or appetizers. My coworkers are great. We all support each other and help out as much as possible. Management does a great job on who they hire. Employees are consistently friendly, supportive, and competent.
Hostess, ToGo Specialist (Former Employee) – Rochester, NY – December 14, 2015
Working for Olive Garden, a typical day consisted of cleaning the host stand, making sure servers knew their sections, and preparing reservations along with assisting guests to their tables. I learned customer service skills and professional skills as well. I always loved being in the presence of the guests and forming relationships with coworkers as well as management.The hardest part about my job was knowing there was little to no room to advance. As for management, there was a very high turnover rate, which made it hard to bring issues or concerns to the table.
Service Professional (Current Employee) – Springfield, IL – October 10, 2016
I was mostly a server but learned most positions. It is a great place to work, but comes with the typical restaurant problems, like managers change and some are really good and some are really bad. The culture of the restaurant is a lot about team work and taking care of the guests first. It really is like a family with your coworkers. If someone has a problem then others will rally to help out if they can and management will work with you. However, the new corporate management that bought the company or shares of the company have been making changes and some are not good and don't work well from the perspective of employees. Some changes might sound good on paper and may be more efficient or cost saving on paper but does not play out well on the working level, and has caused some guests to be unhappy.
Restaurant (Current Employee) – Athens, GA – March 29, 2016
On a normal day at work there is less talking and more working unless it gets busy. I learned how to work with others and keep a good work pace. The management is good i get along with my managers we communicate often and they are all very supportive and helpful. my co workers are interesting, most of them are college students so they show how important it is to work and achieve the little easy things to be rewarded in a big way. I do not find anything hard about my job it is a favor for a favor i do the work i get paid i look forward to my job everyday.The most enjoyable part of my job is getting paid because i know i put in the work to receive the paycheck i deserve.
Salad Prep (Current Employee) – Oxford, AL – September 5, 2016
Working at Olive Garden taught me even on a bad day there is always that group of people that will make your day a great day. Being part of the OG CREW is a blessing, everybody is well respectfull to each other even when we dont agree on certain situations we always work together and make sure the job is done. The managers are great, they make sure you are doing your job and when your doing wrong they dont hesitate to correct you. I love the fact they dont show favoritism, they treat everybody equally. And also they make sure your having a great day. The hardest part of the job is the restaurant being busy, everybody tend to run around going crazy, and i have to make sure everything is up for the servers to pick up and everything is stocked. And the most enjoyable part of my job is the positive mood surrounding me.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) – Las Vegas, NV – October 18, 2016
I enjoyed working for Olive Garden would love to go back there to work. Most days were really fun. I had a customer come back just for me at dinner time and for there soup and salad. With the $20 purchase would leave me a $20 tip on top of that. Awesome place to work. Of course you have your customer that just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The times that did happen I continued to customer service them with a smile and almost always win the over and the would apologize to me for being rude, they were "Hangry".(Hungry and angry). At the Olive Garden I worked for in Vegas the whole team would help each other out and after work we would sometimes go next door to the bar to have a drink and play pool.