The New and Improved Olive Garden?

And now a word from Arlene Sinclair, the cafeteria lady at Stroman High School in Victoria, Texas who asked me if she could use my blog as a place to express her concerns about a very serious issue:

Hey, y’all, first off I have got to thank The Bitchy Waiter for letting me say some words on the internets, but I have shocking news. My favorite restaurant in the whole world played a new commercial last night and it just about turned my world upside down, y’all. Lemme just say it: I love Olive Garden. I cain’t help it, but I do. Those bread sticks just do a number on me and I cain’t stop eatin’ ’em. I hear they have a never-ending salad bowl too, but best I remember, I ain’t never had that ’cause it’s got lettuce in it. Anyways, I was watching the telly last night. (I love Honey Boo Boo!!)  and I sees a commercial on for Olive Garden and it was totally different. You know how they usually show a bunch of people sittin’ around a table laughing and eating food and and then at the end they say, “When you’re here, you’re family?” Well what I saw last night they showed a woman doing some of that yogi bear exercise and a bunch of kids taking pictures on the cellular phones. How in tarnation does that have anything to do with Olive Garden? And then at the end they just said “Go Olive Garden.” Don’t mess with my Olive Garden.

I did a little bit of Internets research and found this article telling me that OG is changing the way they are advertising because their business is down. Now that don’t make a lick of sense to me since every time I go to OG it’s as crowded as the Wal-Mart on Black Friday when they’s selling 102″ flat screen t.v.’s for $1.99. I also read that they are starting to have some food that has fewer calories for people who are watching their weight. Now don’t get me wrong, I watch my weight too, you know. I watch it get higher and higher, LOl! I don’t go to OG to watch my calories. If I want to eat healthy and lose weight, I do what all Americans do: I go to Subway. Please DO NOT change, Olive Garden, I beg of you on all things holy and deep fried.

One thing that does look kinda interesting is this new “Dinner Today, Dinner Tomorrow” offer, which gives customers who come in for dinner a second meal to take home. They’re cold and then I can just heat ’em up the next day. I might like this idea a lot because I can buy a fancy Olive Garden dinner for my kids and husband but I won’t have to leave a tip on it, and that puts more money in my purse.

I suppose I understand that all things have to change, I just don’t like it. I still recall how upset I was when they changed the recipe for Coke so long ago and came out with that new Coke. Lordy, I was so pissed off about that and I skipped breakfast for a week. I finally switched over to Dr. Pepper and life went on but I just don’t know if I can handle all these changes at the OG. On Friday afternoons after me and all the other girls from the cafeteria are done with work, I loves to go to the OG and get myself a glass of white zin and eat some bread sticks. That’s sorta like my own little tradition, you know? I just want things to stay the same and if Olive Garden is changing, what next? Is Arby’s gonna start selling salads or is McDonald’s gonna start selling pizza? Where will it end? If I want pizza, I do what every other American does: I go to KFC.

Okay, I guess I better go. I am at work and the first batch of kids is about to be served lunch. I need to go open up five gallons of mac and cheese and pull those fish sticks out of the oven. I just wanted to vent about Olive Garden. “When you’re here, you’re family” is no longer, but to me, those waitresses at the OG will always be my family. I love ’em so much which is why I always tell them how great they are to me and my friends. I make sure to tell every single one what a good job they’re doing because I think that’s what they really want from me. We can all make money, but how often do you get a compliment?

Thanks again, Bitchy Waiter for giving me this platform. Go, Olive Garden? I say “Go, Bitchy Waiter!!”

No, Arlene, Thank you.  -BW

(And everyone knows that this wasn’t really written by a woman named Arlene, right?)

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19 thoughts on “The New and Improved Olive Garden?

  1. Anonymous

    "I might like this idea a lot because I can buy a fancy Olive Garden dinner for my kids and husband but I won't have to leave a tip on it, and that puts more money in my purse." WON'T HAVE TO LEAVE A TIP ON IT????? COMPLIMENTS ARE NICE BUT DO NOT PAY OUR BILLS!!!!!!


    Maggiano's restaurants have been doing the "second meal to go" thing for a long time. It's, literally, twice as much work for the servers who get the same tip.I don't like the way OG does their form of "team serving". It can be chaotic and terribly disorganized.I don't think I should ever have to hear "who had the" and I like to be able to recognize my server so that I can tip appropriately.

  3. Anonymous

    Haha! I work at an OG and the "Dinner Today, Dinner Tomorrow" isn't even that popular. And, Diatribes, the way that OG does their special is that they are already cold packed and ready to go, we just pick them up and bag them. It isn't bad. However, I do agree with you on the team service, it is chaotic. However, I don't know what Olive Garden you are going to, but ours uses the pivot point system, so no matter who brings the food out, we know where to set it down.

  4. Paula

    typical Darden Restaurant bullshit. Give the ghetto people all the crap food that they love then they can bitch and screw the servers. i hate Darden. I never go there.

  5. Squishy

    I finally left the garden of olives a little while ago and every day that I worked I was all about "When you are here, you are family". Unfortunately, the new slogan is "A new era". I guess you could say a new era of screwing over guests, of screwing over senior staff, a new era of being a crappy old shell of its former self. I left because my manager was always looking to can the servers he felt were "bringing down the restaurant" and to rehire new people who would "get with the program". His words, not mine.Me, personally, I miss what I felt when I first started there, but I have to say Bitchy, your post made me smile but it made me so sad because I have regulars like Arlene the lunch lady, and I miss being of service to them. When you are of service to others and there is a mutual respect, you would be amazed at how much that can touch you. But thanks for the post, and I am glad to see that soo many bloggers are not letting Darden creep off into a corner. I am giving great thought to creating my own blog again since I am no longer behind an online gag order that all employees of Darden are forced to agree to.Thanks, Bitch. (Meant in a good

  6. Sabrina

    That is soooo funny..the whole time I'm reading it,I'm thinking BW wrote this.. Such irony & the sarcasm of the whole thing is dead on..There are so many things wrong with OG and the company as a whole..advertising can change,but,the "bottom line" never seems to.. So glad I work in a privately owned restaurant..

  7. Anonymous

    I have been waiting for you to write about the new Olive Garden commercials! I used to go to Olive Garden now and then in the mid-90s when I worked in low-wage retail jobs, and it seemed like the epitome of high class because it was just beyond my means. How little I knew! I haven't been to one in over 12 years now. It was a rare "treat," but even then I knew that I should tip on anything I ordered to take home. How does one tip on this deal since the extra meal is already pre-packed and chilled?

  8. Unknown

    I disagree. Middle America IS OG and Red lobster and Walmart and Fox News or MSNBC, if you prefer, and CVS, JCP, etc. If Americans didn't love their stuff fast, cheap, homogeneous, sanitized and totally processed so much, the Mom and Pop's would still be in business on every corner and ADM wouldn't be "supermarket to the world" creating more and worse food at the expense of your health as well as the planet's. You get what you pay for, people. If you keep lowering the bar, it ain't gonna be much. BW's right.

  9. Beebs

    I watched the first commercial on the linked page. All I could think of when I saw the kids wandering around in the dinosaur hats was "the waiter is probably reeeeeaally annoyed right now. And maybe drinking".

  10. kittygurl212

    So I currently work at Olive Garden and have been for almost three years at three different stores. And I agree with what "Squishy" said. When I first started I loved that feeling of being family. Mostly because I helped open a restaurant and we were kind of all in it together. When I graduated and moved back home the stores here were different as the menu and things changed. In October they literally threw about twenty different major changes at us all at the same time and my managers were so stressed I was yelled at for doing my job. I seriously don't like the way Olive Garden has changed and as soon as Christmas is over I'm going to be looking for a job at some of the more locally owned restaurants. I've been working at chains for over five years now and the corporate bs is really getting to me. They're cutting our hours so they don't have to pay for our healthcare. It's terrible. It's just created dissonance in my all around life so the best solution is to find a job elsewhere. Thanks for posting this BW, this is the best serving blog I've come across!


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