Category Archives: Olive Garden

Dad is Upset With Olive Garden Because He’s a Lazy Parent

If there is anything that really grinds my gears, it’s when a restaurant customer bases their tip on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the server. Case in point is Andrew who went to Olive Garden and encountered one of those ziosk*/tablet thingies on his table. Presumably while Andrew was filling his gullet with breadstick after breadstick, his child used the tablet in an effort to obtain the warmth and familial connection that he clearly wasn’t getting from his father. In the course of looking for love and parental guidance, the child played a few games that weren’t free and when Andrew got his check, he was not pleased with the extra charges on it.

“What in tarnation?” he cried. “I recognize this charge for Zoodles Primavera with Grilled Chicken and this charge for Lasagna Fritta, but what are all these other costs? This is an outrage, I tell you! An outrage!”

As parents are often wont to do, Andrew found his way to Olive Garden’s Facebook to complain about the situation. (Coincidentally, while Andrews was filing his official Facebook complaint, his child was also on Facebook searching for a support group for children of disinterested parents.)

“Bit sneaky Olive garden. Putting those stupid and pointless tablets on every table. Of course kids will gravitate to them. It is wrong that these tablets are ‘unlocked’ and should your child play with it they will run your bill up without any parent permission. This needs investigation and parental locks put in place.”

What Andrew fails to understand is that “parent permission” comes from he himself and not the Olive Garden Facebook page. It is Andrew’s responsibility to monitor what screen his child is staring at, no matter how strong the gravitational pull of said screen may be. Perhaps if Andrew could have taken two fucking seconds to see what his child was doing, he wouldn’t have to expect Olive Garden to do an “investigation.” Had he taken the time to do his own investigation, he would have then had two choices: ask the server to remove the kiosk from the table or tell his kid they are not allowed to play with the kiosk.

Now, here’s the part that gets me really angry. In the comments of his post, he tells the world how he offset these unexpected charges: he took it out of the tip. Even though the server had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this child ran up some additional costs, Andrew thinks this is a good solution. The server had to lose money simply because Andrew couldn’t be bothered to see what the fuck his kid was doing.

Here is some advice for you Andrew: the next time you go out to eat, why don’t you interact with your kid instead of letting him stare at a screen? And if you are going to let him stare at a screen, why don’t you make sure you know what your kid is staring at. Sure, maybe this time it was just a silly little game on an Olive Garden ziosk that cost a few bucks, but what about the next time they’re staring at a screen? Maybe it they could be looking at porn or reading about how to make a pipe bomb or  watching YouTube videos of Nickleback.

Bottom line: Your kid. Your responsibility. To try to blame Olive Garden for this makes it look like you were being a lazy dad. And by taking that extra cost out of the tip makes it look like you’re a cheap asshole. Maybe you are neither of those things, but your Facebook comments show otherwise.

  • I had originally called the tablet a “kiosk” but now I know it’s called a “ziosk.” Please forgive me.

Karin is Not Happy With Olive Garden

Life is hard and if your name is Karin, it’s even harder.

Case in point is this Facebook post from Karin who went to Olive Garden and was disappointed with her order of calamari, which was “tiny” and “overdone” and “heaven knows what.” (Spoiler alert, Karin: it’s squid.)

I am not here to disagree with Karin about the quality of her calamari, for I was not there when she ordered it. While she was settled into a booth surrounded by murals of Italian scenery and plastic grape vines, I was far, far away from any Olive Garden. For all we know, the calamari was overdone and tiny, which may or may not be what one expects from Olive Garden. What I am here to point out is that Karin is upset by the fact that she had to pay for a salad. Yes, that’s right. She had to actually PAY for something she wanted to eat and that’s a “rip off.” Can you believe the nerve of a restaurant expecting someone to pay for food they ordered?

Even though Karin realizes that she ordered an appetizer that doesn’t come with a salad, she is still distressed about having to pay $4.79 for one. I suppose an entree would have come with a salad, but Karin made the conscious decision to order something that specifically didn’t come with a salad, but she still feels the need to publicly air her grievances about it.

Karin, Karin, Karin… you are doing a wonderful job of upholding the expectations that all servers have about someone with your name. If you wanted something that came with a salad, then you have to order something that comes with a salad. Does that make sense? Let me make it more clear: if the menu says it doesn’t come with a salad IT. DOES. NOT. COME. WITH. A. SALAD. Your complaint is not valid. It is not a rip off. Besides, $4.79 is a pretty good deal for a salad. I went to East Hampton, New York two weeks ago and my jaw fell on the floor when I saw a side Caesar salad that cost $16.00. I didn’t order it, but If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have gone to the the restaurant’s Facebook page to call it a rip off. Yes, it was a rip off, but I made the decision to not order it. You did make the decision to order it. So, rip off or not, it was your call. That’s on you.

As for the less than ideal calamari, maybe Olive Garden will see your complaint and send you a gift card. In fact, I’m sure they will so I want to give you some advice for when you use it: please tip on the full amount and not just what you pay for. In other words, if they send you a $20 gift card and your bill is $25, you should tip a total of five bucks. With your name being Karin, I’m sure your inclination is to only tip on the five dollars you spent, but if you leave your server one dollar, all you’re going to do is solidify the fiery hatred that 99% of servers have for women with your name.

Don’t be a Karen, Karin.

Could I Work at Olive Garden?

Olive Garden…

I was slapped in the face with the aroma of a bread stick a few days ago and then fell into a bowl of never ending salad, for I stepped into the wonder that is The Olive Garden. I have written before about this feast for the senses and have poked fun at it many many times. So why did I allow myself to return to this place that is overflowing with tourists and people from New Jersey? I needed a gift card to give to my parents for Christmas and they freakin’ love that place. Yes, I am giving the gift of The Olive Garden to my parents. And since I know they don’t read this, I am not worried that they will find out about their majestic gift before Christmas day.

Before I walked in, I put my hood over my head and pulled my scarf high around my neck. The Olive Garden is right down the street from where I work and I certainly couldn’t take a chance that someone would see me and think that I was going in for lunch. I had never been into an Olive Garden here in New York City and I was pleasantly surprised when I was safely ensconced inside. Unlike most New York City restaurants, the place was bright and expansive with lots of room between the tables. Most of the time here, you are crammed in so close to your fellow diners that you can pretty much bump elbows with each other as you break bread. The hostess greeted me with a warm smile and a friendly hello. Suddenly, I really did feel like family. I noticed the servers were wearing crisply starched white shirts with nice ties and clean bistro aprons. The whole corporate feel was really working for them. They all seemed happy and content and I caught a couple of them laughing together. Then I saw an old waiter who looked days away from either collecting Social Security benefits or just flat out keeling over. After I pulled myself away from seeing my own harsh future, I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if they’re hiring. If I worked with Grandpappy Pasta over there, I wouldn’t be the oldest server at my job. I’d feel like a kid again!” Would it be so bad working for a chain restaurant? It’s not like I haven’t done it before; Houlihan’s, Pizzeria Uno, The Black Eyed Pea and Bennigan’s were all heavy on the corporate. I bet Olive Gardeners get meal breaks with free pasta and salad. They can probably eat all the bread sticks they want. But then look at who they have to serve. Oh, yeah. No amount of never-ending salad would make up for serving Roy and Loretta Jerseytown who thought they would come into the city for dinner and a show. I would puke listening to them talk about how much better Phantom of the Opera was this time than the last time they saw it. And have you ever walked passed The Olive Garden on Sixth Avenue on a Friday night? Good lord, I don’t want to have to wait on that crowd. Not that it wouldn’t give me plenty to write about.

I went up to the bartender and purchased the $75 gift card for Mommsy and Poppsy. The girl behind the bar was all fresh and clean and corporate. She told me to have a nice day and I didn’t see one teeny tiny marinara stain anywhere on her uniform. Impressive for sure. I gave her three bucks for her trouble and took one last whiff of the sweet smells of pre-packaged Italian food and Sysco products before heading back into the real world. Once on the cold dirty sidewalk, the warmth of The Olive Garden seemed so much further away than the thickness of one plate glass window. Gift card safely in hand, I headed to my job where it’s crowded with tables and dimly lit with candles which perfectly conceals the fadedness of my uniform. I’m not meant to work in a fancy place like The Olive Garden. I’ll just dream about it. Visions of chicken Parmesan dance in my head.

When I Was There, Was I Really Family?

This is a post from a while back, but I have a very busy day ahead of me and my lazy ass doesn’t have time to write new shit. Understandable? Or totally lame? You decide.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s been about a million fucking years since my last confession, but while I was in Texas I did something I am completely ashamed of. The guilt has been eating away at me like a fat lady eats an order of eggs benedict. The shame has completely consumed me so that I can barely function. Last night at work, I found it difficult to maintain focus and give my customers the attention they so rightly deserved. My mind kept wandering to a dreadful night eight days ago when I did what I swore I would never ever do. Something that makes me shudder with revulsion. I ate at The Olive Garden.

It was my last night with my parents and I wanted to take them out to dinner. They live in a small town and when you want to eat someplace nice, the options are limited. There, they think The Olive Garden is fancy. Real fancy. When people go there they do it without any hint of irony at all. So that’s where we went. I must admit that I was looking forward to that never-ending bread stick/salad bowl thingy even though someone once told me that each bread stick was 310 calories. Our server was a young girl who was obviously new to the world of food service. Someone at our table asked her which wine she thought was better. I was pretty sure that all of the wines at The olive Garden would be equally mediocre but she had an answer. Her answer sounded like it was in the form of a question. “Uh…I dunno? You’ll have to ask someone else because I’m not old enough to taste the wine yet?” Then she giggled. Okay, listen, new waitress. You never say you don’t know; you just make shit up. You can always say. “Well, the chardonnay is much more popular than the pinot grigio” or some other vague ass answer like that. The table ordered three different glasses of wine so when she showed up she was holding three glasses in one hand and had three bottles of wine cradled in her arm and up against her chest. She squatted down to get them to the table and then gave a big sigh of relief. “Whew! I made it and I’m the captain of dropping things.” And then she giggled. Ay ay, captain, just shut the fuck up and take my order.

I had a chicken parmigiana and I inhaled three breadsticks (930 calories…), had some salad and two glasses of wine. I enjoyed the food. It sorta remonded me of the chick parm you used to be able to get at Burger King and I loved that shit. It was 9:15 and we suddenly realized we were the only ones left in the restaurant. It being a Tuesday night in small town Texas, people headed home early I suppose. Maybe they had to get up early on Wednesday and till the farm or clean out the chicken coops. We asked if they were closed, but they informed us that they were open until 10:00 and there was no need to hurry. A few minutes later, Giggles the waitress came to our table and said, “So, I’m gonna go ‘head and go home now? So…uhh…” We took that as our cue to pay the check. We left her a 22% tip which in that town was enough for her to go buy a two bedroom one bath house. I enjoyed my meal at The Olive Garden. When I was there, I really did feel like family. That may have been in part due to the fact that I was eating with my parents who are actually family, but regardless, it was nice.

I hope you can forgive me for eating at The Olive Garden. I hope Jesus can forgive me but most of all I hope I can forgive myself. I shall say 100 Hail Marys and clean the lids of twenty ketchup bottles in hopes that I can be resolved of this most monsterous of sins.

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