Olive Garden Italian Restaurants Reviews

Updated March 30, 2015
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3.2
569 Reviews
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Olive Garden Italian Restaurants CEO Clarence Otis, Jr
Clarence Otis, Jr
178 Ratings

Pros
  • Food discount, managers care for the employees, somewhat flexible schedule (in 36 reviews)

  • Flexible hours with incentives to cross-train/advance in position (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • Too much work with unlimited soup and salad for under 10 (in 25 reviews)

  • Depends on restaurant, the work life balance could get skewed (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. A great introductory serving job, or even just a great job in a pinch!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Brown Deer, WI
    Former Employee - Server in Brown Deer, WI

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I would say the best part about serving at Olive Garden is that they really do try and improve your skills as a server. They encourage lots of sales at the table, they actually train you to serve before the job regardless of whether or not you've had serving experience. It was funny how much I learned even though I had served previously.

    Cons

    They were a bit rude to the servers, which I understood because I served in a somewhat bad area. That being said, there is no excuse & I expect a certain level of friendliness regardless of whether or not an employee is messing up (maybe I'm soft). My BIGGEST problem though was selling their crappy product, sorry to say it but I could not keep pretending the food & wine was good there. It's just dressed up fast food.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would say don't hire ghetto people but that's not always an option. Honestly, just step the food up. Step the wine up. Even step the graphic design of the menu up, & have the servers wear ties again. I feel like Olive Garden has regressed as a restaurant in the past decade as a response to other restaurants treading into the "fine dining with fast service" spectrum.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Good corporate structure.

    Former Employee - Server in Auburn, AL
    Former Employee - Server in Auburn, AL

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Darden restaurants provide a solid corporate structure for employees in terms of training, branding, benefits, and career advancement opportunities. Overall a good a reliable company to work for, regardless of the level of employment.

    Cons

    Generally working in the restaurant industry is difficult. Its a service job and therefore your compensation is based on the whims of others. This is not something specific to Olive Garden, but just the industry overall.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have worked in a great location, and then visited others that were not up to par. I think its important to maintain the strength of brand across all locations in order to created a trusted and reputable company.

  3. It has been interesting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Server in Columbia, SC

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work. Flexible Schedules! Friendly work environment. Great place to work!

    Cons

    People are douches! Being a tipped employee is difficult when you make 2.13 hourly. Many people treat you as if you are a servant instead of a waitress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. Wonderful company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants

    Pros

    Benefits and friendly. They care about their employees and customers. The interview process was easy and not stressful. I loved working for them

    Cons

    None at all that I can think of. It's a great place to work really. It is clean and guidelines are reasonable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. High-Paced exciting Job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Laredo, TX
    Former Employee - Server in Laredo, TX

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good money (if you're a good waiter), some say that the customer's are the worst part but I love it when I give them great service and they compliment my service and give me a huge tip.

    Cons

    very stressful, some waiters were rude and always showed a negative attitude

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. Server

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Food Server in Voorhees, NJ
    Current Employee - Food Server in Voorhees, NJ

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company to work for and managers are great. All of the staff are like family.

    Cons

    You are limited to only 3 tables, and on parties of 8 or more (even kids) you need to split it with another server. Which gratuity is also not included, so you could get a tip of $10 from a party of 8 and have to split that tip with another server. You also need to make the unlimited salads, breadsticks, and soups yourself. There is no "salad" line cook.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. GM Was The Worst GM I've Ever Encountered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Server in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Tips And Great Co-Workers

    Cons

    GM Was More Of A Dictator Than A GM

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lighten Up A Bit

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. Great atmosphere to gain experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hostess in Saint Joseph, MO
    Former Employee - Hostess in Saint Joseph, MO

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants

    Pros

    The management really cares about the company and its employees. Great training program and opportunities to grow within the company.

    Cons

    Can be a drama filled work place if management does not set boundaries.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. It was a job. good for college students

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bus Person in New Braunfels, TX
    Current Employee - Bus Person in New Braunfels, TX

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    the hours were flexible and the pay is great for non wait staff

    Cons

    the days can be rather long with little to no breaks

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. it was awesome.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    the people were the best. 20 word minimum is ridiculous, now i am skeptical of all the other reviews here.

    Cons

    a lot of people probably just wrote things to fill in space so they could get full access on this site, jeez.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    ive lost a lot of confidence in this site, thats a shame. oh well its okay its better than a lot of other ones.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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