Olive Garden Italian Restaurants

  www.olivegarden.com
  www.olivegarden.com

Olive Garden Italian Restaurants Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
396 Reviews
3.2
396 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Olive Garden Italian Restaurants CEO Clarence Otis, Jr
Clarence Otis, Jr
121 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • flexible schedule, very good training for serving at restaurants (in 32 reviews)

  • Flexible hours with incentives to cross-train/advance in position (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • Too much work with unlimited soup and salad for under 10 (in 22 reviews)

  • You can only have a 3-table section maximum (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    server

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    friendly work environment, good training process

    Cons

    extremely corporate, very frugal with on the job tasks

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Fast paced, but easy.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants

    Pros

    Great benefits. Good management. Fun work environment.

    Cons

    Split shifts. They're not ideal but for some they're a necessary evil.

  3.  

    The management was friendly and accommodated to needs pretty understandably.

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

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

    Pros

    The tips can be very high on weekends, the training prepares you for the position, you get free food often, and management is typically open to helping you when you have questions.

    Cons

    As is expected in the food business, sometimes serving can become overwhelming and a bit chaotic at times. They are fair and very upfront about pay, so that wasn't an issue however promotions are very rare as are pay increases. The schedule can be a bit sporadic, and they don't typically adhere to your preferred schedule. You need to give lot of advance notice if you need time off.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fast paced and paid well

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Busser in Toledo, OH
    Current Employee - Busser in Toledo, OH

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

    Pros

    Great tips and great environment

    Cons

    Management can be kind of sketchy

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Best corporate restaurant training program I have ever observed, but it does take a week to start waiting tables.

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

    I worked at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    They are absolutely serious about using "please" and
    "thank you" with your co-workers, no blowing up in the kitchen. The training program for new servers is the best I've gone through, sampling food & wine so that you know what it is that you are selling.

    Cons

    That's a long wine list to memorize! And the Darden company has lobbyists actively working to keep servers' wages at $2.13/hour. It's hard to smile knowing that your employer is actively trying to keep you at or below poverty wages, and insulting when you realize they pay lobbyists big bucks for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some are great, some are terrible, they tend to weed themselves out. The best manager I ever worked for was set up on a false sexual harassment charge by two snot nosed hostesses because he didn't treat them like favorites.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Working at Olive Garden has taught me how to be patient with people& how to multitask very well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Waitress in Burbank, IL
    Current Employee - Waitress in Burbank, IL

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

    Pros

    You meet many different people, the company respects your every day life, so schedules are very flexible. Co-workers are awesome to work with because they make the environment fun! The food is great and you get a %50 discount for food.

    Cons

    Dealing with ungrateful people who don't appreciate your good service that you provide for them. And also guests who spend so much money to eat ,but tip little to nothing for the waiters or waitresses. Not a very consistent income. Its either a hit or miss when it coms to people tipping you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The guests are not always right, they guest could be quite rude and disrespectful. So management should stop giving away free food every time guest get a chance to complain about nothing.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Doesn't care about employees, no upward opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Utility/Dish Machine Operator in Elkton, MD
    Current Employee - Utility/Dish Machine Operator in Elkton, MD

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants full-time

    Pros

    There are no perks you're literally better off working any other position in the resteraunt

    Cons

    Washing dishes is the hardest job in the restaurant and yet it is paid the least. Management has been unable to fully staff the position since a year before i even started, consequently they take advantage of the three employees who have stuck around putting an unfair work load with no flexibility and no opportunity for cross training let alone advancement. The position pays 9.50 an hour while the cooks start out at 12 to 13 an hour and have a much easier job by comparison. Multiple times I have been denied days off despite being requested a month in advance, additionally i've had an occasion where an approved day off was revoked and i was put on the schedule.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to keep your position staffed, and pay your dish washers more

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    It was my first serving job. I learned a lot. But never again.

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

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

    Pros

    Food discount, managers care for the employees, somewhat flexible schedule

    Cons

    You really have to do a lot, unorganized most of the time, not telling when your gonna get off

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    A good place to start in the restaurant business.

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

    I have been working at Olive Garden Italian Restaurants full-time

    Pros

    High standards and strong training make Olive Garden a good place to learn the restaurant trade. Server training is extensive and ongoing, ensuring a knowledgeable staff. Cross training is not only available but actively encouraged. A large, national support structure means constant business and a steady customer base. Being part of a national chain of restaurants also means that if you need to relocate you can likely transfer to a different Olive Garden rather than having to find new employment.

    Cons

    Management can be inconsistent, with instructions changing mid shift depending on which manager is on duty. Hosts are often treated as a disposable commodity leading to excessively high turnover and an "us against them" attitude. Olive Garden scheduling philosophy means that to carry full time hours you are often required to work 6-7 days 9-11 shifts in a week, usually with a constantly fluctuating schedule.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Willing to promote from within.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager in Minot, ND
    Current Employee - Restaurant Manager in Minot, ND

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

    Pros

    Decent Salary with reasonable hours.

    Cons

    Great economy makes it difficult to keep good employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Could be worse

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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