Anyone who hates getting a stranger’s necktie in their plate of reasonably priced pasta will be glad to hear that Olive Garden is getting with the times and changing its servers’ uniforms for the first time since 1982. No more white shirts bearing stained signs of kitchen mishaps, and no more ties dipping into your unending bowl of minestrone.
Businessweek says the the company decided to ditch its classic white button-up dress shirts and ties after a survey that said 97% of its employees wanted “new dress standards.”
“Sprockets” is the name for the new all-black uniforms, and is the first makeover since the chain was born in 1982.
“We’ve had some changes with the apron; we’ve adjusted our tie,” says Dan Kiernan, Olive Garden’s executive vice president for operations. “But really we’ve had that white, button-up dress shirt with a tie since the beginning. We wanted a significant change, and black is obviously the opposite of white.”
Servers are still expected to keep it classy, as “only the top button may be left unbuttoned” and the “shirt must be securely tucked in at all times.”
We love this quote Businessweek got from an employee who’d tried out the new duds: “We resemble a much more upscale dining establishment.”
Olive Garden’s New ‘Modern’ Black Uniforms [Businessweek]