(Morton Fox)

“Italian Generosity” Means Olive Garden Will Give You As Many Breadsticks As It Wants – Thank You Very Much

The first thing to come to mind when I think of Olive Garden isn’t pasta, it’s breadsticks. Baskets of free, buttery bread – I mean they are practically the cornerstone of the restaurant. So when an investor to the company proposed the idea that maybe the O.G. shouldn’t so willingly, or liberally hand out the carb-filled sticks, we were a little shocked. But fear not, the restaurant wants customers to know that they can still have as many free sticks as they want, because, you know, “Italian generosity” is a thing. [More]

The Starboard critique not only slammed Olive Garden for wasting breadsticks, but also said the new logo looks like it was written by a second-grader.

Investor Asks Olive Garden Servers To Be Stingier With Free Breadsticks

For all of its menu updates and attempted image changes over the decades, Olive Garden has never stopped reminding consumers of the free breadsticks they’ll get when they come in for a bite. But one hedge fund says that the O.G. is hurting itself, and its investors, by not paying enough attention to all the bread they put in those baskets. [More]

Red Lobster's new vertical plating.

Red Lobster Ditching Low-Priced Specials, Introducing Fancier Plating Because It Wants To Be Classy

Love a good deal on 30 shrimp for $11.99, or lobster dishes on the cheap? You won’t be able to get those kinds of steep discount dishes at Red Lobster anymore, now that the former Darden restaurant is with a new company and trying to class its act up. Instead, you’ll get fish plated in a fancier way than before and some higher priced offerings. [More]

Olive Garden Will Start Serving Burgers And Fries Because Why Not

Olive Garden Will Start Serving Burgers And Fries Because Why Not

Would you buy a plate of ravioli from McDonald’s? How about the complete reverse of that: a burger from Olive Garden? The freshest idea from the chain eatery is a “Burger Italiano” intended to compete with quick-serve rivals like Chili’s. Will it work? Um, probably not.

[More]

(Morton Fox)

Olive Garden Pursues Millennial Foodies With Tuscan Tapas

Traditionally, people have gone to Olive Garden when they feel like consuming theoretically infinite salad and breadsticks and miles of pasta. Portions are large enough to form at least two meals. Aren’t they? The chain is trying something new in some markets, and taking it nationwide: small plates for groups to share, instead of giant carb platters. [More]

Customer Who Posted Olive Garden Receipt Says He Understands The Skeptics

Customer Who Posted Olive Garden Receipt Says He Understands The Skeptics

Earlier today, we told you about a receipt posted by an Olive Garden diner whose meal was comped, and about all the doubters that came out of the woodwork to claim it was a fake. We weren’t sure — we certainly wouldn’t put it past a clever marketing department — so we asked the man who originally published the much-debated pic. [More]

Click the image to see full size.

Is This Comped Olive Garden Receipt The Real Deal Or Just Viral Marketing?

ANOTHER UPDATE: The man who originally posted the image has written back to confirm that this is indeed a genuine receipt, but that he doesn’t fault people for doubting him.

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When a restaurant receipt story gets wildly popular online, it’s usually because a horrible customer leaves a rude message or because a restaurant staffer insults a diner, but occasionally it’s a happy story about an eatery doing something nice. Question is, are restaurants beginning to fake these stories for positive PR? [More]

(Times Union)

Red Lobster Server Scrawls Offensive, Baffling Note On Takeout Container

Who is the Rooster? That’s the mystery after an upstate New York couple brought home some leftovers from Red Lobster, and found their takeout container labeled “Rooster + Bitch Box.” [More]

(Morton Fox)

Red Lobster: For The Seafood-Hating Cheapskate In Your Group

Every family and group of friends has that one person who whines about whatever restaurant everyone else agrees on. Red Lobster, the restaurant that brought a vaguely Maine-like experience to the nation, is often a subject of such disputes. That’s why the company has been testing more lower-priced and fish-free entrees meant to appeal to people who don’t actually want to eat at Red Lobster. The new menu launches nationwide on October 15. [More]

Olive Garden Serves Sangria To Toddler In Sippy Cup

Olive Garden Serves Sangria To Toddler In Sippy Cup

The past month has been a booze-fueled haze for the nation’s toddlers at chain restaurants. After a Michigan child received a cup full of alcoholic margarita mix instead of apple juice at an Applebee’s, a Florida Olive Garden filled a toddler’s cup with sangria instead of orange juice. The child was checked out at a local hospital and was unharmed. [More]