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.

——-
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]

Olive Garden servers get new duds.

Olive Garden Servers Getting First Uniform Upgrade Since 1982

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. [More]

(Facebook)

Just What We Don’t Need — More Gift Cards! And This One’s From Facebook

Say the word “gift card” around Consumerist HQ and hackles will raise at an alarming rate. Which is why we’re greeting the news of a new gift card offered by Facebook with what one might call, “extreme wariness and trepidation.” Building on the social network’s recent launch of Facebook Gifts, these cards will be able to hold balances for multiple retailers and are reusable. [More]

(Eva_Deht)

Darden Experiments With Cutting Worker Hours To Avoid Paying Health Insurance

As more pieces of the Affordable Care Act federal health care law come into effect, employers are evidently beginning to brainstorm ideas to save money and avoid having to provide health care for their employees. Darden Restaurants, owner of chains such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouses is trying out a venerable tactic from the retail industry: keeping employee hours just a hair under “full-time” so they don’t have to provide benefits. [More]

(Morton Fox)

Sears & Olive Garden To Give Workers Money To Go Choose Their Own Health Insurance

The powers that be at two large U.S. companies — Sears and Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, and others) — are looking to transition away from their traditional employer-sponsored health insurance and toward a model that gives employees a fixed amount of money with which to buy coverage. [More]

Handy Video Explains Exactly How To Opt Out Of Olive Garden's Invasive Unlimited Breadsticks Program

Handy Video Explains Exactly How To Opt Out Of Olive Garden's Invasive Unlimited Breadsticks Program

As consumers, we value our personal space and carefully guard the right to make our own choices. So perhaps Olive Garden’s tactic of offering unlimited breadsticks to whoever happens to walk through its doors could be seen as invasive to some diners. In a handy video from The Onion discussing exactly how to opt out of the breadsticks program, we learn how to say no to the Olive Garden and its blatantly pro-bread agenda. [More]

Behold An Olive Garden And A Red Lobster Under One Roof

Behold An Olive Garden And A Red Lobster Under One Roof

Darden, parent company of ubiquitous chain restaurants such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse, likes to cluster its restaurants near each other. So it makes sense that in smaller markets, they would pair a Red Lobster and an Olive Garden in one building, with a shared kitchen, bar, waiting area, and rest rooms. This seemed like totally amazing news until we learned that customers will not be able to order off both menus. Then what’s the point? [More]

Olive Garden Accidentally Serves 10-Year-Old A Rum Cocktail

Olive Garden Accidentally Serves 10-Year-Old A Rum Cocktail

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a new “kid gets booze at chain restaurant” story, so, take it away, Olive Garden: Police say a 10-year-old boy made his way through half a rum cocktail at an Olive Garden in Indianapolis before the waitress realized her mistake. His family said he wasn’t acting like his normal self. Booze will have that effect. [More]

Has Olive Garden Lost Its Way In A Forest Of Breadsticks & Cheap Gimmicks?

Has Olive Garden Lost Its Way In A Forest Of Breadsticks & Cheap Gimmicks?

We can see it clearly: Olive Garden, alone and afraid, wandering around the the maze of casual dining, not knowing which way to turn, lost in a forest of unlimited, greasy breadsticks, as its sale slide and its customers turn a cold shoulder to their plight. Beyond all that, the chain needs to step up its game again, say industry insiders. [More]

Olive Garden & Red Lobster To Trim Fat & Cut Sodium By 10%

Olive Garden & Red Lobster To Trim Fat & Cut Sodium By 10%

Olive Garden is always pushing the “when you’re here, you’re family” slogan, so like any good family member should, they want you eating less fat and sodium. [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]

Olive Garden Replaces The Uneaten Lasagna You Left Behind

Olive Garden Replaces The Uneaten Lasagna You Left Behind

Restaurants like the Olive Garden that serve immense portions are used to boxing up diners’ food and sending them on their way, sure. A fair amount of these boxes must be left behind, because people are forgetful. When Else filled up on salad and breadsticks and didn’t touch her lasagna, she wandered off without her carryout box. She called the restaurant to see whether her box hadn’t been thrown away. It had. But they had something even better forher. [More]

Does Olive Garden's Deep-Fried Lasagna Count As Food Porn?

Does Olive Garden's Deep-Fried Lasagna Count As Food Porn?

So far, 2010 has been a big year for lasagna in the world of extreme food news. First, there was the 100-layer lasagna and then the outright unappetizing (at least to those of us who think cheddar has no right being within 3 feet of lasagna) lasagna sandwich. Now the occasionally over-cautious folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest have labeled Olive Garden’s deep-fried Lasagna Fritta as “food porn.” [More]

How Real Is That Olive Garden Cooking School?

How Real Is That Olive Garden Cooking School?

We’ve all seen the Olive Garden ads where the popular chain of Italian eateries touts the Olive Garden Culinary Institute of Tuscany, a picturesque cooking school in Italy where they claim to educate chefs and develop new products. But, like many others, the folks at Jaunted.com wanted to know just how reality stacks up against the advertisements. [More]

If You Used Your Credit Card At Olive Garden They Might Owe You Some Dough. Or At Least Some Bruschetta

If You Used Your Credit Card At Olive Garden They Might Owe You Some Dough. Or At Least Some Bruschetta

If you paid with plastic at Olive Garden in 2006-2007 then they might just owe you a $9 appetizer. The Italian eatery was recently sued in a class-action lawsuit stemming from a 2006 change to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which made it illegal to print more than the last five digits of a customer’s credit card number on a receipt. Olive Garden never stopped its practice of printing the last six digits, and could soon be issuing $9 “apology” vouchers to every customer affected.

Which Restaurants Are Making Your Kids Fat?

Which Restaurants Are Making Your Kids Fat?

Subway’s kids’ meals came out on top. Only a third of its Fresh Fit for Kids meals, which include a mini-sub, juice box, and one of several healthful side items (apple slices, raisins, or yogurt), exceed the 430-calorie threshold. Subway is the only chain that doesn’t offer soft drinks with kids’ meals.

So how do you improve the nutrition of your kid’s meal the next time you eat at a restaurant? A spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association gave the following advice:

“Don’t be too alarmed even when [studies] come out and seem hopeless,” said Dawn Jackson Blatner, an American Dietetic Ass>ociation spokeswoman. “With a few swaps and switches, people really can make healthier choices at these fast-food joints, especially when the decisions are made before going in.

Many Olive Garden And Macaroni Grill Dishes Are Over 1,000 Calories

Many Olive Garden And Macaroni Grill Dishes Are Over 1,000 Calories

We wrote about this before, but now here’s the caloric breakdowns of the two eateries menus, inside…