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Olive Garden
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1,844 reviews

Olive Garden Employee Reviews

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ok place to work
Kitchen Manager/Cook (Former Employee), Lees Summit, MONovember 10, 2014
wages could be higher but ok place to work, if you like working in food.
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High energy and fast-paced work environment that thrives on teamwork.
Server (Former Employee), Worcester, MANovember 10, 2014
A typical day always started with choosing a bottle of wine and menu item to "sell" to a manager. You were assigned a section in the restaurant and began to work after having the manager sign off on your wine/menu presentation. Communication and team-work were key components of the restaurant. You have to pay attention to detail and be able to stay – more... calm while trouble-shooting through any guests' concerns or problems. – less
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Horrible environment scummy middle and upper management with no concern for anyone but themselves!
Service Manager (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PANovember 10, 2014
Pros: work/life balance was good
Cons: upper management moron polititians!!
You have to be a good politician to survive in management with this company. Forget about having leadership abilities or talent as an operator it is all about sucking up! You get no credit or recognition for anything good and you are constantly blamed for everything that goes wrong. The tension in the restaurant every day was horrible! Constantly living – more... in fear of losing your job no matter what you do or the results you get. I would not wish this job on my worst enemy. – less
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Productive but Unfair management
Server (Former Employee), Douglasville, GANovember 9, 2014
Long days without a definite schedule, people were horrible some days, and management was not very helpful when in situations deemed unfair.
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Great company, not so great tips.
Server (Former Employee), Winter Haven, FLNovember 9, 2014
Pros: tons of darden perks(discounts offered by other companies)
Cons: hard to make good money.
Olive Garden is strict on appearances and server knowledge which is a plus for the company, only negative is the amount of direction and menu navigation your required to address each table about. Your only allowed 3 table sections so it's not as easy to make a high amount of money in short shifts.The management team is very dutiful and on top of their – more... work. Overall is a good place to work. – less
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Great place to work!
Service Team Member (Former Employee), St. Louis, MONovember 7, 2014
A typical work day involves greeting tables, providing menu knowledge, and delighting guests. I learned a lot about customer service in my six years at olive garden. Many managers came and went while I worked there, and most of them were wonderful. I truly loved working with a majority of my co-workers. The hardest part, is keeping up with needy customers – more... who want 10 refills of bread and salad. The best part was the good money with very little side work. – less
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Awesome environment to work in and great employees.
Bartender, Server, Trainer, Cashier, Cash Drops (Former Employee), Raleigh, NCNovember 7, 2014
Pros: 50% off all food
Cons: benefits
I get to work on time and set up my area where ever it may be (my bar or my section). Greet my guests with a smiling presence and give them the best experience I can possible. I keep my guests happy along with helping other employee's in need. Olive Garden is strictly a team effort. Having a "Blue Card" (Trainer/Manager card only) makes my work as speedy – more... as it can get, but it also keeps me busy and also helps me make sure all guests are satisfied.
When I finish my shift, I count my drawer, collect all wine bottles off of the floor, pump them, mark dates on all bottles and dump out the old ones. I clean my station whiling checking out my other team members' sections making sure they cleaned properly to allow them to pay out and go home. I then cash out the servers and do numerous cash drops throughout the end of the day/night. Making sure my bar/area is clean and usually being the second to last to leave I patiently wait on or help the manager on duty to finish all work needed. We then set the alarms and it is policy to walk out with at least two to three people. – less
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Great staff
Server/Waiter (Former Employee), Barboursville, WVNovember 6, 2014
My co-workers were like family. It is hard being a server in general, but the atmosphere was positive for the most part.
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Benefits available
Assistant Culinary Manager (Former Employee), Champaign, ILNovember 6, 2014
Typical corporate restaurant.

Employs mostly younger people from all walks of life.

The programs and specials are designed to bring in people who wouldn't normally go to a restaurant.
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Great
Server/To Go Specialist (Current Employee), Baytown, TXNovember 5, 2014
Pros: half priced lunches
Cons: long hours little pay
A typical day at Olive Garden starts at 10:45 a.m. as a server. As a To Go Specialist (TGS as I will call it for now on) it starts at 9:30 a.m. You spend you time before opening getting the restaurant ready for the day. As TGS you get the salad station ready, make to go salads, and desserts as well as prepare for any orders that you have first thing. – more... Then you start to serve your guest as they come in. The hardest part of the job is ensuring that all orders are correct. I enjoy every minute that I am there. Management tries really hard to make everyone happy, to a fault almost. Sometimes my co-workers are hit and miss. My most enjoyable part of the job is the people that I get to meet on a daily basis. – less
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Loved this place to work and to eat
Server/Hostess (Former Employee), Clarksville, TNNovember 5, 2014
Pros: loved everything about this job
Cons: wanted waitresses to make more than $2.13 hour
Wonderful people and bosses to work for and with. Great food and atmosphere.
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N/A
Staffing and Training Manager (Former Employee), Burbank, ILNovember 5, 2014
Its a good place to work but no room for advancement. I really don't have much to say in this review I would like to discuss in person
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Fun place to work
Server/Bartended (Former Employee), San Luis Obispo, CANovember 4, 2014
I did somewhat enjoy being a server and bartender at Olive Garden. A typical day was pretty much the same thing, depending on the flow of guests coming in. Slow days were spent mainly cleaning, and big dinner rushes were always a blast. I loved moving fast and making my guests happy. The hardest part of that job, was dealing with employees who didnt – more... want to be a part of the team. Most enoyable part, was knowing i had a great shift, and pleased all my guests – less
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Busser
Busser/Food Runner/Waiter (Former Employee), myrtle beachNovember 4, 2014
a typical day at work would be to clean tables, interact with customers and help out the servers. I learned about a lot of different foods. The managers are pretty good as long as you do your job right.
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Very fun get to greet new people everyone is freindly
Server (Current Employee), cutler bayNovember 4, 2014
I would always greet my guest with a nice wine sample offer inform and endorse an item on the menu and always did it with a smile offer appetizers and desserts and leave guest happy and coming back for more
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Busy busy
Server (Current Employee), Reading, PANovember 1, 2014
i like working here.... all the managers are awesome and approachable
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Service Professional
Assistant Manager (Current Employee), Tampa, FLOctober 30, 2014
Maintain good morale with guest and employees
monitor labor hours, ensure quality food proper safety procedures are followed at all times. enjoy having happy guest and employees. hardest part is ensuring avst is in good standing
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Fun place to work
Server, To-Go Specialist, Bartender, and Hostess (Current Employee), Boardman, OHOctober 30, 2014
Pros: breaks
Cons: healthcare
Benefits are not that great but its a great job for people just getting out of high school or going through college.
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Freindly work environment
Culinary Laborer (Former Employee), Idaho Falls, IdahoOctober 30, 2014
Pros: discounts on food
Cons: no breaks. broken glass hazards. slippery wet floors. confined work area.
Fast paced work environment
Learned time management and organizational skills.
Learned the importance of proper sanitization set by both state and
corporate standards in the Restaurant industry.
The co-workers were friendly and made a less than desirable job easier.
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Rude, cheap customers and horrible management.
Waiter (Former Employee), Sacramento, CAOctober 30, 2014
I worked at the Olive Garden at Challenge Way in Sacramento, CA.
I've worked in the service industry for 5+ years and will never work for The Olive Garden of its affiliate companies every again. I'd give out zero stars if I could.

My GM was known to be 'on something', due to his persistent post nasal drip, as well as his preference to sort dinner plates – more... during peak business hours instead of assisting in getting hot food to the tables. Not to mention erratic behavior whereas he would be cool and collected and then blow up on us minutes later. Our sales were never good enough even if we didn't have a single customer complaint (which happens here regularly). You will also be expected to run a full service dining experience (wine sampling, food and beverage service, unlimited refills for soup/salad, dessert and artisan coffee) for your guests will being triple seated and/or taking care of large parties (20+ people, with a partner), even if their are 14 servers on the hosts/hostesses seem to share only a few brain cells and would rather fill up one section at a time instead of rotating tables and fluidly managing the shift floor

The customers at this location were the worst I have ever encountered. They are entitled, rude, crass and many will run you around during their stay only to complain to your manager to attempt to get their meal free or any number of items comped off their ticket. Customers will attempt to customize every aspect of their plate (pasta, sauce, or composition) and then complain that you have to charge them to swap out items or that they shouldn't have to pay for Alfredo sauce when all they want to do is use it as a dip for their never ending bread sticks (which they can't seem to stuff enough into their face). Oh and don't even think about a tip, many will leave you less than %5 percent on a table if they leave anything.

During the spring and summer months we had flies everywhere. In our kitchen pass through our food expediter would wield a fly-swatter and smash them in between setting up plates of food. Who knows where they ended up or what food they splattered into.If our customers were better I think maybe somebody on the staff would have cared. One time we had a customer who complained about the flies and my shift manager came out and sprayed aerosol commercial Raid out on the dining floor around the customer and her table. It is illegal to spray for bugs without using a licensed contractor and inexcusable to use it when there are customers present, afterwards people complained that their food tasted like insect spray. Yum.

Also, just to dispel the myth of fresh and authentic Italian food in a fine dining setting -- everything is microwaved before being served and the pasta is pre-made and reheated in plastic boil bags before being combined with whatever delicious sides the customers order.

In my experience I have worked as a Host, Busser, Server, Shift Manager and done employee training. I do not recommend working for this company, and at the very least stay clear of this location. We also had a high turnover with our server 'classes' of 6 or so, only one or two would end up lasting, I saw entire groups wash out after their first or second day or working on the floor when they were allowed to finally work by their self after training. Abandon all Hope, Ye who enter Here.... – less

About Olive Garden

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment, with 469 restaurants, more than 56,000 employees and $1.6 – Read more