GOOD

A Former Manager Reveals The Insane Operations Of The Times Square Olive Garden

You quickly learn that a customer knife fight is preferable to running out of breadsticks

The Olive Garden has become something of a culinary punch line in recent years. As America has become more food-conscious and food-savvy, national casual dining chains have been widely maligned, but the Olive Garden has a special target on its back for its co-opting and repurposing of Italian cuisine in ridiculously American formats.

While on a date, a Twitter user learned that his companion was actually the former general manager of the Times Square Olive Garden, which, alongside Guy Fieri’s neighboring restaurant, might well serve as the nadir of American cuisine. I mean, it’s a place with a 45-day, all-you-can-eat option called a “Pasta Pass.” People are going to get judgmental.


Not content to let the former GM keep his experience to himself, the Twitter user, Joe Wadlington, began a thorough and engaging interrogation, all the while posting the GM’s responses on Twitter for the world to share.

Joe frames the encounter and revelations pretty perfectly in his Tweets, so kick back and enjoy.

It took all of three tweets until he touched on the chain’s famous—or possibly “infamous”—bottomless breadsticks.

It’s hard not to imagine a roomful of Times Square tourists just uttering “No,” over and over again when they learn they will be denied free bread.

Diners are left telling managers how things are done at Olive Garden. God help the staff the day they ran out of breadsticks.

Rent for a three-story building in Times Square isn’t cheap, so these diners were paying some top shelf prices to eat their familiar food.

And they would wait until 2 a.m. to get it, remarkably.

That’s a pretty American tour of Italy these diners are taking.

As you can imagine, it’s hard to have a conversation about the Times Square Olive Garden without drawing upon the stereotypes surrounding Americans in general, Middle American tourists, and the types of people who visit New York to eat a larger version of a restaurant that exists in every city in America.

“They are ‘family’ and would be allowed to eat” almost sounds like a passage from the Bible.

Even the sanitized, post-Giuliani version of Time Square sees some shit from time to time, as we quickly learn:

Was a multilevel knife fight worse than the time(s) they ran out of breadsticks?

No. It was not. When people get their expectations set on free greasy bread, there’s little that will distract them.

He didn’t really marry his date following this conversation.

But I think we all know where they should go for their next rendezvous.

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