Olive Garden: 10 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

olivegarden.com / PPcorn art
olivegarden.com / PPcorn art

Olive Garden might be more ironically popular than it used to be, but the truth is that it remains one of the most successful culinary franchises of its time. However, despite its popularity, there are still some things that many people don’t know about Olive Garden. Here, we present our list of 10 things you didn’t know about Olive Garden. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Ten: Some Investors Almost Limited the Unlimited Breadsticks. Every year, Olive Garden doles out 675 million breadsticks to its customers. However, one investor almost stopped the unlimited breadsticks from being unlimited, claiming that the breadsticks are fresh for just seven minutes before they begin to go bad. However, Olive Garden fought back, and unlimited breadsticks are here to stay.

Number Nine: They Make Up Some of Their Menu Items. Though the chain touts itself as “authentic” Italian, the truth is that some of their “authentic” dishes are made up. For instance, the chain had dishes titled “soffatelli” and “pastachetti” that are not authentic Italian dishes.

Number Eight: Any Menu Item Involving Breadsticks Is Bound to Be a Success. Olive Garden has done a lot of experimenting with its menu in the past, and while dishes like pear and gorgonzola ravioli are well thought-out, it was a total fail next to its breadstick sandwiches, which include meatballs or chicken parmigiana between two breadsticks.

Number Seven: The Secret Menu Is Exactly What You Want it to Be. It’s true! Olive Garden truly doesn’t have a “secret menu,” because they are willing to modify any dish to your liking. In fact, customers can even order menu items that are no longer offered, such as the chicken fettuccine florentine, and usually, the employees will accommodate.

Number Six: A Columnist Became Famous for Her Review. One food columnist from Grand Forks, North Dakota, became famous after she decided to review Olive Garden. The columnist was 88-year-old Marilyn Hagerty, and her positive review went viral. She eventually got a book deal with Anthony Bourdain, who called her reviews an “antidote to snark.” Stay tuned for part two of our list of 10 things you didn’t know about Olive Garden, coming soon!