Hey guys,

I worked at Olive Garden for 8 years. I recently had surgery to repair a broken leg and ankle and I've spent all my time reading various AMAs. My gf suggested I do one for Olive Garden and thought what the hell. This is my first experience participating in a Reddit thread so apologies if I'm not doing it right.

My Proof:


Comments: 767 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

MrWeb20138 karma

I've noticed that the quality of the food served has gone down significantly in the past five years. Is there a reason for this? Also, if you could upload a second image of yourself, holding a piece of paper saying hello to us, it would be more reliable verification.

MrChris_H121 karma

I've heard this a lot, and I couldn't pinpoint it to any one thing. In my time there, the sauces/soups are made daily. Perhaps the ingredients changed. At any rate, I agree, food went downhill.

I'm working on another proof pic, I don't get around easy so give me a sec to grab some paper.

edit: more proof. http://imgur.com/wkj5ie0 (my bad that it's backwards)

nuclear_thundercane165 karma

Why did you write everything backwards except for the "AMA"?

MrChris_H79 karma

I think I held the paper on the wrong side, so you read the side that "bled through." The AMA is a palindrome and symmetrical so I guess that would explain that.

bmanbam127 karma

What's the most you've seen ever eaten in a single sitting?

MrChris_H265 karma

Never ending pasta bowl: 9 refills. Barf.

Another guy ordered a T-bone steak (no longer a menu item) that was pretty big, I think 14-16oz. He added a full portion of lasagna on the side.

wherethebuffaloroam114 karma

My record was a guy who ordered two tours of Italy on the same plate. That thing was incredibly heavy

MrChris_H135 karma

Things like this just hurt my feelings. But hey, at least we don't have an obesity problem in the US.

kilroyishere8943 karma

For the people that don't eat at Olive Garden or haven't in years, what's that consist of? One portion, I mean.

MrChris_H47 karma

I'm not quite sure how to describe a full portion of lasagna, but I guess I could just say that it's a meal unto itself. It's a big piece, at any rate.

CottonCandyTacos109 karma

Do you guys throw out the extra food? Our practice at Little Caesars was to throw out the extra pizzas but the managers and assistant managers would give them to homeless.

MrChris_H161 karma

My store was pretty solid about maintaining waste so we didn't have a lot. But yes, we had a partnership with a company to donate unused food.

Ryugar1 karma

I was surprised to hear my Little Ceasers throws out their old pizza's too. I ordered a bunch once for an event, prob like 10 pizza's, and the guy was telling me that every 2-3 hours they gotta cycle out new pizza's and throw out any old ones. That blew my mind, they must get rid of ALOT of pizza.... they could easily donate it to homeless like you mentioned, or even sell at a reduced price (like buy 3 old pizza's for 10-12$) and it would prob sell well.

MrChris_H1 karma

I recently read an AMA about a Little Ceasars employee. I believe they said they donate the old pizzas, but I could be wrong.

killerident1ty81 karma

Darden is notorious in the restaurant industry for bringing in low quality clientele and having low employee morale. What's your take?

MrChris_H101 karma

I would agree for the most part. I live in a pretty affluent city in southern CA (same city where the restaurant was) and I would find myself every shift asking myself "where the hell do these people come from?"

As for employee morale, ours was pretty high I'd say. We all got along for the most part so it was an enjoyable place to work. Everyone had their bad nights but I'd say we were fairly happy.

Onyxdeity19 karma

My guess goes to-- Temecula!

MrChris_H13 karma

Negative, but somewhat close I suppose.

bishop91515 karma

thats what surprised me most about working at the og. I expected alot of cattiness and backstabbing when i got hired, but the opposite happened. people were willing to help you, drama was low, and coworkers had your back. I used to work with retired veterans as my coworkers and you swear you were back in high school...

MrChris_H4 karma

Yah I'd say for the most part everyone got along. There were certainly some dust-ups, some of which I were a part of, but it would blow over.

CollegeDistraction80 karma

How many breadsticks have you eaten?. Will you still eat the breadsticks now that you no longer work there?.

MrChris_H78 karma

I've eaten a lot of the years, but ALOT less than most people. Honestly, I never really liked them.

I've been back only a couple times since I left (about a year ago) and haven't had a breadstick yet.

BullworthGrad0468 karma

What was the weirdest thing you ever saw while serving? Most bizarre?

Hope your leg is feeling better!

MrChris_H231 karma

Weirdest thing: Waayy too many to list but here are some of the memorable ones.

  1. There was an old lady customer who came in super lethargic (maybe just wasted) who kept trying to get free alcohol. She ended up climbing over the bar and fell face first into the bar. Cops were called, naturally.

  2. Lots of proposals (c'mon gents, be better than that)

  3. fights among customers (usually about misbehaved kids)

  4. Lots of people meeting for the first time on match.com or other dating websites. Oddly enough the people would bring the profile printouts of the people they were meeting. I always thought that was strange.

dangerdark54 karma


MrChris_H62 karma

I can appreciate the sentimentality, so I would of course make an exception for you. It's not my place to judge a proposal, I just personally wouldn't do it if not for some sentimental reasons such as yours.

enoughalreadyyouguys61 karma

What's your favorite photograph that adorned the walls?

Why is it "Dark-Haired Young Girl Slurping A Spaghetti Noodle While Maintaining Eye Contact With The Photographer"?

MrChris_H75 karma

Ah yes, the artwork. My favorite is the lazy-eyed chef holding the magnum bottle of wine. Not sure if that's specific to my store.

mattb1047 karma

How far did some people take "when you're here, you're family"?

MrChris_H97 karma

You'd swear management lived and died by that slogan. I personally interpreted it a different way in that I treated them like family: I used dry humor and brutal honesty when I worked (def backfired a few times). But if someone asked how a certain dish was, I had no problem telling them it sucked. Most people appreciate that you don't say "omg that's my favorite meal here" to everything they ask about.

dbadaddy45 karma

What happened to the garlic chicken con brocolli? That was a staple for me.

MrChris_H54 karma

I personally hated it, but you're not alone. People got way more emotional than necessary when that dish went away. Corporate makes those decisions. Our menu was regional so what sells great at my store may not elsewhere, so that may contribute to it being dropped.

dbadaddy21 karma

I liked it a lot and have come in off the ledge and just started making it at home.

MrChris_H38 karma

I imagine your version tastes a lot better and is more healthy. Your cholesterol level thanks you!

JessTheMullet44 karma

What sort of unholy magic do they use to make those breadsticks so addicting?

MrChris_H93 karma

It's a pretty simplistic process actually: just seasoned salt and butter. The more the merrier (or so that's what the customer always says). At our restaurant we would run out of bread constantly, and I often found myself making it since we had a lazy kitchen staff.

bignuts2439 karma

Have you ever heard of anyone going to the "Olive Garden Culinary Institute" in Tuscany? There are some commercials about it and frankly it looks like the biggest load of bullshit I've ever seen.

MrChris_H42 karma

Yah, OG used to center their advertising around "Culinary Institute of Tuscany"-inspired dishes. I believe this entire ordeal was debunked a few years ago.

If I recall, basically a select bunch of managers go to Italy and stay at some Tuscany Institute, which is essentially just a cooking school or something like that. They show them the local herbs and spices and apparently thats about it. It's overstated quite a bit.

420queenxxx32 karma

How much alcohol do you ACTUALLY put in a Long Island? Or is it just sweet tea because that's what it feels like.

MrChris_H64 karma

I can't speak for other bartenders, but I loaded mine up pretty good. As a bartender, I was working for tips, and if that meant an extra splash of tequila or vodka, I'm more than happy to oblige. I was supposed to follow a recipe card but I can say I never did that (nor did I use jiggers).

Let's just say I was always pretty shocked when my drinks came back being accused of not having enough alcohol (especially long islands). OG profit margins on alcohol are just silly, so if it meant creating a repeat customer, I think it worked out for everyone in the end.

NoDiggitySomeDoubt9 karma

I've always wondered, do places like og hire bartenders without experience and train them, or only people with bartending experience?

MrChris_H21 karma

I can only speak for OG. In my 8 years there, we never hired someone on as a bartender. You had to work your way up. At my store, the bartenders were the same for almost the entire 8 years. I moved in out of necessity really.

I had no training before going in the bar. I was never trained at all actually. I just went in and started making stuff bc I was bored during shifts. When it came time to "promote" someone (I use that term pretty liberally) it just worked out with my schedule.

kilroyishere89-19 karma

As a bartender, I was working for tips, and if that meant an extra splash of tequila or vodka, I'm more than happy to oblige.

You realize that leads to over-consumption, right?

MrChris_H4 karma

Not if you properly monitor how much they're drinking overall. Generally, customers don't come to OG to get wasted, and will usually stick to one or two drinks total. So why not make those a little more worth their while?

cbelt330 karma

Do they buy the cheese in like 200 lb wheels or something ? " do you want cheese on that " on everything !

MrChris_H31 karma

Yah, pretty much. Deliveries come each week, and the cheese comes in boxes that weigh maybe 30-40lbs each. We'd go through maybe 4-5 boxes a week, and we were a slower store by comparison.

shadowDrksd29 karma

Does it bother you when customers dont tip? what goes through your head?

MrChris_H113 karma

I thought about taking the high road, but screw it. Hell yes it bothers me. I'm there to work for tips. We can argue all day about how "I'm just doing what I'm already being paid to do" and therefore I shouldn't be tipped, but that's a debate for another day.

In this country anyway, it's customary to leave a tip when being served. I don't make the rules, I just hoped to get paid by them. There are certainly times when I knew I royally screwed up and probly didn't deserve a penny, but ask any server, we work for tips.

Sadly, you can't go out or pay bills when you're tipped prayer cards or pocket bibles.

ceasterday14 karma

I'm curious what you would classify as royally screwed up? I'm inclined to tip well even if some mistakes were made. I only lower my tip if I get the sense you don't give a fuck about any mistakes that were made.

MrChris_H39 karma

Good question: I guess I would classify it as completely forgetting to send the food to the kitchen. Or when I forget that one dish that takes 15 mins to make and everyone else at the table has their food. In that regard, I usually throw someone else under the bus "sorry, the cooks screwed up/another server took your plate" and pray the guys in the back can work some magic.

I know I've given shit service that didn't deserve a tip before, it's gonna happen. For the most part, people who tip shitty were going to tip shitty no matter how good the service was. So I take solace in knowing I probably broke even at the end of the night.

MrChris_H23 karma

Appreciate the questions everyone. Since this is my first AMA I'm not sure what's considered a "successful" one, but I'll be here all night answering questions. (Like I said above, I don't have much else to do these days)

Jake2619 karma

I know I'm late and I hope you don't mind me asking, what did you have surgery on? I also just had surgery on my leg/ankle 2 weeks ago from a broken fibula.

MrChris_H11 karma

Not at all.

I broke my fibula as well, and also the ankle. Additionally, I ruptured the ligament that holds the tibia/fibula together and the tendon between the ankle was out of whack. Long story short (sorry, I'm not savvy in medical terminology), I have 2 screws in my leg to hold the bones in the right spot so the tendons can repair themselves in the proper spot.

IvyGold7 karma

It's been a highly entertaining AMA -- nicely played!

Did you injure yourself at Olive Garden? Perhaps transporting a cheese wheel?

MrChris_H9 karma

Appreciate the kind words. I wasn't sure what to expect but I'm happy people found it fun to follow.

No I didn't injure myself at OG. I haven't worked there for about a year now. I got hurt playing hockey: skate just took a bad turn and my body fell over it. Suffice to say, it tickled quite a bit.

motown_missile21 karma

Do those idiotic promotions they do bring in enough business to be worthwhile, or is it just a general clusterfuck while it's running? I'm referring to Neverending Pasta specifically, but feel free to comment on any others if you want.

Also, what the fuck is up with OG giving away so much free shit? I saw one family get pretty much their whole dinner comped, and was absolutely astounded. Is it worth it to bring that kind of business back so they can get another whole dinner comped?

MrChris_H34 karma

First question: the promotions suck in my opinion. The pasta bowl definitely brings customers but it was so cheap I'm not sure how profitable it was, even given the low cost of ingredients. Other promotions like the "buy one take one home" were just plain idiotic. I think Olive Garden would have been MUCH better served by doing something like a "dish of the month" type deal (similar to Subway's $5 sub of the month) where customers could try lesser known dishes at a lower cost.

OG is notoriously known as a place to get a free meal. I believe there is/was a website with a step by step for how to get a comped meal. Idk why they do it, they're just pissing away money. But it was practically policy to give people a free dinner AND a gift card to ensure they come back. At my store, we had families that we knew when they walked in that complaints were coming so they got free meals all the time. At the same time, if I were a manager, I'd rather just comp your meal and throw a gift card at you to get you out of my face too.

nellerzell17 karma

Where do I buy that amazing red wine yall have, called Roscato??!

MrChris_H18 karma

It's made exclusively for Olive Garden.

dmvaz16 karma

Can I have my check please?

MrChris_H13 karma

Sure, just write in a nice tip.

Clashman32015 karma

Is it really as chaotic and unorganized for servers as it seems? It seems like every time I go to Olive Garden (or really any restaurant where the servers and hosts are wearing earpieces), The servers always seem incredibly stressed out and in a state of flux. If so is it due to management?

MrChris_H17 karma

I doubt this is different from other chain restaurants, but it really is controlled chaos. Management def plays a role, at least at my store, bc most would rather not help at all and berate when shit hit the fan.

I myself never felt all that out of control (except in the bar, where it gets pretty wild sometimes). I suppose the short answer is some people just can't handle it. They don't keep track of time or what have you. Sure the kitchen gets backed up and stuff, but each server is only dealing with 3 tables at a time (company policy) so I never thought there was much excuse for being so out of whack. There are always exceptions tho.

texasbella9 karma

Wait 3 tables at a time? When did that start? I worked at OG in 98 as a server and bartender. It was not unusual to have a whole section to yourself. And we were at the largest OG at the time, in San Antonio. I ran my ass off keeping up with at least 6 tables during lunch.

MrChris_H11 karma

As I understand it, it was always the policy. But yah, for a long time I had managers that gave me entire sections at a time (5-6 tables for the un-initiated) and it was fantastic. Later on, new management nipped that in the bud pretty quick so that was a bummer.

neurobox15 karma


MrChris_H40 karma

Yah, a lot of complaints about that. Over my past couple of years there, my store started accepting reservations for larger parties (8+ people). It was more trouble than it was worth, parties wouldn't show up at all without calling or would want to add 10 more chairs upon showing up.

As a bartender, I would help answer phones and would sometimes just take a reservation and not tell anyone just to get them off the phone. Seriously, your party of 2 doesn't need a reservation at 8.30pm on a Wednesday.

eatmealivePLEASE14 karma

What do you think of recently released Starboard's 294-Page report regarding the fixes Olive Garden needs?

MrChris_H33 karma

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm assuming the fixes are hardly groundbreaking. Probably something like "increase revenues by bringing in more customer traffic" and "decrease costs/waste."

Honestly, I just think the company model is outdated. People eat out nowadays more than ever. No one wants to spend $60-70 for a family of 4 dinner multiple times a week. Newer ideas like Chipotle, et. al are killing OG. They offer fresh alternatives at half the price.

OG needs to completely revitalize the way they do business if they want to survive. They are a casual dinner chain selling (in my opinion) mediocre food at upper-scale prices. No one wants to pay $16 for a plate of lasagna, and I completely understand why.

Penroze25 karma

I hope you're right. I never could figure out why OG stays in business. The food is mediocre at best, the decor is cheap and shitty, and the food is expensive. Americans oddly seem to like bad food, but I truly hope you're right that that's changing.

I've been to OG only 3 times, all 3 times someone else chose the venue. The last time I had such a terrible meal that I swore I'd never go back, no matter what.

MrChris_H18 karma

I'm not surprised. Before working there, I never ate at one. Working there didn't really change my opinion. The idea of going out for Italian is pretty dumb to me, since none of it is terribly difficult to make at home.

Supposedly changes have been made (happy hour, more specials) and they had introduced some new menu items before I left that weren't too bad but time will tell.

Wynner314 karma

How is the food cooked? Microwaved in bags, actually baked, or what? I haven't been to one in 6 years but have heard bad things.

MrChris_H47 karma

This is one of the common misconceptions. No one would accuse me of being an Olive Garden apologist, but we really didn't use microwaves a lot. For the most part it's only used to steam veggies or heat up a coffee or soup.

All the dishes are cooked as they are ordered on a grill or stove, depending on what you ordered.

IntravenusDeMilo9 karma

How were the presumably sous vide dishes done? My only trip to olive garden in the last decade involved a decent short rib dish that seemed to have been braised well. Is that brought in and reheated in a water bath or also done start to finish in house?

MrChris_H18 karma

You're exactly right. That was a great dish, and I'm mad they got rid of it. Anytime anyone asked for a suggestion that was my go-to. Every once in a while the short ribs would come out like beef jerky but when they were on, damn that was delicious.

IntravenusDeMilo9 karma

So they were brought in cooked in the vac bag? Honestly nothing wrong with that, it's a pretty common catering trick anyway since you can hold food at temp for a long time. Now the question is, do you know who produced it and want to go halfsies on a case? :-)

MrChris_H15 karma

Sorry I misread your post, but the ribs come frozen just like all the other meat but are prepped on site.

Couldn't tell ya who produced it, but I'd be happy to go in on a box if we found out.

Almostana13 karma

How many people finally figured out that they can cut the waiting line for a table by eating at the bar? * hint hint *

MrChris_H21 karma

As a bartender, I of course encouraged it since it meant more money for me. The only drawback was when some family of 6 got ambitious and took up half the bar tables (since they are small and only seat 2-3 comfortably). Kids in the bar = FML.

Blacktron500011 karma

Olive Garden has a bar?

MrChris_H16 karma

I know, I was just as surprised as you.

stpd2erist10 karma

Do the guys in the kitchen play the penis showing game? If so, how many kicks for the brain.

MrChris_H13 karma

No nothing like that, although Waiting is a fairly accurate description of my restaurant if you ask me.

That being said, the cooks had a ton of whack stuff that they did. Especially the morning crew. Those guys would gang tackle each other and molest each other nonstop. It was comedy. A whole bunch of nut-tapping, ass grabbing, dry-humping etc. went on back there. The more they screamed, the worse they got it.

noshore4me10 karma

How many coworkers did you bang?

MrChris_H22 karma

I myself didn't partake. When I first started, there were a ton of relationships and dating among coworkers. That settled down a bit in my last years there.

I will say I met my gf of 3 years there and have never been happier (she's the yellow face in the proof pic..no idea why I look so grumpy).

LadyMegatron8 karma

Why is she wearing a wedding ring?

MrChris_H12 karma

Nice catch. Actually, she wears the ring on her right hand but she carried trays with that hand, so the bulkiness of the ring made that difficult and she'd switch fingers while working.

psykiv9 karma

I know this might sound a little offensive but it's the nicest way I can put it.

What is it with poor people's obsession with Olive Garden? You ask pretty much anyone living under the poverty line and it's pretty unanimous that they fucking love you guys.

Also, how do you feel that Olive Garden has OFFICIALLY gone on record and said that their food is "massive quantities of barely edible fried items, excessive cheeses, and heavy cream sauces"

SOURCE: http://shareholdersfordarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Transforming-Darden.pdf

double edit: and admitting that they LIE about customer wait times. Especially on your busiest nights? Is this really standard practice?

MrChris_H15 karma

I don't want to get into a debate about socio-economic stereotypes so I'll try to be as political as I can about this.

If I had to guess, lower-class people like that you get a meal and so much more. You get your entree, plus all the salad/soup and bread you can eat. So maybe it's the perceived value?

I think that on-record description is spot on: the food is a bland smorgasbord of cheese, noodles, meat and creamy sauces. I think 75% of the menu is just a variation of that.

edit: As far as wait times go, I know for sure I've lied before. I don't know if that's standard practice but sometimes you're just busy and throw a number out there to get them off the phone. It beats having to walk up to the host stand and ask them how long the wait is. You can usually just gauge it for yourself and give a number. I always prefaced it with "well right now the wait is X mins, but that's subject to change."

mod1fier9 karma

Did you salt your pasta pots?

MrChris_H15 karma

I'm not too sure. We had machine that looked like a fryer but with just water (opposed to oil) that was constantly boiling. They never added salt when cooking the pasta but I suppose they could have put it in there in the morning. I'm a little ashamed to say the same water is used the entire day, but only pasta was cooked in that water.

adubb2219 karma

It's a rethermalizer (or a pasta cooker as everyone calls it) OG usually uses Pitco. no one salts that because the water is constantly cycled through. So the water from the morning is long gone by the time lunch starts. Most stores don't actually cook the pasta there. The pasta is cooked in the back, cooled and portioned. Then it's warmed in the rethermalizer.

MrChris_H12 karma

That much is true. All the pasta for the day is prepared in the morning and then just reheated upon ordering. It sounds gross but its still pretty fresh. The alternative is to wait a lot longer for your pasta.

EnforcerSpice9 karma

Can you tell me the recipe for their meat sauce?? Love it!!!

MrChris_H12 karma

As of now I couldn't, sorry! It's not too bad of a sauce for a chain restaurant, tho I've certainly had better. I want to say they list recipes on the website (or used to) so perhaps you'll have luck there.

edit: spelling

jleopold8 karma

How do you think bar-tending at a chain restaurant bar is a different experience than at a bar bar? Any unique experiences due to that?

MrChris_H12 karma

I don't have any experience bartending outside Olive Garden so it would be tough to answer. For the most part, people order wine at OG so it wasn't too difficult. Every once in a while some clown would try to order a James Bond Martini or some crazy drink that no one has heard of.

NorbitGorbit7 karma

which foods were the best value for the money (i.e. you think they should charge more for it)?

MrChris_H9 karma

Yikes, I've got to be honest I'm not sure there is such a thing. I was always fond of the calimari appetizer, but I'd be hard pressed to say they should charge more for it.

All in all, I'd say there are great entrees (Short ribs mentioned above; chicken scampi; apricot chicken) but I think all of them should probably be charged a dollar or two less.

edit: Lasagna primavera with chicken was a pretty good deal. I think it was only $13.

taypat6 karma

How much weed do you smoke?

MrChris_H42 karma

Never smoked a day in my life.

eJollyRoger5 karma

After 8 years, why weren't you management?

MrChris_H26 karma

I have ZERO desire to go into management haha. The pay sucks, and the hours suck even more.

I started when I was 18 and it got me through both undergrad and law school (took a year off between the two). I was fortunate to not have to pay for school so I only worked for spending money for the most part.

eJollyRoger8 karma

Darden has a great student loan/education program...did you take advantage? I worked in "The Third Circle" for 2 years.

MrChris_H9 karma

I actually was never aware they had such a program, and I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone I worked with as well.

Like I said, I was in a very fortunate situation that I didn't need loans, but I know a lot of people who likely would've taken advantage too.

DramDemon5 karma

What was your favorite part about working there? And your least favorite?

MrChris_H16 karma

Best Part: by far the people. Such a diverse group of people that made you laugh, shake your head, roll your eyes, etc. My first boss was so awesome too. He was super loaded (trust fund baby) so he worked out of boredom I assume. He would take us out to clubs and stuff. Not necessarily allowed but it was a great time.

Worst part: customers. Obviously this comes with the territory of customer service. But some customers just suck, plain and simple.

danieldeuce4 karma


MrChris_H6 karma

Honestly, it just depends. My store wasn't very busy at all so it wasn't a shock to make no money. Recently, the store now subtracts tips automatically from servers as a percentage of sales. So it depends on how busy the restaurant is.

I was fortunate to have quite a few regular customers who I could depend on good tips, so that made up for lackluster evenings otherwise.

As for what to expect, sorry to say it also depends. If your friend gets some chill managers, then it will be a great job. If they get dick managers (I've had both), it could be less than enjoyable if they don't follow the rules (I was never fond of the rules there, so you can see where I'm going with this). Fortunately, all my managers were incompetent in the bar, so I was left alone my entire shift. This made it easy to be myself and give the occasional over-pour to the nice customers which made for better money.

bruschi453 karma

Chocolate lasagna....what the hell happened to it???

MrChris_H9 karma

Ask for a birthday cake, i.e. "Celebration Cake", and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

goincd33 karma

Ok, I have to ask. Why the odd number of breadsticks every time they're brought to the table? If it's a table of two, the waiter will bring a basket of five. If it's a table of 3, they'll bring a basket of seven etc. Is it to make us fight to the death for the last breadstick??

MrChris_H6 karma

The company policy is to bring one breadstick for each person, plus 1 more "for the table."

If you get more than that, your server just doesn't want to have to refill your basket so quickly. Frankly, I did the same thing.

IAmChipotleClaus3 karma

Isnt taking home leftover pasta fagioli the best?

MrChris_H4 karma

I never did, personally, I didn't like the soups.

_ohoh7_2 karma

Whats your stance on getting the soup and or salad deal with bread sticks that accompanies your meal: you order something cheap like spaghetti with meat sauce, like 10 bucks, eating the shit out of bread sticks and soup or salad, like multiple soups and two or three baskets of bread sticks, then when your food comes out you just get it to go. That way you get like two full meals for ten bucks and it's delicious. Ive done this a couple times and the waitresses always look a little annoyed, but I always tip them more than well since they have to do so much work bringing me my appetizers. Do you consider this fair play, or disrespectful?

MrChris_H2 karma

I couldn't care less. As long as your cool about maybe waiting for those refills, it's no bother to me. It's absolutely fair play since that's what you're paying for.

Good for you for tipping more btw, I think that's a lost art that people don't realize they are being a bit more needy than your average customer. It's not a bother to me so long as your patient. The extra tip is just a bonus.

nowhereian2 karma

How many breadsticks do you think you ate over the course of the time you worked there?

MrChris_H11 karma

Honestly, not very many. If forced to give a number, I would probly say less than 500 in my 8 years working there. I don't think they're very good at all, so if I ate them it was just for a quick pick me up when I caught a minute.

Now those Andes mints tho...

chaddgar2 karma

Every time I've gone to OG they seem to enjoy quoting a ten minute wait for a table even when the restaurant is mostly empty. Is this some sort of OG policy, and if so, why?

MrChris_H4 karma

My store got a new computer system in the last few years that changed the way the hosts quote tables. The computer tells the hosts how long to quote based on some weird algorithm. So I'm not sure if it's done on purpose or not.

There was something in the computer called "guests lost" and I'm not sure what that means but I believe it was related to wait times. Again, I wasn't a host so I wasn't trained on the system so I'm sorry I don't have the best answer.

What_if_Bacon1 karma

How do you feel about Red Lobster splitting off of Darden?

MrChris_H5 karma

I'm not sure that it matters. From most of what I've read is that Red Lobster is tanking and the split was a last ditch effort to save it. I don't know why the split will help that (perhaps it can be part of a more focused business model rather than getting caught up in everything that is Darden) but that's why I'm sitting at home doing this AMA and some executive is reaping six figures.

There's a Red Lobster near my house and I have friends that work there; they say business is great there, but from a company-wide standpoint I'm not too sure.

scigs61 karma

Where did Garlic Chicken Con Broccoli go? That was my favorite damn thing to eat and they took it off the menu.

MrChris_H2 karma

Yah I got a question about that earlier. Corporate makes those decisions. For the most part, menu items are regional, so if they don't sell well across the region, they get axed.

That, or the more likely answer, OG is so out of tune with their customer base that they took away one of the most popular dishes.

SRD_Grafter1 karma

So, any cool stories from your time at the bar?

What was the weirdest drink that someone asked for? Did you make any secret cocktails (just add random stuff to see if it turned out well)? Anything that you would care to share as to how to get your $$$ worth from a bartender (be it to be friendly and hopefully get comped some drinks, brands of liquor to ask for, weird pricing of certain items, etc)?

MrChris_H2 karma

Not a ton of stories that your average person will consider "cool," but indef had some good times.

One time I had some older guy come in and after a couple of negronies he tried to get me to give him $100 bc he had a "sure thing" tip about a horse his friend was racing that weekend. Thought that was pretty weird.

As for secret cocktails, eh not too many. Although I did come up with a shot: Madori, Bacardi 151, and lime juice. I called it a Lime Away after the cleaning product. I imagine it would do some good cleaning as well. I served those up to anyone willing/asking for a shot.

To get a bartenders attention and good graces, just be cool. No need to yell across the bar for me, I know you're there and I don't want you waiting for booze any more than you do. I was pretty easy to get along with, so if you weren't a dick, odds are we got along great. I also remembered faces pretty well, so if you were cool the last time, I was gonna hook it up this time.