The Olive Garden is one of America’s finest eateries. It’s got everything: An extensive menu, authentic Italian music (or music about Italy) (Okay, it’s just The Godfather soundtrack) that plays through the speakers at unexpected intervals, and unlimited breadsticks. It’s also an excellent source of people-watching. You ever see a family disintegrate over a plate of lukewarm minestrone and wilted salad? If you sat next to the table my parents and I occupied in May 2012, you probably have! (And you were probably secretly delighted.) (I would have been.)
But nothing you or I may have seen — and I once saw a man getting ejected for feeling up a woman on his way in to the restaurant and then complaining that “it wasn’t even worth it” after being violently confronted by his victim — can compare to what Olive Garden servers and managers see on a daily basis. And thanks to one guy who went on a date with the former manager of the Times Square location, we now know what really goes on behind the scenes:
Important note here: I was once at The Olive Garden in San Francisco (Stonestown, represent!) when they ran out of bread sticks. It was my graduation party (because where else are you gonna go?) and in the middle of dinner, a meek server scuttled up to our table and gently whispered that there were no breadsticks to be had. Sadly, she’d wildly miscalculated by thinking that my dad — a man who will loudly tell anyone “I am Russians and Russians love bread” even though that’s not generally a stereotype associated with our people unless you’re talking about starvation — would be the person to break this news to.
“He’s middle-aged, he’ll get it,” she must have thought seconds before my father promptly lost his sh*t and started screaming about how “we live in AMERICA” and how he “immigrated for a better life.”
So, yes, I fully believe that people lose their minds when the breadsticks are out. It messes with their sense of trust and safety, you know? But I digress.
What other choice is there?