Olive Garden #1 Ripped Off, and Then Ignored By Owner/Management
I am prompted to write this as I was watching TV the other night and by seeing an Advertisement for Olive Garden.
Back in January, my husband and I were visiting the Palm Beach area and decided to go to the Olive Garden on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. Both of us had had a long day at work and were looking forward to the usually good quality food and service that my husband has experienced with Olive Garden in the past.
My husband ordered "soup and salad" which we believed based on the menu was a fixed price. When the check came, the cost for the "Soup and Salad" that he had ordered was considerably higher than what the menu indicated.
We brought this to the attention of our server. Our server was indignant about our request for him to show us, where on the menu the price he was charging us for the Soup and Salad could be found.
It clearly states on the menu in English and Italian the price for "Soup and Salad". This was not the price we were ultimatley charged. The waiter contended that the price on the menu was not accurate and that this price did not have anything to do with Soup and Salad meal for dinner, despite the fact that this is expressly what the menu does in fact say.
We could find no spot, anywhere on the menu that was the same as the price that we were ultimatley charged.
It was insulting and dishonest.
We initially were going to refuse to pay, and we did argue with the server about the issue but decided that rather than give him a gratuity we would simply give his tip to the cost of being overcharged for a hidden cost.
I had never been to the Olive Garden before, as there are no Olive Garden restaurants close to where I normally reside in Canada. I doubt that either my husband or I, or his family will be going to the Olive Garden again. This is quite a switch from the usual experience had by my Husband's family's company - which frequently used to dine at the Olive Garden near/in Winterpark in Florida.
I just thought I should draft a quick note to your company to inform you of our experience.
My usual experience with finer dining establishments has been that when a problem is brought to the server or manager's attention that the matter is dealt with promptly and to the satisfaction of the customer.
We did ask to speak to the manager at the time of this incident and were told that he would not be available to speak with us for 20 minutes. Since our meal had already concluded we didn't feel like waiting for 20 minutes to speak with the manager. We just wanted to go.
All in all, I was not very impressed with my first and only experience with your establishment. Your TV advertisements have not convinced me otherwise.
Update: Here is the Response from the Olive Garden Corporate HQ
Thank you for your interest in Olive Garden and allowing us an opportunity to respond.
We would like to apologize for any miscommunication regarding the pricing of our soup, salad, and breadsticks combination at dinner. During the daily lunch period of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., we offer these popular a la carte items as a combination entree at a specially reduced price.
After 4:00 p.m. these items return to their regular a la carte menu prices. While the special lunch price is not available in the evening, we do offer the same complimentary, unlimited refills any time. We appreciate your question and apologize that it was not clarified at the time of your visit.
It is regrettable that our manager missed an opportunity to ensure your satisfaction while you were at our restaurant. Our guests are our most important asset and we should be very concerned when anyone leaves our restaurant dissatisfied.
Again, thank you for sharing your comments. We consider you a valued guest and hope you will continue to think of Olive Garden for your dining occasions.
Olive Garden Guest Relations
Conclusion: No satisfaction, and customers being overcharged the advertised cost for a meal is clearly not of any interest to "The Olive Garden".