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    Former Olive Garden Employees Shared Their Secrets And Stories, And Frankly, It's Interesting As Hell

    I'll never think about the endless soup, salad, and breadsticks the same way again.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who have worked at Olive Garden to share their secrets and stories from on the job. Here are the some of the most interesting and eye-opening responses:

    1. "The ABSOLUTE worst thing was the Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. I literally had a customer get 20 refills. The customer was in my section for three hours and didn’t tip."


    2. "The salad really is unlimited refills. I once brought a table their salad, only to have the person dump the ENTIRE bowl on their plate so they could hand me empty the salad bowl back and ask for another one before I left the table."


    3. "Anything labeled as 'endless' is truly endless so some people will stuff themselves until they are literally sick. All employees hated the never-ending pasta bowl promotion because people would literally throw up at the table and keep eating."


    4. "It was the cleanest kitchen of any restaurant I've ever seen. Honestly, I was shocked. Also, as an employee you weren’t allowed to eat any breadsticks because they couldn’t churn them out fast enough. That was the worst part. They were so tempting, and you got in trouble if you got caught doing it."


    5. "I worked at two different Olive Gardens for about four years total in college. I was a host, to-go specialist, and bread/salad prep. Everyone should know that you should tip your to-go specialist! Once, there was a $1,500 order for a sorority at the town's college. I got there two hours early to help make bread, salads, and pack everything up. They tipped ZERO DOLLARS. To-go gets wild. Sometimes, I would have 10–15 orders backed up, and still have my phone ringing off the hook and online orders coming in."


    6. "Soup, salad, and breadsticks: The absolute bane of every OG server's existence. I worked at various Olive Gardens over 10 years, in every position, and I still have lunch rush nightmares where all three of my tables — that’s the max you were supposed to have, and with all the refills, it could really put you in the weeds — tell me they are going to 'make it easy for me' and have soup, salad, and breadsticks. At the time it cost $7.25. People would give you $10 and tell you to 'keep the change,' which is a good tip percentage-wise, but the amount of stress and running was not worth it."


    7. "The unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks is our least favorite meal to serve. Often, your server has to prep the soup, salad, and bread. It’s very time-consuming and often takes multiple trips to the kitchen and results in a small tip. If you order this meal, please tip your server extra."


    A bowl of Olive Garden soup

    8. "Olive Garden has the infamous Never Ending Pasta Pass. That means for a small price, you can eat as much pasta as you want and literally not pay during the duration of the promo. I had a hungry gentleman who ate six bowls of pasta. You'd imagine he was was full. He proceeded to literally throw up on the table, and then went to the restroom, while the busser and I cleaned up his mess. I thought he'd be embarrassed, but nope. This grown man asked for another bowl of pasta. He then proceeded to give me a dollar tip and leave!"


    9. "I once saw a customer take out part of her weave and put it in her pasta. She then told me she found it in there, and wanted it her meal comped."


    10. "The number of olives, tomatoes, etc. on your salad is directly impacted by the amount of people at your table. In addition, sometimes they're weighed so that the right amount of lettuce for your party is in the bowl."


    An olive garden salad

    11. "I was shocked at how rigorous the safety and cleanliness standards were. You weren’t even allowed to wear a beige — light-skinned color — bandage for fear it would fall off and into food, since we made our own salads and soups and some desserts. They had these bright red bandages that you had to wear at work if you got cut, or already had a cut to ensure it would be seen. That always stuck with me as slightly odd, but also made me happy to eat there."


    12. "It doesn't happen too often, but customers do steal the cheese graters, and we notice. I know everyone likes the cheese, but now you're going to have to continuously buy expensive blocks of cheese to put into your used cheese grater, just to have that in-home Olive Garden experience."


    13. "Your first basket of breadsticks is brought out with one stick for each person at the table plus one extra (because it’s usually uncomfortable for someone to take the last one). Any baskets after that are supposed to be one stick for each person. Our system knows how many people are at each table, because we have to enter one drink for each person, and if you don’t order a drink, we enter tap water. This also determines the weight of the salad given to your table, and number of toppings put on each salad (one olive, one tomato per person for example)."


    A basket of Olive Garden breadsticks

    14. "Coffee is the most annoying thing to serve. You have to get a pitcher and fill it with coffee, get a cup, saucer, and spoon, fill a little cup with cream, and grab sugars as opposed to filling a cup with soda and dropping it off."


    15. "I worked at the Olive Garden on the Orange Blossom Trail, less than a mile from corporate headquarters in 1990. Only for about two months, but two of the most unique months in a 30-year restaurant career. Every time a corporate bigwig came in (and they came in all the time), we all had to drop whatever we were doing, gather in the kitchen, and sing the 'Hospitaliano Song' loud enough so it could be heard throughout the dining room."


    16. "If you make a complaint and are given a gift card by the restaurant, the gift card actually looks different than a standard gift card purchased as a gift. This is because you have Karens who make a habit of coming in to complain about ANYTHING that'll get them another free gift card. If a manager sees them with this special gift card, and hears them complain about something, they usually won't reward them with free food or a gift card again."

    "I once saw a manager sit at a table of Karens who had the special gift card for 30 minutes. She let them whine over EVERYTHING and beg for free food, but wouldn't give in. We all cheered for her in the back."


    Taylor Swift with a Karen haircut

    17. And finally, "My highest breadstick count was 27, shared between two people. My highest unlimited pasta bowl count was three bowls. People often overestimate how much of the unlimited pasta bowl they can actually eat."


    Do you have any stories from your tenure at Olive Garden? Share them in the comments. And for more posts like this, be sure to follow BuzzFeed Community.