We were very disappointed with our first visit to your restaurant. The seating was very poor because as two adults we were placed in one room where the tables were all filled with families with children whose conversation we could loudly hear, although the whole rest of the restaurant was empty. We don't mind the children however the space was crammed, the server was slow, did not seem to know the menu or was unable to make any suggestions, spilled sauce on our table and left it there for the whole visit, the coffee tasted about 12 hrs. old and was cold, the breadsticks were raw and the prices are very high given poor, slow service service and poor quality of food. We only had one appetizer and left for the restaurant close by to get better service there. The day was not totally wasted however as your sister restaurant, Red Lobster, provided us with a delicious four course meal, fresh coffee, and knowledgeable server etc.
My family visited Olive Garden tonight. I was very pleased with the service (I have forgotten our server's name) and the food. Honestly, however, I was appalled at how the manager was treating the servers. The manager later came to the table to ask how we were and I made sure to catch her name (Penelope). While trying to enjoy our meals, we watched as Penelope and two servers were discussing service of a shared table. The two servers were calmly talking about how to take care of the table and the manager kept rudely threatening to "write them up" if they did such-and-such. We heard her threaten the same thing later with another server. The micro-management was unnecessary, but the THREAT was entirely uncalled for. And again during our meal, a server came up to her and politely asked her if she had a second. Not only did she tell them "NO", she HISSED it! I asked our server what was wrong with the manager and he said "if only we knew". I told him she was incredibly rude and he responded that it would be hard to find a single person who enjoyed working at the Olive Garden while she was on shift. I don't mean this to get that server in trouble. I was stunned and therefore prying. As a customer, I felt bad for how these servers were being treated. Is this how managers normally solve problems at this restaurant or treat their staff? If so, I am shocked and disgusted. I worked for Darden at a Red Lobster when I was in University and I always had a high opinion of the company. I have never, however, seen an ENTIRE STAFF of people look so unhappy with their jobs as this staff did tonight. My table and at least two other tables near me witnessed all of this happen. Penelope's rudeness became dinner conversation for all three tables. In case you are not aware of the side effects of power hungry management, let me fill you in: Mean managers like Penelope make the staff unhappy. Unhappiness breeds resentment. Resentful employees take out their frustration on (a) each other, (b) the customers, and/or (c) the restaurant (especially if the problem is not quickly addressed). When I worked at Red Lobster, unhappy staff made no attempt to positively promote the restaurant, they did not go out of their way to help a manager who only made their lives terrible, and they retaliated openly (being angry, verbally fighting with management and one another, quitting, etc.) or silently (poor work etiquette, stealing, etc.). In the end, improper management is inefficient, it KILLS staff and makes the place of business fall apart.
Honestly, Penelope's behaviour ruined our meal. If she treated servers this way in front of customers, how she treats them in private? Ever since leaving, I haven't been able to put her horrendous behaviour out of my mind. I hope something drastic is done about this manager's behaviour; although I can honestly say that we will not be dining at a Darden establishment again.
If this message has not reached the proper person, I would really appreciate if it was forwarded to that person. Actually, I would love it if this message could be sent to the Olive Garden in Edmonton on Calgary Trail and Gateway Blvd. I am also willing to forward this message myself if you could please provide me with a list of the appropriate contact information--the more the merrier. I should have made a complaint directly to this manager and regret not doing so now. Maybe letting as many people as possible know about the manager who verbally abuses her staff will help ease my conscious a bit.
After reading the reviews here I almost changed my mind about going to this restaurant. It is Saturday today. The lunch menu is not offered on Saturday but on inquiring about lunch sized portions our server checked and was more than glad to offer us lunch sized portions. The salad was crisp, colorful, and tasty. The entree was hot and flavorful. The almond tiramisu excellent. We were seated promptly and the server was very attentive and great. A good experience. Will return.
After eading the reviews here I almost changed my mind about going to this restaurant. It is Saturday today. The lunch menu is not offered on Saturday but on inquiring about lunch sized portions opur server chaccked and was more than glad to offer us lunch sized portions. The salad was crisp colorful and tasty. The entree was hot and flavorful. The almond tiramisu excellent. We were seated promptly and the server was very attentive and great. A good experience. Will return.