Yes, I am a huge fan of the Olive Garden! I'll never forget my first visit, about twelve years ago. It was my wedding anniversary. There are a couple reasons wy I won't forget it... first, my oldest son was about two years old. He had never, ever been away from Mama! We took him to my Grandmother's house, so we could enjoy a nice, quite evening, well... a couple hours at least... on our own! My poor son sat at Grandma's front door, crying for Mama, until he fell asleep. When we got home, he was still waiting there for me!
The other reason I won't forget, this is one of the great things about the Olive Garden... I never was a huge fan of steak. Guys used to get so irritated with me, when they would take me to a steak house and I would order a hamburger! Well, that night, my husband talked me into trying a steak. Guys, I was, literally, amazed! The Olive Garden gave me the best steak I have ever had... and yes, it is twelve years later, and I still consider their steak the best I have had! I like my meat "extra" well done... in other words... NO PINK!!! Well, they took my order, without giving me the funny looks that I often get. They brought our meals, and I, being obsessed about this, immediately cut it open to find that pink and send it back! There was none. What impressed me was how easily I was able to cut through it. When I took that first bite, I was forever hooked!!! It was definitely done, but it was still so tender and juicy... I had no idea it could be done!!!! So, yes, this long and I still return to their restaurants for steak!
Another thing that really impresses me with the Olive Garden... several years later, after I divorced my husband, I applied for a job as a server. Boy, the training they put you through is intense! You must pass a total of three interviews! Then, you have to pass numorous tests... learning the main ingredients in all of their dishes, etc. They even go so far as to have you taste everything on their menu, so that you will know what you are talking about when you recommend different dishes! We even got to taste the different wines available, so that we could make an informed recommendation to folks wanting to know which wines they would prefer, based on their different preferences. I really feel that their intense training proves how dedicated they are to providing superior customer service. I have worked at many restaurants and never seen anything like it.
The other big thing I love about the Olive Garden, and again, this comes from the short time I worked there... they focus on cleanliness. I am very picky about where I eat. My ex-husband did heat and air, so he knew the inside details behind many local restaurants, and we would not eat there if you paid us! Well, at the Olive Garden, they insisted that we used gloves for everything, which truly should be mandated at every restaurant! If we went behind the food line, even to get more supplies, we were required to wear hair nets... all these things, the public never sees, yet they all contribute to my confidence in eating at the Olive Garden, as well as taking my family for a good, clean meal.
Honestly, I have never been more impressed with any restaurant, none has ever come close!
If you want to know for certain that the environment is clean, the staff is knowledgeable and the food is delicious, the Olive Garden is always a safe bet!