Olive Garden may not it is in the many authentic Italian restaurant out there, yet we love the nonetheless. Indigenous those enticing endless soup and also salad deals best down to your fettuccine Alfredo, over there is simply something about the comforting food that Olive Garden that has actually us going earlier for more. Yet in spite of the truth that girlfriend may have actually memorized their food selection by heart, exactly how much perform you yes, really know around this well-known Italian-themed chain restaurant? perform you know around its ties to a cereal manufacturing giant? Or what around the truth behind the rustic cooking institute? walk you also know they had actually a cooking institute? ~ above the surface, Olive Garden may appear to be pretty directly forward, but dig a small deeper and you"ll find an interesting past. Therefore grab yourself a breadstick, put your stimulate in v the waiter, and also munch away while you find these interesting facts you never knew around Olive Garden.

You are watching: How did olive garden get its name


*
General Mills
When us think of cereal giant general Mills, usually products such as Lucky Charms and also Cheerios are what come to mind. What doesn"t involved mind is heaping bowls the pasta. It must though because General Mills is responsible for the creation of Olive Garden. Back in 1970, basic Mills gotten in into the restaurant sector when Red Lobster founder bill Darden sold off his companies to their company. As Red Lobster came to be a success, basic Mills determined to broaden upon your restaurant endeavors and also open increase Olive Garden.


Although Olive Garden became a growing business, basic Mills eventually decided to gain out the the restaurant industry. In 1995, Olive Garden, and also the various other restaurants own by general Mills, were spun off right into a brand-new independent agency owned by stockholders referred to as Darden Restaurants Inc. Together with Olive Garden, the company owns other renowned restaurant chain such as LongHorn Steakhouse, The capital Grille, periods 52, and also Bahama Breeze.


*
Instagram
Some restaurants start out as small, independently run businesses that normally turn into chain restaurants end time. The wasn"t the situation for Olive Garden. When general Mills started the restaurant it was through the intentionally of transforming it into a chain restaurant. In 1982 as soon as Olive Garden very first opened that is doors at their Orlando, Florida place it wouldn"t be long prior to other areas popped up. Follow to Fox News, through 1989 Olive Garden had already opened increase 145 locations. V over 100 place openings in less than ten years, Olive Garden"s business was thriving, transforming it into a renowned dining staple among Americans.


Whether it"s the comforting all-you-can-eat salad and also breadsticks or the familiarity the the dining experience, organization is apparently still flourishing for Olive Garden. They right now have over 800 places throughout north America and as of 2016, held the title of being the biggest Italian-themed full-service chain restaurant in America.


*
Shutterstock
The very first rule most world are taught when food preparation pasta is the you have to salt the water. By including a pinch the salt, the pasta is able come soak that up throughout the cooking procedure which enhances the overall flavor. This is a an essential step that is looked under upon when skipped, and Olive Garden discovered that out the hard way. Follow to organization Insider, Olive Garden confronted some major backlash as soon as shareholder Starboard Value dubbed them the end on skip the crucial ingredient, which was one of numerous complaints during a 300-slide presentation.


So what to be Olive Garden"s thinking for not salting? The pots. Apparently, the company claimed that adding salt would destroy the vouch on their pots. Placing that to the test, HuffPost performed their own experiment to check out if this to be true. What they uncovered was the their concept was nonsense. According to your experiment, if you add salt come the water as soon as it"s boiling it can"t react to the oxygen in the water, hence saving the pot. Sounds choose Olive Garden could use a tiny cooking advice right here or there.


*
Instagram
With unlimited breadsticks as an option, carry out you ever wonder just how countless breadsticks Olive Garden offer in a year? In 2014, castle served around 675 million. That may sound prefer an astounding lot of bread, however that equals out to around three breadsticks per customer, every visit, according to Vox. When broken down choose that, serving 675 million yearly doesn"t sound so crazy.


While the customers might absolutely love them, not everyone in the firm is happy about the number of breadsticks being served. The very same investor that was unhappy around the absence of salting pasta water, Starboard Value, felt that serving a whopping 675 million complimentary breadsticks is as well much. Lock were also not pleased with the quality of the breadsticks themselves, stating that after 7 minutes, the breadsticks go stale which resulted in enormous quantities of food waste. While castle recommended serving one breadstick every customer, the limitless breadsticks are still being readily available ... Because that now.


*
Instagram
Were you a fan of Olive Garden"s Pastachetti? What around their Soffatelli? if these may sound prefer delicious yes, really Italian dishes, Olive Garden made them up. When the chefs responsible because that these inventions may have taken catalyst from Italy, you won"t discover these bowl anywhere but Olive Garden.


So why did Olive Garden feeling the should come up v its own an intricate lingo? Most most likely to draw in customers. Unfortunately for Olive Garden, the did the opposite. Client weren"t pan of the unfamiliar dishes featuring gourmet-sounding ingredients. In fact, the lack of customer interest in the food selection items with fake name was partly to blame for half of the chain"s disappointed sales (via Orlando Sentinel). Because of the fail of these food selection items, Olive garden made decision to get back to the basics with traditional Italian dishes and promote specials with acquainted names your customers would recognize. Sticking with the tried and also true, it shows up what Olive Garden customers yes, really want room the classics. Ns guess it yes, really is best not come mess v a great thing.


The Olive Garden Culinary academy of Tuscany does in truth exist in Italy, yet it"s no what its name provides it out to be. What was believed to be a type of cooking academy wherein Olive Garden chefs room trained, is much more along the currently of a retreat because that managers. 


According come Time, an cotton Reddit poster who declared she to visit the institute together an employee defined that it is nothing more than a hotel that Olive Garden reserves for managers and chefs throughout the off-season. While Olive Garden employees carry out have accessibility to the hotel"s kitchen if they select to utilize it, over there is no school there. Many employees invest the whole time sightseeing rather than training. To additional illustrate she point, she wrote, "The just time we observed the "chef" was when she do a bolognese sauce if taking images with every of united state to send come our neighborhood newspapers."

Even the hotel chin isn"t owned by Olive Garden — it"s owned by a regional wine label. Let"s face it, if the Culinary institute of Tuscany might not be a real food preparation school owned by Olive Garden, gaining a cost-free trip come Italy on the company dime is a big perk.


Were you one of the lucky ones to acquire the Olive Garden countless pass because that $100? If not, friend may have actually resorted come eBay. Follow to psychological Floss, when Olive garden released your Never ending Pasta Pass, world lost it. The pass, which enables for countless pasta, soup, and also salad for a limited time is a renowned commodity the sells the end instantly. This consequently presents a problem for those that are left without countless pasta. That"s where eBay come in. As result of sold-out Never finishing Passes, world were turning to eBay to try and get their hands on one. Unfortunately, those passes not only cost up to $300, but most of them were likewise fake.


While a fake pasta happen may have left part disappointed, those that acquired the real thing totally took benefit of it. One guy asserted he also ate 115 meals. At the time, the promo was because that a seven-week period. Considering the ate 115 meals worth, that"s just 32 meals embarrassy of having actually nothing yet Olive Garden because that breakfast, lunch, and also dinner day-to-day for seven weeks straight. That"s not just a many pasta, that"s a the majority of Olive Garden.


Millennials might take the blame for killing the chain restaurant industry, however one chain restaurant they aren"t death is Olive Garden. Together with avocado toast and rosé wine, millennials supposedly really love Olive Garden. According to Food & Wine, Olive Garden"s sales have soared while various other restaurant chains space taking a big hit, and part of the is as result of their faithful millennial clientele — around 30 percent of your patrons room millennials. For this reason while competing chain restaurants choose Applebee"s, Wild Buffalo Wings, and TGI Fridays are seeing sales plummet, says company Insider, Olive Garden"s service continues to thrive.


So what is it about Olive Garden that attracts millennials unlike other generations? maybe it"s every the changes investor Starboard worth demanded the restaurant chain make. Or perhaps it"s the beloved chicken Alfredo... Or the limitless salad and also breadsticks. Every little thing it is, millennials love it and that is good news because that Olive Garden.


If two renowned restaurant chains to be to merge right into one, would they become the can be fried dining experience? Darden Restaurants Inc. Made decision to discover out once they took their 2 most popular restaurants, Olive Garden and also Red Lobster, and merged them under the exact same roof. If this might sound prefer a phenomenal menu mashup that never-ending pasta and also lobster tails, the only thing this restaurant hybrid shared was a roof and also a kitchen. The restaurant dining areas, entrances, and also menus to be still maintained separate.


You might be wondering why lock wouldn"t combine menu items and that needs to do with business logistics. The idea behind the joint venture was the company could cut some expenses while quiet maximizing that profits. Sadly, the Olive Garden-Red Lobster restaurant hybrids didn"t last. In 2014 Darden offered off Red Lobster, forcing one of two people the closure or remodeling of all the hybrids into a solitary Olive Garden restaurant. Looks choose we"ll just need to stick to the buffet to acquire our countless soup, salad, and also shrimp resolve in.


New York"s times Square is booming on new Year"s Eve, and also apparently for this reason is Olive Garden. Getting in on the action, Olive Garden"s times Square location throws a big bash that expenses a chuck $400 a person. Because that a nice penny favor that, the all-you-can-eat salad better come with some complimentary booze. Oh wait, it does. With the $400, guests will have the ability to get complimentary drinks every night long from any bar located in the restaurant. Lock will likewise get to reap the buffet, a live DJ, and several dance floors therefore they can bust a move.


This might sound favor a ridiculous amount of money to invest at a chain restaurant, yet Olive Garden isn"t the only one providing a pricey VIP new Year"s night party. Apparently, chain restaurants Ruby Tuesday"s and Bubba Gump Shrimp have additionally gotten in top top the activity and charge a ridiculous amount because that a brand-new Year"s eve food bash.


While it"s difficult to happen up ~ above the unlimited soup, salad, and also breadstick deal, everyone"s favorite item ~ above the food selection is the chicken Alfredo pasta. A signature Olive Garden dish, your creamy Alfredo pasta sauce has remained unchanged because the restaurant was started 1982. Filled with Parmesan, butter, garlic, cheese, and also cream, it"s simply hard not come love this stuff.


If friend yourself room a fan of this Olive Garden classic, climate you"ll it is in happy to understand that girlfriend too deserve to make this Alfredo sauce best at home. To begin, melt butter in a saucepan with minced garlic. Whisk in part flour, then slowly pour in the milk and also heavy cream. Now, add in a generous amount that Parmesan and Romano cheese. Lug the sauce to a boil then rotate off the heat and also whisk a few more times till the sauce thickens. Once the sauce is done, to water it end cooked linguine or her favorite pasta of selection and top it v chicken. Together with the pasta, make this Olive Garden-style salad dressing and you"ll never should eat the end again.


Strange as this sounds, musician short article Malone really does own the legal rights to Olive Garden"s former slogan, "When You"re Here, You"re Family". Yet how? and also why? turn out it"s all Jimmy Fallon"s doing. 

Back in 2012, ~ above "Late Night through Jimmy Fallon", Fallon periodically used the phrase "When You"re Here, You"re Family," a joke that seemingly resonated through his audience. So as soon as he learned the the chain was getting rid that the slogan, every Yahoo! News, he reached out come Olive Garden. The restaurant chain i agreeed to authorize the slogan over to Fallon"s show. Darden firm executive Dave George went on to show up as a guest on the show in 2013, bringing Fallon the licensing agreement and also signing it best there top top camera. Olive Garden happily shared footage of the show and kindly invited Fallon come the Olive Garden family. 


But what go that have to do with short article Malone? fast forward come 2018 on "The Tonight present Starring Jimmy Fallon." In one segment, short article Malone take it Fallon to his favourite restaurant, i m sorry is — yes, you guessed that — Olive Garden. After scooping butter onto every bite the his breadsticks and ordering a literal laundry basket of croutons, short article Malone obtained a surprise gift from Fallon, who had made decision to deliver the rights to the slogan over to Malone. Through the commitment signed posthaste on the show, article Malone now legally hold the legal rights to the catchy former slogan.


No have to scour Pinterest for the perfect copycat recipe for Olive Garden"s yummy Italian dressing. You deserve to simply to buy the dressing through the bottle at your regional grocery save or supermarket. Now, almost everyone that dines in ~ Olive Garden loves the never-ending soup, salad, and also breadsticks at the restaurant. However not everyone knows that you can get the exact same taste in ~ home and even stock her pantry full of few of the very same stuff if you desire to. Just keep a bottle on hand and toss her salad with the dressing to obtain that Olive Garden taste v your home-cooked dinner. Friend can additionally potentially usage it in your food preparation as a marinade! The unlimited salad and, the course, breadsticks are greatly what keep civilization coming earlier to Olive Garden again and again, therefore why not replicate it come a particular extent at home? 


Copycat dressing recipes have been renowned for a if now, but you deserve to still take it a little of a faster way with the main bottled stuff. And also we are not surprised that it"s pretty popular, because Olive Garden"s salad has that perfect fresh and tangy Italian dressing the appeals to nearly everyone"s palate. So grab a bottle and also see if you deserve to recreate the restaurant"s signature vibe at house with your family.


Olive Garden isn"t just a phibìc American restaurant staple. Apparently, the limitless soup, salad, and breadsticks transaction is pretty renowned in Latin America as well, whereby Olive Garden shows up to it is in thriving.


In 2013, follow to the Orlando business Journal, Darden Restaurants, Inc. Started to focus its efforts on opening more restaurants in main and Latin American nations like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, and more. Currently, follow to Olive Garden"s website, over there are much more than a dozen locations in Mexico alone, with Puerto Rico and also Brazil complying with behind closely with a large number of places as well. 

So, is it the family environment or the semi-authentic Italian food that provides Olive Garden so appealing to those communities? we can"t be sure, but Darden plainly isn"t afraid to invest in more and much more locations there. According to Fox Business, those new ventures include not only Olive Garden locations, however other Darden Restaurants stalwarts favor Red Lobster and also LongHorn Steakhouse. We get the interest in the expansion, though. ~ all, that doesn"t love those breadsticks?


Yes, you read that right. In 2020, Olive Garden was featured in a Taylor Swift tune on her new album, "Evermore." The enormous pop sensation absolutely helps Olive Garden out v its advertising, especially towards younger generations, as soon as she mentions Olive Garden in the tune "No Body, No Crime." 


As the name implies, the tune is a murder mystery where the victim stops working to present up at Olive Garden with Swift. "Este wasn"t there, Tuesday night in ~ Olive Garden, at her job, or anywhere" Taylor sings Este is actually the name of among the members of the tape HAIM, who accompanies Swift top top the song. Moreover, she simply happens to love Olive Garden. So in true Taylor Swift fashion, Este"s name and also her favourite restaurant were supplied as a lyric in the song, according to InStyle. And if the wasn"t sufficient social buzz because that Olive Garden, the HAIM posted a video clip on Instagram mirroring them grubbing Olive Garden while listening to the song.

Olive Garden"s CEO, Gene Lee, officially thanked Swift for the surname drop on a board call, follow to company Insider. Hopefully, Swift helped Olive Garden squash those false rumors of the whole chain closeup of the door down while she was at it. Darden surely to know how important it is come stay relevant with the younger generations in order to keep cultivation their business, therefore we"re sure the Swiftie name drop came as a welcome surprise.

See more: How Can I Send A Large Files Through Email : Step, Send And Transfer Large Files


Many restaurants room still struggling after the notorious Covid-19 close up door down and struggling to choose themselves ago up even as some cities open back up and rules relax. But Olive Garden has actually excellent surprisingly well following the pandemic. In June the 2021, after at home dining went back to normal (as typical as it might get, anyway), the restaurant chain report a record-breaking profit, follow to CNBC. The Darden poster son beat suspect and almost matched 2019"s pre-pandemic benefit in the meantime. 


So, why is Olive Garden doing therefore well as restaurants and also diners return and also other areas are struggling? every FSR, CEO Gene Lee states it is because they refuse to usage third-party shipment services choose so plenty of other restaurants. He"s no necessarily dorn because, while in its entirety sales might be lower contrasted to pre-pandemic numbers, the company"s actual revenues are still getting serious inert in 2021. While other chains to be using shipment services choose UberEats and DoorDash to boost sales, Olive Garden damaged its all-time single-day sales record on Mother"s job 2021 (via CNBC). We guess millennials and boomers alike quiet love the idea of taking their parental to Olive Garden whereby everyone feels prefer they are component of one big, happy Italian family.