Friday, September 30, 2005

The Unlimited Pasta Bowl

Being that I'm a server at the Olive Garden we must live through the unlimited pasta bowl every year for a month. Now lets just start by saying that it is truly a great deal at $7.95 per person, this includes ulimited pasta and ulimited soup or salad. But the price is exactly why us servers don't like it one bit. Say a party of four comes in on a normal night the check will be over $50 but not with pasta bowl with this we're lucky to get it over $30. So the check is already low and then some of these people think that they are an eating machine, they start off by only having a little salad and then say "oh I'm saving room for the pasta bowl refills," at this point the server knows that the table at least wants to eat ALOT. Not only is this display of gluttony disgusting it also means that I have to go and ring in the refill but also run it out to them, which means I have to spend time working on a table that I know won't be as good as my other tables tip wise even if they tip me 20%.

Another fun twist is when people have just started eating their first bowl and then ask for their second, eat the first one first. Many people also think that the word unlimited means they can get as much as they want to take home, I had such a table last night the lady was about half done with bowl #1 and she asked for bowl#2 and as soon as she got bowl #2 she asked for bowl#3 to which I replied you must finish a bowl to move onto the next one. She wasn't a happy camper her response was "but I thought it was an unlimited pasta bowl" to which I replied it is if you finish the preceeding bowl.

For the purpose of this story I generalized alot if you are one of the people who has come into Olive Garden and gotten the pasta bowl and then at the end of the night tipped your waiter well I salute you. If however you came in thinking I get to save a few bucks on everything from food to tip then well this entire blog entry is about you. Please try to remember that as servers we make minimum wage plus tips and tips is how we make the money with which we pay our bills.


Blogger clyde said...

i have a distinct feeling I know who this is...

have you seen this?

3:16 PM  
Blogger Phil Johnson said...


You get all the leftover pasta and salad you can eat. Don't complain.

BTW, what month is that endless-pasta-bowl thing this year?

5:51 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

Dude, as you know, I used to work at the Wendy’s across the street from Magic Mountain for minimum wage.

Quit your whining.

Try to imagine it's 11 o’clock. Your tired, hungry, and knda smelly.

What luck! The park just closed and now you get to take fast food orders for three hundred junior high brats who apparently have no legal guardian. Then, about two hours later, you get to clean up all their trash that they so kindly left at their tables.

At about 12:30 or 1:00 AM, you get to go home with the knowledge that you have just wasted eight hours of your life that you'll never see again-all for $50.08 (before taxes)

By the way, welcome to the blogosphere.

8:19 PM  
Blogger 86 said...

Yes Clyde it is me.

Phil: The sad part is there are actually servers you do eat leftovers

Pec: Dude, fast food is far different from sit down places. I do feel your pain with the little punks who leave a mess because I get the same thing.

11:17 PM  
Blogger 86 said...

By the way the unlimited pasta bowl is going on right now and will be for another couple of weeks.

12:03 AM  
Blogger C-train said...

I have never experienced the unlimited pasta bowl, but I am intrigued by it.

1:30 AM  
Blogger clyde said...

Matt: I would like to join you for this.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

I too would enjoy puting "the OG" out of business, how 'bout next saturday?

11:06 PM  
Blogger C-train said...

Clyde, Pec, it is a date... yes I said date.

11:42 PM  
Blogger clyde said...

Saturday is no good. :( Can we shoot for next week?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

What day?

5:56 PM  
Blogger Tony Myles said...

Remember that some people can't afford $12.25 for a piece of chicken with some spaghetti sauce on it. For those of us who are poor these days the never ending pasta bowl is our one chance at Olive Garden greatness.

And for the record, I'm Italian and I've never taken my Grandpa Luigi to the Olive Garden when he visits me from Italy.

10:35 PM  
Blogger 86 said...

Tony I fully understand your situation. I think that it is all fine and dandy to get the pasta bowl, the problem arises when the people don't realize that the server is working harder for less. I really don't mind it a whole lot but there are some who loathe it. As to bringing your Italian grandfather to the OG I understand completely because it would likely insult his sense of taste. Not that our food is bad but it is most certainly not real Italian food, it is simply tasty Americanized "Italian" food

11:03 PM  
Blogger clyde said...


3:14 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

Clyde, I've got discipleship that night. Thursday?

10:35 PM  
Blogger C-train said...

But I've got discipleship Thursday night.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I think you have a lot of nerve complaining, since you don't have to earn your tips anymore with the restaurants adding 18% to the bill. And its the bus people who serve us. All you do is ask what we want and you take your time doing that. Hard work ha ha. This special comes around so seldom and the rest of the year the prices for the food are so high and the portion so small all we can do is fill up on salad and breadsticks. So if I want my bowls of pasta you get my bowls of pasta!

7:59 AM  
Blogger 86 said...

Dear Terry
I don't think you understand where I am coming from. First off at the Olive Garden the servers do not have assistants we take care of everything ourselves, so it is rather hard sometimes. Second have you ever worked in a resturant? Because it doesn't sound like you have. Thirdly I would like to say that the portions that we serve are huge compared to many places. I rarely finish any meal I eat. As to the 18% tip that is only if the party is more then 8 people, at which point the server works hard to earn that tip. And yes I still have to earn my tips by giving good service to everyone, and that it would seem is not always good enough. If my blog offended you in anyway I am sorry, but it is the truth.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

As a server at the Olive Garden myself, I can relate to this blog.

The pasta bowl is annoying, and it does bring in a lot of folks who obviously do not go out much.

It is a good deal. Not unlike the ongoing soup / salad deal for 5.95. (lunch) 8.75 (dinner). It is unreal how many bowls of soup people can eat. It really is disgusting sometimes.

I don't hate the pasta bowl. I don't like it either. But, it does bring in customers. And the more guests, the more $.

It would be nice if people knew what servers went through. I don't get minimum wage where I am. I get 2.85 per hour. I wish I got mimimum wage. Whatever that is.

I also must agree that even the lunch portions at the OG are pretty decent. I can't even finish a lunch portion of most of our entree's.

2:15 PM  
Blogger callingcreed said...

Here's an idea...dont like your job as a server?...QUit! Try taking what little whinning you have left and go get a real job. The job as a server is nothing amongst your everyday probles. YOu should start by asking yourself...WHy didnt I get a better education. Then you can complain....and yes it is possible to get a better education...there are funds out there to find another excuse as to why your life sucks.

4:20 PM  
Blogger snoboy said...

As a former manager, server, bartender, etc., I'd like to point out that you may want to check your math. table of 4. $7.95 per person (assuming they only drink water). Before tax, check is $31.80. You may want to brush up on your math skills. Also, where you make your $$ will be on your attitude and level of service. Possible add-ons of wine, desserts, etc. will help as well. But if you go in with a crappy attitude, your guests will know it, and tehy're not gonna tip for beans. but you go in with an upbeat attitude, DECIDE to have an awesome shift, your tips will be affected. Sure these kind of promotions attract the bargain searchers with the cavernous stomachs. But most these days understand that you live on your tips...not the paycheck. Get a positive attitude and deal with it. Or go get some cheese to go with the whine.

6:54 AM  
Blogger snoboy said...

Also... As a Christian (or at least church-goer) do you think it's appropriate to post how negrative you react to a VERY low impact annoyance? In Christ, we are overcomers. We are conquorers. We're to be LIGHTS in the world. Not a shadow!!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Megatron23 said...

As an OG CT server, I savor the moment when the NEPB is over. I celebrate, do a little dance, and get to tell my guests "I'm sorry it ended two months ago."

Only some people get rude when I tell them this. One guy pouted and said "Then I'm not going to eat. I'll just wait!" I replied "Well you're going to get really hungry." ....His friends thought that was funny and ate in front of him.

While I like working for the OG, I'm glad it is not permanent. I'm going to be a teacher.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

I just quit the Olive Garden a few weeks ago, and I only worked there like 3 months. I know what you mean about the UPB, it sucks, but it's not as bad as soup and salad.

The worst thing is when you get a seven top and five people at the table wants water and they're like "Oh we'll just make it easy on you, we just want soup and salad." Are you serious? And then you overweight cows want five refills of each, sharing it with the other two people so they that can eat for free.

I just read some posts and some stupid people think that you're attitude and how nice you are will make your tip. Being kind and thinking ahead and doing a great job hardly opens someones wallet at all.

At least I learned how to tip during those three months. But... never again.

1:38 PM  
Blogger spenichu said...

Wow, talk about posting on an old blog, but i was searching to try to figure out when this promo was over this year and found your post.

Let me tell you, I hear you. I have never served before, because I couldn't take the guests, I know it.

The other night we were at the never ending bowl experience and on top of it had a coupon for a free kids meal. So what would have normally been a $70 dinner was about $30. So, since we got such a great deal, I tipped 35%.

6:22 PM  
Blogger spenichu said...

Oh, whoops, I was logged in still on my son's blog. I am really

6:23 PM  
Blogger Just4fun said...

I completely agree with snoboy and callingcreed. First, your tip depends on how you are to your customers. Agreed, some still won't tip you good but most do, after a good 2 hr service. And personally I hate servers talking about how bad the other group tipped them. Second, if you still think you are not making good money to pay your bills, get some education and get a high pay job. Then, when you go out, may be you could tip as much as you want. Never expect someone to tip you more than 15% and if they do, just be happy about it.

1:28 PM  
Blogger marcia said...

i do feel for the server and bad tippers. my husband and i always tip really well because we dont know which place gives minimum wage or not so we tip well. My comment here has nothing to do with servers as far as their disgust with those who eat too much. OL is counting on getting as many ppl in there as possible with this deal and you will get some gluttons, BUT not all of them will be. Then, you have to understand that there are ppl who don't get to eat this kind of food a lot and so they pig out. Which is actually none of your the gentleman said before, if u decide to have a good shift and be a good waiter,then you will get good tips. Of course, you will get those who don't tip well, but each time is a perfect opportunity to get the most out of ur customer. Also, you have to know that servers also help some people have a better day when they smile at their customers.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


my tip is totaly dependent on the quality of service.

you can tell there are some people who, were made to do this. they enjoy it! You can just see it in thier faces.

I think you are not one of these. I think you may be one of those people who never make a move untill the figure out "what's in it for me"

5:04 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

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7:42 AM  
Blogger Adidas Coupons said...

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9:34 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Flatbush said...

Remember folks, OG is an arm of Darden Restaurants, which cut its busser and bartender wages down to five buck an hour. Who would support these thieves?

Second, if you serve at an Olive Garden, all you have to do is ring a refill bowl on one of your open tables and then eat it out of view of the clueless managers. You ring the bowl after the customer has paid, but before you close out the check. I worked for these Nazis last year and many a day I would not one penny for food because I ate as much pasta as I wanted.

Third, education has nothing to do with serving tables, unless you are one of those morons who buy into the education system's propaganda. Many servers put themselves through the education system by working at dumps like the OG.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Chris Pinto said...

Picadillo, get an education!

12:42 PM  

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