The Olive Garden, which has approximately 880 locations, is one of America’s most popular casual dining restaurants.. In every state, there is at least one Olive Garden restaurant. (In fact, you can find at minimum two in every state, except for Hawaii and Vermont). Texas has more than 100 locations.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding. Diners can sit down and enjoy generous portions of pasta, salad and, of course the famous breadsticks. The chain is not without its critics, as can be seen by even the shortest glance at comments on any major social media platform. One example: Recent TweetThis is what Lil Kimchi, a user, said: “Almost everything at Olive Garden gets microwaved.” Another one, from Sandy Joe Karpetz read: “It pains me that my very Last Meal in a restaurant before the pandemic was at an Olive Garden.”

The place is loved by many people. The chain was able to generate $3.59 billion in 2021, despite occasional closures from COVID-19. However sales were still lower than the $4.01 billion in 2020 (and $4.29 billion in 2019), according to Statista.

It doesn’t matter whether you love it or hate it, there are still some things the restaurant would rather that you didn’t know.

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Olive Garden/Facebook

Last year, Olive Garden quietly ended one of its most popular offers and biggest customer draws—the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl, which netted a diner as much pasta as he or she could eat for just $10.99. The company’s CEO confirmed that the promotion deal will no longer be offered.

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olive garden tuscanyOlive Garden/Facebook

Olive Garden loves to boast that it has a Tuscany cooking school. But it doesn’t–not a real cooking school comparable to, say, the Culinary Institute of America or Le Cordon Bleu. According to EaterThe company rents a Tuscan hotel and restaurant during the off-season. A few managers then go to Italy to try some Italian food, and have some interaction with the local chefs.

olive garden chicken gnocchi soupOlive Garden/Facebook

The Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is a favorite, but it’s not something you should eat if you care about your health. It contains 1,290 mgs of sodium, well above the daily recommended limit. It’s also very high in saturated fat.

olive garden breadsticks

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Yes, the breadsticks at Olive Garden are endless, but you will need to be patient if your goal is to eat them all. According to Reader’s DigestA waiter must bring only one breadstick per customer per basket.

olive garden italian doughnutsOlive Garden/Facebook

A former employee of Olive Garden spoke out about the company in an interview. Reddit “Ask Me Anything”ForumOlive Garden desserts are never made fresh. All desserts can be frozen and reheated as needed. “cooking”Simply microwave them.

longhorn steakhouseLongHorn Steakhouse/Facebook

You can get special freebies when you sign up for Olive Garden Rewards program. These points can also be used to redeem discounts on your meals. You don’t need to order at Olive Garden to enjoy these meals. According to Reader’s DigestThey can be used at any Darden Restaurants chain, which includes Yard House, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Bahama Breeze to name a few.

olive garden pastaOlive Garden/Facebook

Most cooks think that pasta prepared in salted boiling hot water is the best way. But according to Business InsiderOlive Garden employees are forbidden from salting the water. It causes wear and tear on the pots and breaks them down too quickly. This can have a negative impact on the bottom line.

olive garden pasta with sauce and cheeseOlive Garden/Facebook

An Olive Garden employee from the past opened up about the chain’s kitchen practices in an interview. Quora Q&A forumIt was revealed that the pasta is never fresh. The chefs boil large amounts of pasta until they reach an al dente consistency every morning and then place them in ice water baths. Customers can order a dish by placing enough to cook it back in boiling water.

olive-garden-asiago tortelloni alfredo with grilled chicken

You might be eating canned chicken if you order a dish that only uses pieces of chicken. It is safe, but not very appealing and not what you would expect from a restaurant.

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