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Aren't Olive Garden and Red Lobster all the same?

Posted Thu June 17, 2010 12:00 pm, by Elias Y. written to Olive Garden

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I went into your Olive Garden on monday june 14th i believe. was out to dinner with the 5 o us, its was a celebration of sorts..

I had some gift cards from darden, but they said red lobster on them...I just used some of them at longhorn the other day, and had a great experience.

they took the gift cards, even though they don't say longhorn.. they said its all part of the darden family

when i got the bill at olive garden, i gave the server the gift certs and she handed them back and said her manager refused to accept these.

I was humiliated in front of my group, i thought it was a no brainer..
i wasnt trying to pay with mcdonalds gift cards, i mean these were sent to me from darden with serial numbers on them, and they said red lobster.

i asked to speak to the GM of this olive garden, it was a woman and a man.. they both listened, and the male manager was making me feel bad for taking the cards, he ripped them up in front of me, and said " i am going to do this as a courtesy" they he came to my table and embarrassed me some more, and badgered me like a child about how i should have never brought those gift cards in.

It was the closing managers on monday, june 14th about 9pm ish>??

fort myers, olive garden

please invite me to visit olive garden again, so we wont have our ending experience ruined by embarrassment.

and speak to that male manager with the glasses, and was short and jewish; i didnt get his name... he needs to handle simple issues more gracefully. isnt that why hes a GM?

i didnt even get irrate, because it didnt warrant that. and he still was rude to me.

The bill was about $85 before the $25 in gift cards i had that he did eventually honor is some way.

ID # 4511995303393

That was on the receipt

GM is

Check # 21639


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by Jared C. Posted Fri June 18, 2010 @ 2:14 PM

Just wanted to add that Olive Garden really sucks.

Never understood why anyone eats there.

And, FYI, it's not Italian food at Olive Garden - it's Italian

Why bother eating there when there are so many great Italian
restaurants to eat at?


o.o by SiotehCat Fri June 18, 2010 @ 10:22 PM

This letter by Donno Sat June 19, 2010 @ 12:15 AM

You're right but by franese Sat June 19, 2010 @ 10:00 AM
by franese Posted Fri June 18, 2010 @ 12:44 PM

Since you mentioned the manager was Jewish (no clue how you would know
that) I think there might be more to this story. For the record, I
was sort of with you until that comment

by Richard S. Posted Fri June 18, 2010 @ 11:36 AM

If the card said Red Lobster, did you ask your server if you could use
it at Olive Garden before the meal?This would have saved a lot of
embarassment later on. Just because you used it the week before at a
Longhorn doesnt mean this particular Olive Garden would have accepted

I do agree the manager handled the situation poorly even though the
card was accepted.


by batmoody Posted Thu June 17, 2010 @ 10:20 PM

Management may have the right to refuse paper ones.

From the sounds of it, he doesn't like those certificates.

While I respect the decision of management to participate or not, he
should not have treated you that way, coming back to your table to rub
it in.

However, you almost had me until you described him as Jewish. While he
was badgering and embarassing you, he really happened to mention that
he was Jewish.

Did he really tell you that?


by Giselle Posted Thu June 17, 2010 @ 2:26 PM

Just curious, but how did you know the mgr was jewish?


that's a good point by PepperElf Fri June 18, 2010 @ 6:43 AM

Plus, she claims she didn't get his name. by Just Simply Bella Sera Fri June 18, 2010 @ 8:36 AM

If he wears a star of david that makes him jewish?? Really?? by RowdyRetailer Fri June 18, 2010 @ 11:33 AM

You know people who wear the Star of David religious necklaces who aren't Jewish? by PepperElf Fri June 18, 2010 @ 5:34 PM

Yes, but... by SueMe Fri June 18, 2010 @ 3:44 PM

sorry i forgot to specify that i meant the religious necklaces. by PepperElf Fri June 18, 2010 @ 5:38 PM
by KGBags Posted Thu June 17, 2010 @ 12:00 PM

Back in the day when I worked at OG, the only gift cards we SOLD were
plastic cards that said "Olive Garden" in some way. BUT, even these
gift cards were good at any Darden chain, so you could use them at Red
Lobster, etc. In addition to these cards, we would get numerous
pieces of paper that were discount coupons or "dollars off" that folks
obtained via school fundraisers, cooperate events, etc. I cannot
count the number of times I had to call over a manager because each
one looked different, said different things, etc. MANY of those
certificates said "at participating locations only". Did yours say
that? I assume yours was paper since the manager "ripped them up".
We ended up taking them most of the time to please customers, but
people sure did get defensive when it took a minute or two to process
their paper certificate. And yes, most of these were good at any

As for the GM tearing them up in front of you, that was certainly in
bad taste- my mangers NEVER would have done that! I actually cannot
believe that the GM was there when you asked for him or her and am
wondering if you just got a different manager.

I'm sorry for the way the management treated you and hope you receive
an apology.


by The Original Nethead Posted Thu June 17, 2010 @ 11:20 AM

On the one hand, you had a gift card so I suppose using it is a good
idea. On the other hand, you get better food and better service in a
locally owned restaurant. Sometimes there are exceptions, the odds
are better.

I've eaten in Olive Garden a few times, but only when someone else
picked the place. There never seemed to be a point in going back.


Re: Olive Garden Red Lobster?? All the same? by NathanG Thu June 17, 2010 @ 7:48 AM

by Donno Posted Thu June 17, 2010 @ 1:39 PM

The gift cards are interchangeable. This was paper, either a coupon
or gift certificate.

Yes, it sounds like the manager could have handled this much better.


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