16 Facts You May Not Know About Olive Garden

5 min read
Olive Garden Restaurant

You may adore Olive Garden with its endless supply of tasty salad and mouth-watering breadsticks. Conversely, you may turn up your nose and shun the restaurant in favor of more authentic Italian fare. Either way, the Olive Garden does a brisk business with 866 restaurants in North America alone. Here’s a peek at 16 facts you may not know about this popular Italian-style restaurant.

Olive Garden Was Born in Orlando

With a Tuscany theme, you may be surprised to learn that Orlando, Florida is the birthplace of the Olive Garden. In 1982, General Mills opened the first Olive Garden restaurant in this locale. Today, Olive Garden is a part of the Darden family of restaurants created by General Mills.

Olive Garden Feeds the Hungry

Feeding Hungry

In addition to satisfying the orders of hungry patrons, the Olive Garden gives back to the community and helps fill the bellies of those in need. The Olive Garden has donated more than 38 million pounds of food to community food banks through its Olive Garden Harvest Program.

Olive Garden Supports Worthy Causes

The Olive Garden not only supports local communities through feeding the hungry, but it also contributes to worthwhile causes. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society reports that for over 20 years, the Olive Garden has supported classroom fundraising efforts to raise money to cure blood cancers. Olive Garden’s Pasta for Pennies Program partners with schools to award classrooms with pasta parties for fundraising achievements.

There are Breadstick Rules


Sure, Olive Garden provides a seemingly endless supply of breadsticks. However, there are guidelines in place. Your server will typically provide your table with one breadstick per person, plus an extra. Your second breadbasket will generally not appear until after you have placed your order. At that time, you will probably receive one breadstick per person. Don’t be afraid to ask for more breadsticks later in the meal. They are perfect for sopping up tasty sauces.