A recent TikTok video by Ruth (@yuh1005) had been viewed 1.4 million times as of Friday, sparking debate over Olive Garden’s all-you-can-eat pasta policy.
The video is a montage of shots from her time at a restaurant with friends, saying, “I could have unlimited pasta at Olive Garden, but I got yelled at twice by the server and the manager for sharing.” There are text cards stacked on top of each other. This revelation turned the comments section into a battleground of strangely aggressive opinions, with users split into two camps: those defending Olive Garden’s policies and those criticizing her.
Team Olive Garden stood firm, with one supporter saying: I have only been to Olive Garden twice and he knew he couldn’t share the endless options with his partner. ” Another comment, presumably by a restaurant employee, read, “If people at work keep sharing their food with me, I just charge them both. And if they say something… Pull up the camera.”
Olive Garden’s website clearly states the rules: NeverEnding Pasta Bowl (NEPB) meals are for one person and cannot be shared.
A friend of mine
However, some users find this policy too strict. One commenter said, “…why do you care that I paid for the meal? It’s like, let me do whatever I want.” Another person claiming to be an Olive Garden server shared, “I don’t get paid enough on OG to actually tell people not to share, but that’s certainly the rule.”
The crux of the matter is understanding and respecting the restaurant’s policies, which are clearly stated on the website and menu. While some may think of these rules as trivial, they are in place for a reason, and they often relate to your business model and pricing strategy.
The takeaway from Ruth’s video and the ensuing discussion is simple and clear. If you decide to share unlimited meals, tread carefully. However, if you are caught, it is best to accept the consequences and pay the Pied Piper.
Some people have recorded successful attempts with Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowl. One woman managed to pack the Italian-style casual dining chain’s starchy, saucy goodness into a Ziploc bag and a few Tupperware containers.
And some people managed to make extra pasta out of their never-ending pasta bowls, like this social media user who was able to get 11 extra bowls of pasta thanks to a tip-off.
The meal deal has been a hot topic of discussion on TikTok, with users debating the economics of ordering the meal in the first place. One woman broke down how many servings she would have to eat to make it financially worthwhile.
Naturally, choosing the home version will inevitably be cheaper, but when several people try to share the same bottomless buffet food, the value changes significantly. So it’s understandable why Olive Garden management would have a problem with multiple people sharing these bowls. If left unchecked, there’s a good chance your restaurant will be in the red, or at the very least, your profits will be significantly reduced.
The Daily Dot reached out to Olive Garden via email and Ruth via comment on TikTok.
*First published: November 17, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering relationship trends and social media topics and how real people are reacting to them. He strives to create not-so-average viral posts by always incorporating evidence-based research, current events, and facts relevant to these stories.