Food & Nutrition

16 Secrets Olive Garden Doesn’t Want You to Know

Here’s everything you’ve wanted to know about your favorite breadstick-serving restaurant.

The chain was founded in Orlando, Florida

Olive Garden, lively, family-friendly chain featuring Italian standards such as pastas & salads, with a full bar.marekuliasz/Shutterstock

Although Italian food and culture inspired Olive Garden, the actual restaurant was founded in Orlando, Florida in 1982. General Mills, the company that owns brands such as Pillsbury and Betty Crocker, launched the chain. Later, the company also started Darden Restaurants, Inc. which owns LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House, among others restaurants. These are </span>the secrets your restaurant server isn’t telling you.

The Tuscan cooking school isn’t what it seems

Close-up of human hands cooking in a kitchen. Friends having fun while preparing fresh salad. Vegetarian, healthy meal and friendship conceptAndrei_R/Shutterstock

Yes, Olive Garden does send a select few chefs to Tuscany. But they don’t attend an actual school as some sites report. </span>According to, the experience is more relaxed than a real cooking school.

They almost limited their breadsticks

Fresh sesame bread rolls in a box at the city marketLerner Vadim/Shutterstock

In 2014, one Olive Garden investor presented how much money the chain loses on unlimited breadsticks. Thus, they proposed limiting the cult-favorite. </span>

There is, however, a rule of thumb for how many breadsticks come in your basket

several baguettes wheat bread in wicker basketguppyss/Shutterstock

Olive Garden does have a policy on breadsticks. Typically, a server is supposed to bring one stick per person plus one extra for the first basket. After that, the rule of thumb is one breadstick per person. Here are </span>the sneaky menu tricks that influence your order.

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Food – Reader's Digest