Why is the Olive Garden so successful?

Discussion in 'Food & Wine' started by SpidermanTuba, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. SpidermanTuba
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    SpidermanTuba BANNED

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    Seriously? Their food blows. I could take a list of all the other Italian restaurants in town and throw a dart at it 20 times and come up with better places to eat every time.

    Why do Americans prefer bland crappy food? Really?


    And I'm not speaking out of ignorance. I ate there once. It was horrible.

    How do crappy chain restaurants like that stay in business while the mom & pop down the street has food twice as good at the same cost and half the wait time?

    Is it because Americans are ignorant? Is it because we're dumb? Or is it because we have no taste?
     
  2. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    The food at most chain restaurants sucks.

    But people go anyway. It's one of those mysteries like stone henge or Machu Pichu
     
  3. Sarah G
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    Sarah G When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left Supporting Member

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    Their food isn't crappy, some of it is really good. Plus they have above average marketing. They sell good food, bonding with friends and family, atmosphere.. They deliver on these promises too.

    A lot of people really like going there. The ones around here are always busy.

    That said, it isn't my cup of tea but I can always find something I like there.
     
  4. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    We don't have one around here, but where I used to live I went for lunch on a regular basis. It was close and convenient, the salad was always fresh, the garlic breadsticks warm and the coffee perfect. Why not?
     
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  5. Dis
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    Mom & Pop just can't make that alfredo sauce that goes with their breadsticks. One can make an entire meal out of that. :eusa_drool::eusa_drool:
     
  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    I agree it is bad today, when it started it was much better but most food is prepackaged and only heated in many of the chains. Even Domino's pizza sucks today. But it is quick and cheap if you want only soup or salad, and most Americans are used to lousy food anyway. Our live differ from Europeans or others who sit together and eat, we rush through eating to watch the latest reality nonsense on TV.

    "Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." Lin Yutang
     
  7. Dis
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    If people actually stayed home and cooked... I can count the times per year I eat out on one hand...fast food included. Last time I was at Olive Garden was the week before Christmas 2 years ago.
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree. We started going to OG on New Year's Eve when 2 of my now young adults were still in high chairs. They loved the breadsticks then, still love them now. They also like the salad and soup. It's probably one of the best places to try or get a recommendation for new wines. Prices are reasonable and we've never had a bad server.

    We have great regional Italian restaurants within 30 minutes or less drive. Yes, we go to them once in awhile, but when we want to 'do family time' out of home, Olive Garden is one of the top choices.
     
  9. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    Some areas do have Mom & Pop places that blow Olive Garden out of the water - including on that alfredo sauce. Yum! There's a tiny little hole in the wall here with some of the best Italian I've had outside South Philly. Then I've lived in some places where they consider pizza an "ethnic" food and can't even manage to get that right. It's all relative. To be fair to the OP, I don't think most of the chains "suck" but if I lived in a culinary capital like New Orleans I probably wouldn't bother with them either.
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well Chicago may not be as sophisticated as New Orleans, culinary wise, but there's great Italian cooking in this area. I'd say that is why many chains don't make it around here, but thrive elsewhere. Olive Garden is an exception. As I said, service is part, price another, family atmosphere probably a part. Many of the family places with great food, tend to have help that is a tad too intrusive or prices that make it a very 'once in awhile' experience.
     
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