Olive Garden Application: Tips for Getting Hired

Olive Garden is a chain of casual-dining restaurants headquartered in the United States. You have probably eaten at one or at least heard the name. It is quite famous for a pleasant dining experience with good food. In fact, you may love the restaurant so much that you want to work there. Olive garden careers are available for individuals who embody the company’s dedication to family, high-quality services, and excellent food.

But before you submit your Olive Garden application, you should try to learn more about the company’s history and vision. Being an informed applicant can help you make a better impression on a hiring manager and give you a leg up on the competition.

About Olive Garden

Many times, interviewers like to question the interviewees on what they know about the company. Thus, it is a good interview skill to read up about your prospective employer and to get to know them better. Even if the interviewer does not question an applicant about the company, it helps to know something about your employer. It can help you evaluate whether it is the kind of establishment that you wish to associate with.

You can always research the company on its website, which highlights the company history. However, we also want to provide you with background information, so keep reading.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. was established in 1968 in Florida and operates a series of successful restaurants. The restaurant chain is highly diversified and operates steakhouses as well as casual dining restaurants. The company decided to launch the Olive Garden chain of restaurants in 1982, and since then they have opened more than 700 Olive Garden restaurants across the globe. The restaurant is responsible for a significant portion of the parent company’s earnings. As a matter of fact, the chain of restaurants is so successful that it accounts for 45% of Darden’s sales.

The first ever Olive Garden branch was opened in Orlando in 1982, and by 1989, the restaurant had already become extremely popular. There were more than 100 branches across the United States. Today, there are approximately 800 locations open around the world and thousands of employees who provide services for them. One of the most popular Olive Garden branches is located in Times Square in New York City.

Though the restaurant has been around for a few decades, they only became a sensation in 2012, when Marilyn Hagerty wrote a column about them. Despite becoming an internet sensation, the chain of restaurants has not revised its prices and still serves the same great food at reasonable prices.

The restaurant offers casual dining experience serving Italian and American cuisine. Its menu includes pasta, chicken, seafood, and salad, and they have branded themselves in a way that their salads remain one of the hot favorites among consumers. The target market is the health-conscious consumer, and Olive Garden is well known for its salads. In fact, their slogan is, “Good times, great salad, Olive Garden.”

The restaurant also provides top-notch customer service. It’s rather popular among restaurant goers, and consumers love to visit the restaurant not only because of its healthy and delicious food but also due to its top-notch customer service. Over the years, the restaurant has established a loyal clientele, and they were only able to do that by surpassing the levels of customer service expected by the customers. A fun fact is that managers often read online reviews to improve service.

In 2011, Olive Garden made a bold move. It decided to implement a mandatory tip-out program that would allow them to cut the hourly wage of employees to $2.13 per hour. By the end of the year, it became one of the first restaurant chains in the United States to convert most of its staff to part-time; a move designed to limit the cost of health care benefits, which were mandated for full-time employees.

It was rumored that there is an institute that trains employees located in Tuscany. However, that is not true, and the company does not have any established institute or university for employees. There is some truth to the rumor. The company does send managers to Tuscany for training, but they do not attend an institute of any kind.

To continue its history of top-notch service, Olive Garden is always on the lookout for talented and motivated individuals to join the team. Individuals from all walks of life are encouraged to submit an Olive Garden application.

Job Details and Highlights

Olive Garden offers employment opportunities at all of its locations around the world. You need to complete an Olive Garden application for employment consideration. First, though, you need to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications and that you are okay with the working environment and demands.

To work at this restaurant, you need to be above the age of 16 and either be a legal citizen of the country in which you are applying or possess a valid work visa. You will have to show proof of both age and that you are legal to work in the country. Do note some positions may have higher age requirements as the restaurant does have a bar area and serves drinks at the tables.

You also need to note possible working hours. Most Olive Garden restaurants are open Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. You will likely have a flexible work schedule. As mentioned, most positions are part-time, so you will not usually work very long shifts. However, extended work hours may be introduced during the holiday season.

Career options

Your Olive Garden application can be for entry-level positions, such as a team member, or you can apply for more advanced positions and management opportunities.  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and easy to obtain Olive Garden careers.

Host or hostess

Hosts have to interact with clients that are friendly and not so friendly, catering to the needs of every customer with speed and politeness. Basic job duties include seating new patrons, booking reservations, answering phones, and helping customers choose between dishes. To be considered for this position, you must demonstrate that you can handle fast-paced, customer-centric environments while maintaining a positive attitude.

In general, host employees receive part-time positions. The minimum hiring age for this Olive Garden career is 16 years.


The restaurant chain hires individuals for this position who can prepare and cook meals while maintaining cleanliness in the workspace. Other job responsibilities include preparing ingredients, answering customer questions, and complying to safety and health codes. Most often, employment in this position is usually limited to seasoned candidates. However, inexperienced cooks may still find starter careers in the kitchen. You will be asked to train for several weeks, depending on your culinary experience, but the recipes are not hard to grasp.

To be considered for a position as cook, you must be prepared to work irregular hours and be willing to learn new things. You will work as part of a team, so you should be open to collaboration with other people. Some cooks may advance to managerial positions and benefit from increased wages and other benefits.


The philosophy of the company is to provide customers with the best experience that a restaurant could possibly offer. Employment as a server can be very challenging but also rewarding. Servers have to take drink and food orders, handle payments, and interact with customers. They must also keep the dining area clean and wear a smile at all times. A courteous and polite attitude is a must. Most servers are hired as part-time employees.


If you’d rather not engage with customers, there are several available for you. One example is a dishwasher position. The dishwasher must clean glasses, pans, silverware, cooking utensils, and other items. Speed and ability to work as part of a team are vital. Other responsibilities may include taking out the trash, tidying up the restaurant, helping with delivery unloading, stocking kitchen supplies, and sanitizing the workspace.


Apart from entry-level roles, there is also a need for talented and motivated individuals to fill up managerial positions. Managers lead and motivate their staff members. Most of the managers at Olive Garden initially started as entry-level staff and climbed up the corporate ladder. Usually, each manager is in charge of a full restaurant, but a co-manager may also be hired, that is if the restaurant is extremely busy and cannot be managed by one person.

Managers enjoy attractive pay packages and are paid industry competitive rates. Their pay package also includes perks, such as paid leaves and health and life insurance. Most of the managers are full-time.


The company culture at Olive Garden encourages the management to take care of its employees, and employees are encouraged to voice their concerns. As a result, there is always an open channel of communication. This also ensures that there is minimum unrest and that workers enjoy a wholesome and satisfying career.

Olive Garden also offers a number of career development opportunities to its staff members and may send them for company-sponsored courses. Talented candidates may also be promoted to managerial-level positions, and all staff members are encouraged to strive for promotion and to grow together with the company.

Olive Garden reimburses its staff members with attractive pay packages. The pay packages include competitive pay rates and benefits, such as health insurance and retirement benefits. Paid leaves may also be available, but most of the benefits are available for full-time employees only. Part-time staff is encouraged to take on full-time positions to be eligible for the benefits. However, part-time staff may enjoy benefits such as employee discounts.

Olive Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against anyone based on his or her race or nationality. Although, applicants must make sure that they have a valid work visa. Diversity is encouraged, and people from all walks of life are encouraged to submit the Olive Garden

Benefits available:

  • Gift Discounts& coupons
  • Retirement plans
  • Health insurance
  • Paid vacation
  • Education opportunities

Filling Out an Olive Garden Application

The Olive Garden job application form is accessible via its website in the career section. Here you can view many available job openings.

While there is not a limit to the number of positions that you can submit applications for, a general rule of thumb is to apply for only two to three positions at one time. Furthermore, you should try to tailor your resumes for the different positions and not submit the same resume for every job application.

Once on the Careers page, you will have to decide what type of jobs you wish to apply for between hourly positions and management careers. You will then get a list of job openings that you can refine by type and location. Once you click on the job that interests you, you get a full job description, and there is a button to click to begin the application, which also includes an assessment. You should reserve approximately 45 minutes for the assessment and application.

To begin the Olive Garden application process, you must create an account. You will then fill out the application, providing the standard information about your contact details, work history, and education. Then, you will take the assessment. Do note that for the best performance, you should use a browser recommended by the company, which include Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

During the Olive garden application process, make sure that you scroll through the entire page to see all the questions. A resume is mandatory and must be submitted together with the job application. A well-crafted and professional-looking resume can increase your chances of being called for an interview and eventually being hired. By submitting your Olive Garden application online, you are consenting to a background check and drug test, which will be conducted before employment.

For management and administrative positions, the application process is the same. The main difference between managerial and regular positions is the amount of screening involved. Hiring personnel will pay more attention to manager hopefuls. Naturally, you must also demonstrate that you have the necessary background and experience to fill this position.

Olive Garden Application Status

After you have submitted your application, you may check on the status of your submission by logging in and clicking on the “job submission status” in your dashboard. If you want to add information to your application, you may click on the link below, called “Assessments.”

If you are qualified for a position, you will receive a phone call from a hiring manager. In general, it takes around two weeks to receive a response from the team. If you applied for a management position, you might have to wait about three months before you hear back.

You can visit a store in person if you have not heard back. This may also provide you with immediate interview consideration. Whatever you do, you should not annoy the hiring staff. There’s nothing more annoying than having a job applicant nag you all day.

If you are hired, you will be given access to the website and network dedicated to workers. To create an account on the site, you must provide your Restaurant, POS Clock-in ID, and the last four digits of your SSN. On this employee site, you can send messages to fellow workers and access information relevant to your schedule. It was designed to make the organization and communication easier for employees.

Interview Tips & Hiring Process Information

After you submit your application, you should start preparing for your interview. Sometimes, job seekers are advised to call their local store to set up their interview.

Before receiving employment consideration, you must meet with the hiring manager several times. In general, you will have two to three interviews. Interviews with Olive Garden are usually lengthy. It takes around an hour to get through all the questions. Management position interviews can take two to three hours. During your interview, you may go on a tour of the restaurant. Your interview process may also include ethics tests and personality assessments. You can also expect to answer questions about your work ethic and knowledge of the company.

Some interviews may be over the phone or online via a webcam. Remember that you will have to take a drug test and complete a background check before starting, so your employment is not confirmed until you pass these checks.

Frequently asked interview questions

During the interview, the hiring manager wants to see what type of person you are, what your values are, and if you are a good fit for the company. It is always a good idea to prepare for your interview by practicing your answers to common questions. Here’s a look at some of the questions you may be asked in your interview:

  1. How would you describe the strongest and weakest assets that you will bring to the company?
  2. What did you hate doing in your previous workplace?
  3. How would you balance the needs of employees with the goals of Olive Garden locations?
  4. Tell me about your favorite restaurants. Why do you like them?
  5. How do you deal with difficult customers?
  6. Are you available for work on holidays, weekends or late nights?
  7. Describe yourself in a few words.
  8. Tell us about a time when you exceeded your manager’s expectations.
  9. What would you do if you caught one of your co-workers stealing from the company?
  10. Did you ever have a conflict with a manager? Why?
  11. Why did you leave your previous work-place?
  12. Why should we hire you?

Final Thoughts on the Olive Garden Application

If you are looking for a rewarding career in the restaurant industry, then submit an Olive Garden application for employment. You can expect to join a company that is very sensitive to its employees’ needs and concerns. Olive Garden offers a nurturing corporate culture and invites all motivated and talented individuals to join their team today.  An employment opportunity with this company could lead to a great career in the restaurant industry.

We hope that these job tips, benefits, and interview advice will help you secure a position within the company. Considering that there are so many employment opportunities available, you should find something that works for you with the company.

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