Careers & Employment at Olive Garden

I love eating at Olive Garden. It always feels like you’re dining in a fancy restaurant, and often times I find myself dreading the bill, but when it comes I am pleasantly surprised. It’s a perfect balance between fine dining atmosphere and food, while keeping the prices reasonable. Also let’s just mention the fact that the breadsticks and salad are unlimited!

Who wouldn’t want to work here? All the bonuses of a fine dining atmosphere, combined with great prices that keep customers coming back. I’ve been to breadstick heaven and back to bring you the best tips to maximize your online Oliver Garden application, so you can ace it, and start working in this slice of Italy.

Side note though, I had a phenomenal experience recently at an Olive Garden. Our waiter was hilarious, and he was always attentive. I also enjoyed the fact that he and I shared a few bouts of banter back and forth, which was fun. That’s the kind of personality that I enjoy, and the one that earns a very generous tip. Keep this in mind if you begin your career as a server.

A Company Overview

Olive Garden is an American casual dining restaurant chain that serves Italian-American cuisine. The company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc., but as of 2012 it was responsible for more than 45% of the parent company’s revenue. I think it’s a little more than a subsidiary at this point, just saying. There are over 800 locations around the world currently.

Olive Garden is still a baby when it comes to companies, but man did it grow fast. The first location opened in December of 1982. Since then, it has spread to where it is today, and dominates the market for affordable and enjoyable Italian cuisine. Since we’re all very interested in the Olive Garden online application, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions and answer them for you before you dive into the process.

Olive Garden Application Online & FAQ

When applying to Olive Garden online, start at the careers page of their website. Something to consider when you’re preparing to apply online is what web browser you’re using. The following options are all compatible with the website:

  • Internet Explorer 6.0+ (But who really uses this?)
  • Firefox 3.0+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Chrome 12+

If you don’t have any of these, or a computer for that matter, remember that you can access one at local libraries, or your school. You can also use the website on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet so keep all your options open.

Do I Need to Create an Account?

Yes indeed, you also need to be at least sixteen to apply. Creating an account will allow your information and your online employment form to be secure. You don’t want anyone stealing your thunder, now do you? If you forget your password, you can request a new one through the website. Your email, however, cannot be retrieved so you will need to remember which one you used.

If you need to request a new password, the email sent to you may go into a spam folder, so look for an email from

How do I Find Positions For a Specific Location?

When I agreed to do a FAQ, I didn’t expect all these questions. Kidding of course, but you can utilize several search options to narrow your field and target specific job types and locations. It all starts with choosing the job type. These include options for all of them: bar staff, culinary, kitchen staff, or dining room staff.

Next, you’ll need to select a distance from your state or zip code. If you’re using the former, be sure to select a distance of twenty five miles or more.

Wait, I Forgot Something, What Should I Do?

Relax, I’ve got you covered. Let’s go over a few final questions that people have asked, and give quick answers to give you peace of mind. When you’re applying, the only thing you should be worried about is making the most of what’s on the page.

1. I Didn’t Finish the Assessment, am I Locked Out? Can I Come Back and Complete it?

That’s two questions, but I’ll let it slide. Don’t worry, you can use your login information revisit the account page. On the main dashboard, select “Assessments” and you will be returned to where you left off. All good!

2. You Told Me I was Going to Get an Email, WHERE IS MY EMAIL?

Wow, bring it down a notch. Geez, check your spam folder first. If you’re positive you didn’t receive anything, log back into your account with the information you create. Once on the homepage dashboard, select “Communications” to see any and all information that was sent to you. Think of it like a backup email.

3. I May or May not have Changed my Name, Address, and Phone Number after I Applied. It’s a Long Story, but Can I Change All That?

Wow, that would be an interesting tale to hear. Well, you’re in luck, because you can modify information if needed. Log back in and select the “Edit your profile” option from the dashboard and you’ll be able to make any tweaks or changes needed. Nice and easy, oh and good luck with the witness protection program. Oh come on, don’t give me that face, it was so obvious!

Direct Competitors

Because this restaurant is part of a parent company, there are multiple other types of restaurants that are part of the same company, technically. They’re competitors, but in a good kind of way. To that point, you can also use the Darden website to apply for a job with Red Lobster. Moving outside the network, apply to TGI Fridays as well. Finally, take a trip down under and check out Outback Steakhouse.

Benefits and Salary Information

Olive Garden has an open-door policy where they ask and frequently encourage their team members to openly communicate their opinions. To foster this, they also give out employee surveys annually to gather information and opinions from the people who work for them. Through this, the company can learn more about what employees need in terms of pay and other aspects of the daily operations.

Working for Olive Garden, you will have weekly paychecks and 25% discounts when you come in with friends and family. During work hours, employees also enjoy 50% off during normal work hours. Upon hire, every employee is also eligible for health insurance and disability coverage. With tenure, you can also earn 401(k) retirement plans, employee stock options, pet insurance, and critical illness insurance.

When it comes to salary, Olive Garden is very impressive. As a bartender or server, there are always tips to take advantage of, especially if your service is top notch. For example, hosts will make between $9.00 and $12.00 an hour, with potential for tips. As a busser, you can make around $8.00 an hour and receive tips when assisting servers.

As a server, you can make anywhere between $8.00 and $21.00 per hour with tips added in. Oh yeah, now that’s where the money is! Working as a bartender can also net you a salary like this with tips included. Don’t forget though, you can always become a cook and make up to $14.00 an hour as a line chef.

With great food, and sweet sweet tips, you can make some great money working here. Head on over to the careers page and start your Olive Garden application today!