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|Hayley Matthews • 1/10/17|
The Short Version: Whether shared on an ancient hearth or over a modern dining table, meals have always played an important role in how people forge relationships and create lasting bonds with one another. Olive Garden’s philosophy that “family supports us and grounds us in what truly matters” goes beyond mere words. The restaurant makes connecting over food more meaningful, accessible, and affordable with menu promotions, stress-free catering options, and food and entertainment packages. What’s more, through social media engagement and the Never-Ending Family Table program, Olive Garden helps bring the joy of togetherness to the masses.
Olive Garden is closely associated with some of my best memories — from birthdays to Mother’s Days to prom night. After all, what’s a better way to celebrate life than a heaping plate of fettuccine Alfredo and a decadent piece of cheesecake? The food is certainly part of it, but there’s something about the combination of good food with a glass of wine, warm lighting, and the company of people we love that makes such moments truly unforgettable.
A National Geographic article outlined how closely food is tied to the human experience, highlighting evidence of ancient hearths where families prepared communal meals and preserved loaves of bread from Vesuvius with score marks for easy sharing. Countless civilizations have considered food an important part of sacred rituals, reinforcing the universal connection of comfort and love with sharing a meal. Our fast-paced culture may have changed the way we have meals, but the ritual itself is as old as time.
Food has — and always will be — a key part of special occasions with those we love, and, as our modern dating practices attest, sharing a meal can often trigger the initial spark that leads to something more fulfilling. Even couples who have followed the first blush of love to the reality of married life and parenting find Olive Garden remains a special place. Olive Garden is where they can relax and enjoy the memories of where they’ve been and the joys of where they are and where they’re going.
Dinner and a movie is a classic combination for daters, while families often need a way to celebrate on a budget. Olive Garden meets these needs by offering regular promotions — branching out beyond the dine-in experience through gift card partnerships with movie clubs and family fun passes, and bringing great Italian food to wherever you are with group catering services.
Whether you’re trying to kindle a spark with someone new or you’re craving a night out with your spouse, Olive Garden and Fandango have united to make it a little easier and more wallet-friendly. Their Dinner and a Movie gift card is good for $25 toward movie tickets purchased through Fandango and $25 toward a dining experience at any Olive Garden restaurant. You can purchase one for yourself, but they also make great gifts for singles and couples during the holiday season.
All year long, Olive Garden has rotating promotions to anticipate, like their popular “2 for $25 Tuscan Dinner for Two,” “Never-Ending Pasta Bowl,” “Lunch Duo” entrées, and “Buy One, Take One.” If you join the eClub, they’ll keep you up to date on these promotions and send you coupons and exclusive deals. Since there’s almost always a promotion to take advantage of, Olive Garden makes it easier for people to enjoy a night out a little more frequently without blowing their budget.
Food may be the focal point of family gatherings, but being near those you love is what makes the meal so special. Expanding on their belief that “family supports us and grounds us in what truly matters,” Olive Garden is actively bringing families together — and feeding them — with their Never-Ending Family Table program.
One touching story comes from Sandy and Russell, who had three major milestones to celebrate in one year: her 70th birthday, their 50th wedding anniversary, and five years of Russell being free of cancer. Sandy shared their story with Olive Garden, and over the summer, friends and family gathered to celebrate this special “Gold Year” with a feast of Italian food.
Some of the most touching tales from the Never-Ending Family Table involve a surprise. For freshman college students Eric and Aaron, educational opportunities took them hundreds of miles away from home, while their families faced health and financial difficulties. Thanks to Olive Garden, these young men received the surprise of their lives when their families showed up on move-in day at the dorms to give them much-needed hugs of support and to take part in a celebratory meal.
Olive Garden’s catering services allow you to plan a lunch or dinner with family and friends for any special occasion. Their customizable options include individual trays that can serve up to six people, meal combinations that feed 10 to 14, and deluxe pasta stations that can be ordered in multiples of 10 for the largest crowds. With easy online ordering and optional delivery, feeding a large crowd without the fuss of preparation or cleanup is stress-free, allowing you more time to enjoy with guests.
Olive Garden unites people over great food, but their social media accounts show they also like to play Cupid.
Dominique Haikel from E! Online says it started off as a bit of a joke, but when she wrote an article about the perks of a Twitter relationship with Olive Garden and mentioned they had even given her dating advice, the idea caught on. In her follow-up piece, Dominique reported that if you tweet @olivegarden with #AskAlfredo, you can get dating advice, too.
How good is this advice? Well, as a popular date-night destination, you can be sure Olive Garden sees a lot of dating do’s and don’ts. After all, the way someone eats pasta can tell you a lot about them. As Olive Garden told Dominique, if he leaves you the last breadstick, he’s a keeper!
Food isn’t just about sustenance. Throughout history, sharing a meal has always been a vital part of staying connected with others.
In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, with food that gets faster right along with it, opportunities to connect over a meal are increasingly few and far between. Olive Garden offers a setting where you can slow down, create fond memories, and break bread(sticks) with those you care about.
The restaurant’s regular promotions, dinner-and-a-movie deals, and family fun passes make it convenient and affordable to dine out with your loved ones. What’s more, Olive Garden is going beyond their restaurant walls to strengthen bonds — whether around their table or yours.