Welcome to Olive Garden-
We recently went to Olive Garden for a family meal. To be completely honest, I am more of a burger and fries kind of guy but it was Tammy’s birthday so we headed to Olive Garden. As the usual on a Saturday, we got there and it was busy. There was a line to wait plus a local homecoming dance so there were a large amount of teenaged kids dressed up for the day. ‘It’ll be a 45-50 minute wait’ said the hostess… met with a sigh from me.
It was a beautiful fall day so I walked outside and sat on the bench figuring the kids would follow. But they didn’t… Jack (15), Tyler (13) and Jadan (18) (Abby’s boyfriend) stopped at the doors. Picture this, two sets of double doors to get in to Olive Garden. An 18 year-old boy and 15 year-old boy posted up like doorstops at the set of interior doors and a 13 year old boy opening and closing the exterior door as people came.
This went on for 45 minutes while we waited for a table to open up. The two older boys welcoming people as they came or went and the youngest hustling to make sure nobody had to open the outside door themselves. As Jack is one to do, he came up with some good quips as people walked it….’Welcome to Olive Garden, we put the olive in garden’ was my personal favorite.
People of all backgrounds came and went. Senior citizens to toddlers. Kids dressed to the nines for a dance and people in sweatpants and a t-shirt. They held the door for all of them and I heard almost every single person say thank you and were appreciative of the gesture. Olive Garden is a busy place and there probably wasn’t more than a minute without someone walking in or out and certainly times where Tyler was scrambling about every 10 seconds. When there were larger groups, I joined Tyler to help with the extra exterior door.
45 minutes later Tammy got the text that our table was ready and we walked to our table. As we were working our way through the restaurant, I heard a teenaged girl at one of the homecoming dance tables say, ‘Hey, they don’t even work here.’ We sat down and talked about the experience. ‘It was fun’ – ‘Maybe we could get a job here’ – ‘It sure made the time go by fast’. I said they got paid in thank you’s and mentioned how great it feels to do something for someone else, even a small thing.
There are things in life that aren’t always fun…like waiting for a table at Olive Garden. There are also ways you can make it better through a good attitude and a little bit of effort. Look for ways to make it better, it’s a lot more fun!