Founded in 1982, Olive Garden creates dining experience in effort to make customers feel at home. The franchise puts the same effort toward hiring and caring for staff members, as each of the 800 Italian cuisine restaurants spread across the U.S. and Canada operates in accordance with family-oriented creeds.
Facts About Working at Olive Garden
Minimum Age to Work at Olive Garden: 16 years old (How old do you have to be to work at Olive Garden?)
Olive Garden Hours of Operation: Sun-Thurs: 11:00am-10:00pm; Fri-Sat: 11:00am-11:00pm
Available Positions at Olive Garden: Host, Hostess, Bartender, Preparation Cook, Production Cook, Backup Cook, Server Assistant, Busser, Dishwasher, Server, Sales Person, Link Cook, Grill Cook, Alley Coordinator, Utility Worker, Dish Machine Operator, Service Manager, Culinary Manager, Sales Manager, Restaurant Assistant Manager, Restaurant Manager, Manager In Training
Interview Tips: Go to the Olive Garden job interview questions & tips page.
Printable Application: Yes. Download and Print Olive Garden application. (PDF)
Olive Garden Employee Interview Videos
Olive Garden Job Opportunities
Olive Garden parent company Darden Inc. maintains commitment to supplying employees with extensive training, flexible schedules, competitive benefits, and welcoming working environments. Recognition programs also take place within the company in order to thank and reward individual and team performances.
The restaurant chain offers opportunities to workers possessing little experience to extensive backgrounds in restaurant service. Full-time and part-time entry-level opportunities exist for job hopefuls seeking positions as team members, kitchen staffers or managers. Olive Garden also aids college students and veterans with landing jobs. On the company website, both may access separate links redirecting to job postings and applications.
Olive Garden Positions and Salary Information
Olive Garden regularly hires workers under the age of 18 for host or back-of-house positions. Typically, applicants must stand at least 16 years old in order to gain employment consideration. Applicants able to prove previous restaurant service or leadership qualifications may land managerial careers, or in some cases corporate-level jobs. Advancement within the company may also occur for hardworking employees after time spent in lower-level positions. Opportunities regularly available to job seekers sits listed below:
Job Description and Duties
Popular Darden Restaurants Inc. chain Olive Garden maintains large workforces of hosts to provide customer service at locations around the world. Basic job duties for Olive Garden host associates include seating patrons, taking reservations, and answering phones. The average host employee works part-time. Hours often require flexible schedules and the ability to work late shifts and weekends. Olive Garden sets the minimum hiring age at 16 for employment consideration. New-hire employees must also demonstrate the ability to work in fast-paced, customer-centric job settings and maintain professional attitudes. Diligent, friendly, and outgoing individuals typically fair well during Olive Garden job interviews. Additional hiring requirements may vary by location.
Salary and Compensation
Hosts working at restaurants like Olive Garden regularly begin earning minimum wage starting pay. Motivated workers may receive increases in hourly pay with outstanding service and work performance. Time spent with the company also factors into hourly pay rates and raises. Many Olive Garden locations provide entry-level workers and career professionals access to generous discounts on food and drink.
The entry-level position of busser serves to ensure the cleanliness of dining rooms, lobbies, and service areas at all times. Other responsibilities bussers must fulfill during each shift include assisting servers with delivering foods and beverages to tables, resetting tables, and restocking service areas. Bussers often receive between $2.00 and $8.00 an hour in addition to tips.
Workers assuming server jobs provide guests with exceptional dining experience by developing rapports with visitors and attending to each table with genuine hospitality. Servers also guide guests through the menu by demonstrating a knowledge of dining options and ingredients, take orders in accurate manners, deliver orders to each table, and demonstrate attentiveness enough to make guests want to return. Each server earns pay between $8.00 and $21.00 with gratuities added in. Take a look at the Olive Garden server job description to get a better idea of what the position entails.
A part-time and full-time position, cooks prepare dishes and food items in accordance to company recipes. Preparation cooks assist line cooks with responsibilities such as following recipes or exceeding guest expectations, stocking food lines with items needed to complete orders on time, and ensuring food safety and sanitation standards. Line cooks perform the same duties but with more responsibility for preparing the majority of each meal, coordinating food orders to support timely delivery, and meeting patron special requests while accomplishing high quality standards. Most prep cooks earn between $9.00 and $12.00 an hour, while line cook employees may earn $9.00 at start and up to $14.00 per hour. Refer to the Olive Garden cook job description for more information.
The main aim of bartender positions includes providing guests with exceptional services in the bar areas of each location. Responsibilities include mixing, garnishing, and serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, helping guests navigate menus and make selections, keeping the bar area stocked and clean during each shift, and adhering to company standards specific to serving alcoholic beverages. Bartenders often make state minimum wage and up to $20.00 an hour depending on gratuity.
Job Description and Duties
Managerial opportunities available at Olive Garden restaurants involve hiring and training new workers, establishing shifts and setting schedules, ensuring customer satisfaction, and enforcing health and safety protocols and procedures. Olive Garden managers also oversee shipping and receiving of inventory, carry out clerical and administrative tasks, such as budgeting and sales analysis, and communicate directly with company corporate offices. Employment hopefuls may find part-time and full-time jobs as service managers, kitchen managers, assistant managers, and restaurant managers. The minimum hiring age for employment consideration begins at 18-years old. Applicants must also hold high school diplomas and possess some previous and related work experience as additional hiring requirements, in most cases.
Salary and Compensation
Most Olive Garden managers receive annual salary options historically ranging between $35,000 and more than $100,000. Specific salary details vary by location, experience, and job title. Some positions, such as kitchen manager jobs and other subordinate supervisory roles pay between $10.00 and $13.00 per hour. As a major, national restaurant chain, Olive Garden offers employees opportunities for personal and professional growth through career development programs and manager-in-training plans. Employment benefits also stand readily available for Olive Garden managers. Upon hire, associates enjoy meal discounts. Additional work benefits become available for workers in managerial positions with experience gained, such as 401(k) retirement plans, paid time off, and healthcare options. Job benefits available and eligibility requirements often vary restaurant to restaurant. Restaurants like Olive Garden notoriously carry high turnover rates of employment and regularly need motivated and dedicated associates with the proper work experiences to fill manager positions worldwide.
Tips For Applying
Applicants must commit at least 45 minutes to the online application process, which begins on the company website by clicking the Careers tab at the bottom of the page. A login and password proves necessary to use the online job application form. Users should note the company cannot provide forgotten user names for security purposes, so the information must be recorded in another location to avoid losing login credentials. During the online application process, job hopefuls should be sure to scroll the entire length of each page to ensure all questions receive an answer. The company suggests the use of a web browser supported by the application. Options include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Workers who prefer to apply in person may retrieve applications at the desired location of hire. Current employees seeking advancement within the company do not need to fill out an application and should instead contact a restaurant manager.
After the completion of online application forms, job hopefuls may check on the status of the submission by logging in and clicking the Job Submission Status link on the home dashboard. If the application still needs completed, applicants may click on the link below, titled Assessments, in order to fill in missing information. Hiring managers then send emails to qualified applicants in order to request interviews. If skepticism exists as to whether interview request emails may have been lost or delivered to a wrong email address, job hopefuls may click on the Communications tab in order to view any efforts the company made to reach out. Whether the applicant chose to apply online or not, a call or stop in visit at the location of desired hire may prove acceptable in order to inquire about the status of an application.
Benefits of Working at Olive Garden
Darden enforces an open-door policy in order to encourage staff members to voice opinions. In addition, the company administers employee engagement surveys every year to gather an understanding of worker satisfaction. From the surveys, Olive Garden learns about employee economic needs in terms of pay and other beneficial areas of operations. Associates enjoy weekly pay, 25 percent discounts and up to 50 percent off during work hours. Every employee also becomes eligible for health insurance and disability coverage upon hire. Salaried and hourly workers alike often receive anniversary or vacation pay benefits, as well. Some employees become eligible for job benefits plans including 401(k) retirement plans, employee stock purchase plans, pet insurance, and critical illness and accidental death insurance.
More Information on Olive Garden
Darden offers restaurant management internship opportunities to college students pursuing hospitality degrees. In order to complete the internship, students must work 40 hours a week for 10 weeks during the summer program. Housing and transportation remain the responsibility of each individual intern. The position pays $12.00 an hour. To qualify, students must maintain senior standing currently enrolled in a hospitality management program with the desire to work as a restaurant manager. Recent college graduates may also apply for full-time positions starting as managers in training.