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“Great Staff, Standard Olive Garden Fare”
Review of Olive Garden

Olive Garden
Ranked #73 of 324 Restaurants in Champaign
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great Staff, Standard Olive Garden Fare”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Have visited this Olive Garden twice ...each visit 1 complete year apart.
Both trips I was wowed by the "can do" attentive and friendly attitude of our servers. Don't know where and how they find/train them ... but this Olive Garden's management team is doing a great job.
Food was (good) Olive Garden ... was able to order lunch size portions for dinner. Traveled with 5 boys .. aged between 9 and 14years old ... each cleaned their plate, and enjoyed their meal.
Will return again if I'm back in Champaign.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Amanda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Perfect lunch to a great day”
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

We had a late lunch there after my brother in law got married. The service was great, the food was all correct and at our table in no time at all. They even set up the newly weds with a small personal cake. The music was really good too.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Drifter123go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
230 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Generic”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

I'm not quite sure why Olive Garden has such a following. We've always had to wait for seating here no matter when we've come in, and to me, their food is just ehh - generic. It's just a typical chain restaurant - not bad really, but nothing too special either. On a recent visit, the waiter seemed entirely confused by our request to split a Caesar Salad - I know that most tables always stick by the house salad, but we prefer the other and that shouldn't be too confusing. Still, there are at least a couple of really good, long-standing wait staff in this restaurant, and we do enjoy the breadsticks with a side of alfredo.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Luckyone2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“The hostess needs to buy a personality.”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I understand that Champaign-Urbana is completely a college area and therefore pretty much any restaurant in the area will be running a staff of college students, but it's been awhile since I've encountered such a cliquish aura resonating from a place of proposed professionalism. I should mention I'm only 23 years old.

I was in town for an interview and stayed at a hotel to get a good night's sleep. My mom and I figured the Olive Garden would be great for some good Italian dining and a drink. When we walked in, the waiting area was completely empty save for the hostess. There was no greeting of any kind; she just kind of stared, stone faced, playing with her hair until I broke the awkwardness and said "two". She said it'd be a 5 to 10 minute wait--- for why, I have no clue; maybe it was busier than it looked, but there sure were a lot of empty tables. Anyhow, 2 more groups came in during the time we were waiting, and they almost sent the two patrons who walked in after us to the dining area first, but a waiter passing by happened to notice that we had been waiting before the other couple walked in, so the hostess shrugged and said "Ok, you party of two I mean." It was an odd way is all; there was no apology to the other party.

We were seated and the waiter, a nice young guy, came out right away. He seemed nervous as all get out, so he probably hadn't been there for long, but he was super hospitable. Our drinks took forever to come out, but he apologized and explained that ours had been made, then carried away waiter to another table so they had to be remixed. It was fine, we didn't have anywhere to be. We ordered and got our food relatively quickly. Everything was delicious, but the portions were definitely smaller than I'm used to getting from an Olive Garden. I ordered the ravioli, which I've had plenty of times, and it wasn't even enough to fill me up. Even the salad bowl brought out to us was only half filled. It's certainly nothing against that waiter, but something must have been going on at the restaurant that night because everyone seemed to be in a frenzy there.

If it weren't for the entertainment of the blunder, I would probably give the rating as POOR instead of the AVERAGE I provided. At one point, a busser walked by us with a try literally filled with glasses, and in an attempt to get everything on one trip, he stacked some plates on top of the glasses. In his hurry, one of the plates flew off the tray right beside our table and busted all over the place. They handled it well and my mom and I were in good spirits so no big. While they were cleaning though, I had my chair pushed back, feet in the air so the carpet cleaner could get by my feet and I was just drinking my chianti. Happened to make eye contact with one of the kitchen lackies looking on from the kitchen entrance and had him fall out laughing which almost made me spit out my chianti.

All in all, decent dinner, but they have some serious work to do with employee professionalism. I wouldn't go back.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank H M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Improvement in Service Needed”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Hostess forgot about us.
Waiter was slow on refills and breadsticks.
Apricot chicken was delicious, the peach raspberry tea was excellent, but the gnocchi soup was over salted.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank CalvinCyanghen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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