When you hear "Olive Garden," there's a good chance that the first thing that comes to mind is "unlimited breadsticks." The casual Italian-inspired restaurant chain is perhaps best known for its perpetual offer of unlimited breadsticks and salad, making it dangerously easy to fill up before your entreés even arrive. But free-flowing breadsticks must mean that a lot of bread baskets make it to tables, but aren't finished — and you may have heard people speculating that untouched breadsticks return to the kitchen, only to be re-served to the next guests.
The image of someone else's family breathing (and who knows what else) on your seemingly fresh breadsticks for the last hour isn't a very appetizing one. Fortunately, you can rest assured that this isn't the case. As was later reported by Redbook, an Olive Garden employee affirmed during a Reddit AMA, in no uncertain terms, that uneaten breadsticks are thrown out, not served to another table.
Leftover Breadsticks End Up In The Trash
At Olive Garden, breadsticks are serious business. After a resounding "heck no," the Olive Garden employee assured Redditors that uneaten breadsticks are always thrown out — or, sometimes, eaten by staff. In any case, they are not -- and never would be -- served in a new basket to a different table. According to the employee, anyone caught committing that kind of gaffe would be immediately terminated.
In the thread, another Olive Garden employee jumped in to confirm and added some further detail that should put diners at ease. Apparently, the restaurants tend to be so flush with breadsticks — "towers of them," the employee said — that there's just no need to recycle food.
In fact, they said, a considerable number of breadsticks get tossed out just for minor imperfections, since employees have no shortage to choose from. It just doesn't make sense, then, that leftover breadsticks would be served anew. There are more than enough fresh ones to go around.
Freshness Is King At Olive Garden
For a massive casual dining chain, Olive Garden actually maintains some pretty high standards when it comes to freshness and quality. For one thing, you should know that alongside your breadsticks, the signature Olive Garden salad is made fresh, in-house. That's great news, because it means that your veggies will be crisp and your breadsticks warm and fluffy, no matter how many free refills you get.
And while many comparable restaurant chains rely heavily on the use of packaged food that's prepared somewhere offsite, shipped frozen to each location, and microwaved to order, Olive Garden isn't among them. All soups and sauces are made fresh onsite each day. In fact, the only dishes that do arrive at restaurants pre-made are Olive Garden's desserts, which are defrosted upon order. So, know that your tiramisu wasn't made on the premises — but you can be confident that pretty much everything else on the menu will be. And if there's one thing you definitely won't catch the kitchen doing, it's sending out other tables' leftovers.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.