Olive Garden Jobs & Careers – Application, How to Apply, Requirements & Interview Tips
Last Updated: February 13, 2018
Olive Garden careers may have more to offer than you would think. With over 800 restaurants across the US and Canada, the Olive Garden family continue to work towards evolving the brand to keep up with customer favorites.
As Olive Garden firmly believe that people are happiest when with family, whether that’s the family you were born into, or the group of friends who have become your family. Promoting togetherness in everything they do and striving to run family-friendly restaurants are at the heart of Olive Garden operations. This family-friendly attitude extends to offering flexible working hours and on-going training to employees, to help make sure they feel valued.
Olive Garden currently have openings for a range of team member and manager jobs, each of which involves a challenging, yet rewarding working life.
If you’re keen to work with Olive Garden, some of the available jobs you may be interested in currently include Server, To-Go Specialist, Line Cook, Host and Restaurant Manager.
Olive Garden Jobs & Careers
Olive Garden recruitment is mostly done online, with a telephone follow-up from the hiring manager.
To apply to Olive Garden, visit the jobs section of the company website, search for a suitable vacancy, and complete the online application. This initial stage will take around 30 – 45 minutes. A manager will then contact you to arrange an interview.
Olive Garden are recruiting for Line Cooks, Servers, Service Assistant/Bussers, Prep Cooks and To-Go Specialists across their network of restaurants right now.
Olive Garden’s authentic Italian food tastes just as good from home, as their thriving to-go business shows.
As a To-Go Specialist, you’ll be responsible for delivering exceptional guest service, genuine hospitality, and good product knowledge. Regular tasks will include taking to-go orders over the telephone and in-person, assembling prepared food and checking for accuracy.
To be a great To-Go Specialist, you’ll need a friendly manner, strong customer service skills and confidence when communicating.
In a busy, guest-centric environment like Olive Garden, a Host can make a real impression on guests, making the difference between them returning or not.
Setting the stage for a fantastic dining experience, your role at Host will involve friendly conversation as you seat guests, introducing guests to their server, managing the waiting list efficiently during busy periods, and sincerely thanking guests as they leave.
An outgoing, friendly manner is essential for this role, and previous experience in a similar job may be beneficial.
A Service Assistant/Busser is key to Olive Garden achieving their purpose of delivering Hospitalization and 100% guest delight.
The main duties of a Service Assistant/Busser include keeping the dining room and serving area clean, well-stocked and visually appealing, assisting servers and clearing and cleaning tables, ready for the next guests to visit.
To be an excellent Service Assistant/Busser, you’ll need to thrive in a busy, pressured environment and be able to work a full shift on your feet.
The kitchen staff at Olive Garden are just as important as the service staff, as they work hard behind the scenes to create delicious dishes for all guests.
As Line Cook, your job will involve following recipe and presentation guidelines, coordinating food orders for timely delivery, and meeting all food safety and sanitation guidelines.
Previous experience may be useful but is not essential. Willingness to work hard, deliver high-quality food and exceed customer expectations are required.
Olive Garden Manager Jobs
100% guest delight can only be achieved when a strong team works together, and Olive Garden managers are tasked with making sure this happens every day.
As well as the service and kitchen vacancies currently open for applications, Olive Garden are seeking Restaurant Managers for several locations.
An Olive Garden Restaurant Manager reports to their General Manager, and is accountable for being results-driven, taking initiative and recognizing the value in focusing on people. The Olive Garden family benefits hugely from managers with excellent leadership skills, passion for customer service and a desire to be the best. Previous experience is required.
Details of all Olive Garden manager careers can be found on this page.
How Much Does Olive Garden Pay (Hourly & Salary)?
Olive Garden offer a reasonable hourly rate, plus tips where appropriate. There are also great opportunities for training and career advancement.
Hourly rates at Olive Garden start at around $4.66 for a server, rising to around $64,897 for a general manager. To allow you to compare with similar jobs, a server at Red Lobster will be paid an average of $4.27 per hour, while the same role at Darden offers around $4.49.
Some of the most popular jobs at Olive Garden are paid at the following average rates:
- Server: $2 – $11/hour
- Line Cook: $9 – $16/hour
- Busser: $2 – $11/hour
- Restaurant Manager: $36,000 – $64,000
- To-Go Specialist: $8 – $13/hour
- Host: $8 – $11/hour
- Service Manager: $40,000 – $60,000
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Olive Garden?
To work at Olive Garden, you must be at least 16, with higher age requirements for certain roles.
16-year-olds can apply for the following jobs at Olive Garden:
Does Olive Garden Drug Test?
Olive Garden do not normally drug test.
Possible Olive Garden Interview Questions & Tips
Have you gotten through the first part of the application process and to interview at Olive Garden? Congratulations! To help increase your chances of success, make sure you prepare for some of the most common interview questions, and dress appropriately on the day of your interview.
Why do you think you’re the best candidate for this job?
Now’s your chance to stand out from the other applicants and really shine. Remember, you’re here to win yourself the job, so don’t be too modest.
Detail how you’re outgoing, friendly and able to communicate well with co-workers, managers and guests. If you have previous experience, give an example of how you demonstrated this skill. If not, maybe there was a school project, team sport or another scenario you could call on.
This is the perfect time to mention any relevant awards or certificates you may have.
What would you do if you messed up an order?
Nobody’s perfect and, if you’re applying to be a Server at Olive Garden, chances are you’ll make a few mistakes as you get to grips with your new job, and one or two more over the course of your career.
The interviewing manager knows this, and has probably experienced it for themselves, so don’t lie and say you’ll never make a mistake.
Instead, outline how you’d remain calm, communicate with the guest, and arrange for a replacement order to be prepared as quickly as possible, without compromising on quality.
How long do you plan to work here for?
If you’re applying for a part-time role, the interviewing manager at Olive Garden will have a good idea that you’ve probably got other commitments.
If you’re at school, chances are you’re not intending to work at Olive Garden after graduation, for example. It’s fine to be honest about things like this, but don’t give a vague answer that’ll make the manager think you may quit so soon that it’s not worthwhile training you.
Equally, the hiring managers know that not everything who applies intends to have a career in the restaurant industry, so don’t feel pressured to say you’re looking to start a career-long journey.
How to dress for your Olive Garden interview
Olive Garden don’t expect service and kitchen employees to dress too formally for interview. As long as you’re clean and neat, and wearing proper shoes, you should be fine. There’s no harm in dressing more formally if it makes you feel more confident, however.
If you’re applying for a management-level role, you should opt for business attire.