Breadsticks, The Tour of Italy, and Knife Fights: Secrets of Olive Garden Revealed

Whether it’s the unlimited salad and bread sticks that draw you in, or you just have a strong craving for a delicious pasta meal that won’t break the bank, Olive Garden is the place to be!

But what really happens behind the scenes of this popular American restaurant.

Thanks to Joe Wadlington, a writer who recently went on a date with someone who was very close to the Olive Garden family, we are now getting the answers we may have always wanted to know.

Get ready, because here we go!

2 A.M.? Could you imagine eating Olive Garden at 2 o’clock in the morning! Crazy.

But wait, there’s more.

With a menu that you don’t see country-wide and city pricing in effect, the orders piled into the kitchen.

Apparently the most popular dish at the restaurant was the Tour of Italy. It was a plate of lasagna, a chicken Parmesan and one fettuccine Alfredo. Because choosing just one meal would be way too difficult for these hungry New York City visitors.

Okay, so running out of breadsticks in a crazy 3-floored restaurant would be a stressful night, but it wasn’t the strangest thing to happen to this employee.

Wow. Crazy! But running out of breadsticks was still worse.

So there you have it, running out of bread sticks at an 3-storey Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square New York City is worse than breaking up a knife fight.

This Customer Refused To Tip Their Waitress, But They Gave Her This With A Note Instead

Instead of tipping their waitress, this customer left a pile of cash and a note. But what she decides to do about it could be illegal.

Anyone who has worked in the service industry as a tipped wage server or a minimum wage worker, knows that both struggle to make ends meet.  

But if this waitress follows her customer’s advice, she might be breaking the law.

In the United States, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour. If they don’t make what they’d earn under the federal minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference at the end of the week.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), refusal to claim tips for tax purposes is illegal. Doing so could put you at risk of being audited.

Although the IRS “Tips on Tips” guide does specify that “income received from the form of tips is taxable,” there is nothing clear about what to do if the money is given as a ‘gift.’

Gifts of money are taxable, but only if they exceed $13,000.

What do you think she should do?

[h/t ATTN:]

This Customer Refused To Tip Their Waitress, But They Gave Her This With A Note Instead

Instead of tipping their waitress, this customer left a pile of cash and a note. But what she decides to do about it could be illegal.

Anyone who has worked in the service industry as a tipped wage server or a minimum wage worker, knows that both struggle to make ends meet.  

But if this waitress follows her customer’s advice, she might be breaking the law.

In the United States, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour. If they don’t make what they’d earn under the federal minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference at the end of the week.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), refusal to claim tips for tax purposes is illegal. Doing so could put you at risk of being audited.

Although the IRS “Tips on Tips” guide does specify that “income received from the form of tips is taxable,” there is nothing clear about what to do if the money is given as a ‘gift.’

Gifts of money are taxable, but only if they exceed $13,000.

What do you think she should do?

[h/t ATTN:]

IKEA is Looking to Open Stand-Alone Restaurants, And We Can’t Believe It’s Taken This Long

One of the best parts about going to IKEA is taking a snack break in the restaurant. Filling up on plates of inexpensive Swedish meatballs and topping it off with a delicious ice cream cone, makes the entire adventure of going to the home goods store memorable.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to get your lingonberry fix without having to put up with the hoards of people following the arrows through the massive store?

Well this unexpected revenue generator for the huge furniture store, may be coming to a city center near you.

Fast Company

“We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller,’” says Gerd Diewald, who runs Ikea’s food operations in the U.S. “Because it’s hard to do business with hungry customers. When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store. That was the thinking right at the beginning.”

Over the past several years, IKEA’s food division, which also includes the Swedish Food Market that is loaded full non-perishable food items and make-at-home versions of the restaurant menu item, have proven to be more than just a tool to sell more furniture.

IKEA has turned food into one of its fastest-growing segments that they are considering expanding into stand-alone cafes in city centers.

“This might sound odd, but it’s almost something we didn’t notice,” says Michael La Cour, Ikea Food’s managing director.

When the company racked up $36.5 billion in revenue last year, it’s easy to see how some sandwiches and chocolate bars get lost in the receipts.

“But when I started putting the numbers into context of other food companies, suddenly I could see, well, it really is not that small.”

IKEA Food had annual sales of about $1.8 billion in 2016.

Also, somewhat surprisingly, 30{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of IKEA Food’s customers are coming to the stores just to eat- which has gotten management thinking.

“The mere fact that we don’t need so many square feet to do a café or a restaurant makes it interesting by itself,” says La Cour. “I firmly believe there is potential. I hope in a few years our customers will be saying, ‘Ikea is a great place to eat—and, by the way, they also sell some furniture.’”

What do you think? Would you go to an IKEA Cafe?

Starbucks Recipes Revealed; Make Your Favorites at Home

Is your iced latte hitting your bank account hard? Popping your favorite brew in K-cup or powdered form is just not the same as visiting the coffee shop and ordering that tall, no whip, skinny cup of deliciousness.

Well now you can REALLY make all your favorite Starbucks drinks at home, because we have gotten our hands on THE recipes.

Continue to the next page for the recipes.

From the classic Frappuccino, to Chai Tea and Peppermint Mocha (yes, you no longer have to wait until Christmas to enjoy this one!), you will be mixing, blending and creating your perfect caffeine intact that you usually get at the coffee shop.

There is even a recipe for their Cappuccino-Chocolate Coffee Cake on page 27! Which recipe will you try first?

Chipotle Just Made A Huge Change To Their Menu

ATTENTION ALL CHIPOTLE LOVERS!

Boy, do we have some news for you!

After years of complaining Chipotle doesn’t have dessert, that’s about to change.

The Mexican restaurant has announced they will be introducing Buñuelos–fried flour tortilla strips covered with honey, cinnamon and sugar–to their menu in the not-so-distant future.

“We haven’t had a dessert before mostly because we didn’t have one in the beginning and we very rarely change our menu,” a Chipotle spokesperson said.

Buñuelos Nosh On It

“Think squares of flour tortilla, fried, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and sprayed with honey,” Chipotle says. “They’ll be served in a bag much like our chip bags, and have an apple, caramel butter dipping sauce. They’re packaged in a way that you could eat them at a table (like chips) or on your way out after lunch.”

UM, YES PLEASE! SIGN ME UP!

Only certain location will be getting the buñuelos at the start, but if they’re popular enough they’ll be moved to all locations nationwide!

Are you excited for the new Chipotle dessert??

The Big Names In Food Are Giving Away Stuff For Free – Did You Want Some?

People often say “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” but that’s simply not true. In fact there’s a lot more that’s free out there than just a lunch, and we’re going to show you how to get it.

We’ve already told you about the day that Dairy Queen made everyone in the country happy by giving away free ice cream, but they aren’t the only big name giving away free food. This year you’ll be able to get more free ice cream, free donuts and free slurpees too. You just have to know when to hit up your favorite stores.

TCBY
TCBY

TCBY traditionally gives away free yogurt on Mother’s Day, which is coming up May 14th, and the next month you can go back for more on Father’s Day (June 18).

National Donut Day is June 2 – and I bet you can guess what that means. Free donuts for everyone! Krispy Kreme is a big lover of National Donut Day, but you should also see deals from Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts and others.

Donut
Pastry

July is the month that bakes us all, but don’t worry, there’s a great way to cool off. Traditionally 7-Eleven gives out free slurpees on July 11th, (because the date is 7/11 get it?) and this year should be no different. Also in July is National Cow Appreciation Day, which is good news for cows and bad news for chickens. Chick-fil-A will be celebrating with free meals.

There’s a lot more deals to be had in the later months, turn the page to find out what they are.

It’ll be sad to say goodbye to summer, but there are a few deals in store that will make the passing a little easier. For instance as August winds down Ben & Jerry’s will be giving away free ice cream to those who find their special trucks.

September brings another day of free donuts, if yarrrrr up for it. Talk Like A Pirate Day has turned into a national craze for Krispy Kreme fans and this year will be no different.

Talk Like A Pirate
Clare Island Info

November 11 will see free meals to former and current veterans at many restaurants like T.G.I.Friday’s Applebee’s, Golden Corral, Denny’s and many more.

Can we fast-forward to December? Dec 4th is National Cookie Day and I don’t have to tell you what that means.

There you have it, your list of free eats for 2017!

There’s Something About Wendy’s Chili That They Aren’t Telling You

Every fast-food restaurant has the meal that they’re known for. McDonald’s has the Big Mac, Burger King has the Whopper. Wendy’s doesn’t necessarily have 1 most popular meal, but they have a half dozen delicious choices that make customers come back again and again. One of those is their chili.

If you’re a fan of the chili you might want to put this article down.

Wendy's
TripAdvisor

Wendy’s has had some bad press in the past thanks to a hoax that involved a finger being found in a container of Wendy’s chili. It turned out that a customer had actually planted his own severed finger in his chili in the hopes of getting a big payout from the company.

The real truth about Wendy’s chili is better, but still might raise some eyebrows.

Wendy’s uses their leftover burgers as their chili meat. That’s something a lot of us might do at home, but isn’t a common practice for a restaurant.

Wendy’s insists that they do everything according to health safety procedure, and when you hear how they do it, it certainly seems safe. Cutting down on the crazy amount of food waste is also a good thing, so here’s how your Wendy’s Chili is actually made.

Chili
Full Act

Wendy’s cooks burger patties on the grill and leaves them there waiting for a customer to order a burger. When the burger is ordered they place the patty on a bun and go from there. Burgers can only spend a few minutes on the grill before they are “discarded”.

A discarded burger is put into a refrigerated container and later is used for the next day’s chili. Each burger is boiled down and minced before being cooked again in the chili sauce. The result is certainly overcooked, but ultimately safe to eat.

Wendy’s chili is delicious, so it’s hard to find a flaw in the recipe, other than the fact eating days old leftovers sounds unappetizing.

Burgers
DailyMail

Grace Communications Foundations, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about environmental problems, says that up to 40{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of our entire food supply is thrown out when unused. That’s millions of tons of food, so maybe finding more uses for leftovers is a good thing.

You’ll Be Sick When You Find Out What’s Really In Fast Food Soda Machines

You’ve probably seen the signs in public washrooms that state that employees must wash their hands before returning to the kitchen.

All we can do is hope that employees actually follow the instructions when it comes to how they handle our fast food. But did you know that there is one other place that fecal matter can spread?

If you’re drinking pop from a soda fountain, you might want to put that cup down.

A 2010 study of soda fountain machines in one area of Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria, which can indicate fecal contamination.

That’s poop, people.

Not convinced? See the test results on Page 2

The Truth Is Pretty Gross

The researchers also detected antibiotic-resistant microbes and E.coli in some soda samples. According to a CNN report, researchers collected 90 beverages (sugar soda, diet soda and water) from 30 fast food restaurants in a 22-mile radius near Roanoke, South Virginia.

They discovered that 48 percent of beverages from soda fountains contained coliform bacteria. E. coli was found in 11 percent of those drinks and 17 percent had Chryseobacterium meningospecticum (a bacteria that can sicken newborns and adults with weak immune systems).

Although it might be hasty to assume that all soda fountains contain these bacteria, the chances seem pretty good that, if tested, many more in other counties would render the same results.

It should be noted that there were no reported outbreaks of food-borne illness in the area at the time of the study.

Although it is uncertain how the bacteria is getting into the fountains, researchers speculate that “it cold be from dispensing with a hand that wasn’t clean, or from using wet rags to wipe down the machine. “

[h/t CNN / Spoon University]

You’ll Be Sick When You Find Out What’s Really In Fast Food Soda Machines

You’ve probably seen the signs in public washrooms that state that employees must wash their hands before returning to the kitchen.

All we can do is hope that employees actually follow the instructions when it comes to how they handle our fast food. But did you know that there is one other place that fecal matter can spread?

If you’re drinking pop from a soda fountain, you might want to put that cup down.

A 2010 study of soda fountain machines in one area of Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria, which can indicate fecal contamination.

That’s poop, people.

Not convinced? See the test results on Page 2

The Truth Is Pretty Gross

The researchers also detected antibiotic-resistant microbes and E.coli in some soda samples. According to a CNN report, researchers collected 90 beverages (sugar soda, diet soda and water) from 30 fast food restaurants in a 22-mile radius near Roanoke, South Virginia.

They discovered that 48 percent of beverages from soda fountains contained coliform bacteria. E. coli was found in 11 percent of those drinks and 17 percent had Chryseobacterium meningospecticum (a bacteria that can sicken newborns and adults with weak immune systems).

Although it might be hasty to assume that all soda fountains contain these bacteria, the chances seem pretty good that, if tested, many more in other counties would render the same results.

It should be noted that there were no reported outbreaks of food-borne illness in the area at the time of the study.

Although it is uncertain how the bacteria is getting into the fountains, researchers speculate that “it cold be from dispensing with a hand that wasn’t clean, or from using wet rags to wipe down the machine. “

[h/t CNN / Spoon University]

If You Love Girl Scout Cookies, You Need To Try Starbuck’s New Drink

Step aside Unicorn Frappuccino, there’s a new drink in town!

While it may not be pink and blue, this delicious drink sure packs a punch of flavor that we have all been craving!

Girl Guide Cookie flavors are popping up everywhere, so it only makes sense that Starbucks would tap into our ultimate desire to have the taste of thin mints in our mocha.

Cosmopolitan

Just in time for Frappuccino season to start, Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada are blending the new Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino, along with a returning favorite, the S’mores Frappuccino.

Starbucks

Now available from your favorite barista, you can enjoy your favorite girl guide treat in drink form.

With layers of extra-dark cocoa blended with coffee, milk and ice, it’s infused with cooling mint sugar crystals, and a layer of whipped cream. The drink is topped with more whipped cream and a dusting of dark cocoa.

So how does it taste? Danielle Tullo from Cosmopolitan tried it and here’s her review:

“When I gave the Midnight Mint Mocha a try, it was so damn good that I had to ask someone else to try it to confirm it wasn’t wishful thinking.

The drink tastes like someone stole the box of Thin Mints I have stashed away in my kitchen cabinet and made a Frappuccino out of it. Which, as it turns out, is a brilliant idea.

For taste, I’d give it an 8 out of 10. While it tastes like dessert, it’s very sweet — I’d recommend a tall if you’re sensitive to sugary treats.”

Will you be trying one?

Get a Half-Priced Frappuccino For a Limited Time!

We’re back in mango season, which means a lot of deliciousness, but also a lot of confusion.

When your mango is finally ripe to eat, how do you go about eating it?

If you’ve paid close attention to strangers, friends, or other family members eating a mango, you’ve probably noticed that it’s quite different than how you eat yours.

There’s a lot of argument on social media forums on the right way to

What Your Favorite Buffet Place Isn’t Telling You

There’s nothing that gets my mouth watering faster than the words “buffet”. Just knowing that there’s a seemingly endless supply of food to devour gets me excited, even though I rarely eat any more than I would have if I just ordered a standard plate.

Sound familiar?

Most of us love buffets and fall for the trick of “All You Can Eat”. We’re willing to pay more for the promise of eating until we can’t take it anymore, but very few customers ever get their money’s worth. It’s not a fluke either, restaurants actually have a number of clever ways to trick you during a buffet.

We’ve given you some tips about Chinese Buffets before, but this might help you get more bang for your buck next time you dine out.

Plates
Sundial Beach Resort

You’ve no doubt heard some piece of advice telling you not to fill your plate. The more on your plate the more likely you are to overeat. It’s good advice for when you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s not going to help you at the buffet line.

That’s because buffets normally use specially produced smaller plates and bowls. Think about it, does your plate pile up unreasonably fast? Have you get gotten a full bowl of soup or chili when you laddled it in? Probably not.

That’s because smaller plates slow down how fast people eat, the slower they eat, the less they eat, and that’s not the only trick that has to do with size.

Glasses for water and soft drinks are normally huge. That’s not just so they have to refill them less, it’s because if a customer fills up on Coke they probably aren’t going for that second helping of prime rib.

Potatoes
Midtown Lunch

There’s a lot more to a restaurant’s trickery than messing with plate sizes. Next time you’re at a buffet line take a look at how they have it all set up. Chances are the dishes of potatoes, rice or other starches are going to be filled to the brim. When we’re helping ourselves to a full dish of food, we’re likely to take more of it.

The reverse is also true. Meat dishes or more expensive ones, are generally only half-filled. No one wants to be rude so a customer might skip over it entirely, or only take a small serving of a nearly empty dish.

Waiter
New York Daily News

Have you ever been left waiting for a refill, your plates to be cleared or a waiter to bring over a new fork? You might think that you just were getting bad service, but a study actually showed that restaurants limit the availability of knives and forks during a buffet to slow down eating.

Meanwhile at Chinese Buffets chopsticks are readily available, likely because they are slower to eat with than knives and forks.

Menu
Yelp

One big reason that All-You-Can-Eat Buffets make money is actually found in your mirror. That’s right, it’s you! A study of an Italian Buffet showed that the less a buffet cost, the more likely it was to be rated as poor, or unsatisfactory – despite serving the exact same food. In short, the more we pay the more we want to say we liked something. Obviously there’s a tipping point, and buffets have to find that sweet spot.

Think about it, does that line of reason apply to you too?

[Source: Psychology Today]

Taco Bell Is Turning Chicken Into Your Favorite Snack

Taco Bell is no stranger to pushing the limits with their menu items.

Earlier this year, they introduced the very hyped up but short-lived fried chicken taco shell dubbed the Naked Chicken Chalupa and not too long after, the chain’s breakfast delicacy, the Naked Breakfast Taco made its debut.

If you were thinking that they couldn’t possibly top those creations, jokes on you.

The Mexican cuisine-inspired restaurant chain announced another stunt food that will bring the fried chicken craze back to life – Naked Chicken Chips.

According to the press release, the chips are made with all-white-meat seasoned with Mexican spices. They will be served with “Taco Bell’s beloved Nacho Cheese sauce, the marriage of flavors takes a left turn from how fans have traditionally eaten both chicken and chips.”

So basically a nacho-shaped chicken nugget that falls into the category of foods you didn’t think you needed until it came into existence.

You can get a taste of Naked Chicken Chips when it hits Taco Bell stores nationwide on May 11. The 6-piece will be priced at $1.99 and the 12-piece at $2.99. The new chips are a limited-edition fare so you might want to get your order in as soon as they’re out.

Will you be trying the Naked Chicken Chips? Let us know!

These Burger King Commercials In Argentina Are Creating A Big Stir

Restaurants do all sorts of promotions, but I can’t quite remember ever seeing one like this before. Burger King is offering an entire lifetime of free Whoppers to people born with a certain last name, that means grill in Spanish.

Even weirder, the company announced its intentions with an ad campaign that centers around the bullying people with the name “Parrilla” face.

Screen Cap
AdWeek

Admittedly the taunts about a person with the last name meaning “grill” can be pretty cruel. Hearing them is hardly a good way to make anyone hungry.

The ads, airing in Argentina, are part of a long line of strange commercials meant to focus on the fact that Burger King flame-grills their burgers.

Before they tried the bullying angle they actually ran ads featuring real Burger King locations that caught fire.

Flame Grilled
AdWeek

The ads are all designed by an Argentinian ad company known for pushing the boundaries. It will remain to be seen if customers eat up the new style.

Check out the Parrilla commericial here (it’s actually pretty effective)

KFC Has To Escort Army Of Ronald McDonalds Out After Invasion – Yes You Just Read That

We’ve all heard of the often heated Fast-Food Wars between our favorite restaurants. While usually these “wars” are metaphorical, some McDonald’s fans might have taken it a little too seriously.

A KFC restaurant in the UK was “invaded” when a group of 6 men dressed as Ronald McDonald entered and began chanting “You’re Sh** and you know you are!”

Hampshire, where the restaurant was located, recently had many Navy ships dock for Fleet Services. Whether these Ronald McDonalds actually serve in the Navy couldn’t be confirmed.

Impressively most patrons seem unfazed by the sudden arrival of such a familar face. Calmly ordering their chicken and going about their business. Someone took the time to film the encounter and you can hear her laughing throughout the demonstration.

At one point a clown loudly asks:

“What do we think of KFC?”

“Sh**!” the others reply!

They then take swigs of the alcohol they brought into the restaurant.

While not the normal kind of joke you’d expect from a clown beloved by children, these Ronald McDonalds certainly drew their fair share of laughs.

Get 50{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} Off At Pizza Hut Right Now

If you don’t feel like cooking dinner today, tomorrow or the day after, don’t worry about, Pizza Hut is here to save the day.

The popular pizza chain announced an irresistible deal that you can take advantage of right now.

You can enjoy 50{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} off all menu-priced pizzas when you order online or with the Pizza Hut Mobile App for iPhone and Android now through Sunday, May 7.  

All you have to do is choose the 50{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} off promo, log in and pick your desired pizza and the discount will be automatically applied. Best part? Both carryout and delivery orders are included in the deal, so you don’t have to leave your home at all.

However, there’s a small catch – the discount can’t be applied to other menu items. So if you are thinking of adding extras like wings, dips and dessert, you’ll have to shell out a little bit more.

According to a spokesperson, Pizza Hut is running this the limited-time promotion in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby, which takes place on May 6th.

Whatever the reason, we’re just glad that we have an excuse to stuff our faces with pizza without sacrificing our wallets.

Will you be ordering Pizza Hut? Let us know!

Not So Fast Calorie Counters, Numbers Won’t Be Coming To Menus Just Yet

Sorry calorie counters, the Federal Law that would make your life a lot easier isn’t going to be coming into effect when we thought it was. You’re going to have to wait.

A law that would make it mandatory for any restaurant with over 20 locations to display calorie information on their menus has been pushed back yet again. It was supposed to come into effect Friday May 5, but the day came and went without any compliance.

Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration asked for an extension on the deadline but didn’t when they would like that new deadline to be. This isn’t the first time they’ve asked for an extension either – past deadlines in 2015 and 2016 were both pushed back too.

Menu
Nature World Report

The new deadline, if the term even applies to something extended 3 times, is now May 7 2018.

Advocates for great dietary information will no doubt be disappointed at the decision, and even the National Restaurant Association is upset, saying that the Federal law would help make the industry more consistent, since currently restaurants in some areas have to display calories, while others don’t.

The FDA released a statement earlier explaining its request:

“We are taking this action to enable us to consider how we might further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility while continuing to achieve our regulatory objectives, in keeping with the Administration’s policies.”

Calories
Live Lean Health

Opponents of the measure say that it creates an unnecessary cost to restaurants where profit margins are already tight, they also say there’s no proof that advertising calorie information will lead to smarter eating by a restaurants customers.

There are also opponents on the other side of the argument, saying that simply showing calories isn’t enough for a consumer to make an informed choice.

New York City was the first district to enable calorie information laws, and California became the first state to mandate it in 2009.