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‘I mean, if that’s what you want them to spend your tip money on’: Olive Garden worker says she charged customer $9.99 after catching them eating some soup and salad, sparking debate

'You def don’t get paid enough to do this.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 12, 2023

Olive Garden’s unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks deal is a way for folks to load up on calories without having to worry about forking over a ton of cash in the process. Sure, the breadsticks are pre-made, re-heated in an oven for three minutes, and just coated in melted butter and garlic salt, but folks love them.

Getting to pair them with as much salad and soup as you’d like obviously comes with stipulations, namely that this $9.99 unlimited price tag is per person.

However, judging from the responses to an Olive Garden server’s viral TikTok, it would seem that a number of people are willing to try and “finesse” the system, and expect servers to turn a blind eye if someone at their table who didn’t order the deal decided to grab some food off of someone else’s plate.

@ariel.marie824 It’s 9.99 like bffr 😂 #fyp #foryou #servertok #worktok #worktiktok ♬ ACCUSATIONS – lil k

TikTok user @ariel.marie824 uploaded a five-second clip that showed her in an Olive Garden uniform holding what appeared to be a bill ledger. She wrote in a text overlay: “POV you witnessed the guest who said she wasn’t hungry eating some soup and salad so you charged $9.99.”

While Ariel’s responses in the comments section suggested that she was joking in her clip, many folks didn’t think her remarks were a laughing matter.

Some viewers noted that the customer could have been financially struggling and couldn’t afford their own meal.

“If someone needs to share a soup and salad they’re probably struggling. I wouldn’t be so proud of myself for charging them,” one user commented.

Others thought the server was being petty for adding the charge without the customers knowing, especially considering that she said the person ate “some” soup and salad rather than full portions.

“But did you bring her own out? I’m confused,” one commenter wrote.

“They think they get paid commission or something,” a second penned.

“Girl….ik they dont pay you enough to do all of that,” another remarked.

One viewer shared that something similar happened to them at another restaurant. “This happened at a village inn. My husband took a couple sips of my coffee and they charged us for an entire pot!” they wrote.

Others said that by charging the other guests for the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks, Ariel effectively stopped herself from getting a tip.

“And that’s why you don’t get a tip from that table,” one user commented.

“I mean, if that’s what you want them to spend your tip money on,” another added.

However, some thought that if a customer was trying to get out of paying $10 for their own unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks, they probably weren’t going to tip very well in the first place.

“Y’all saying that’s her tip but if the lady is sneaking a shared meal I promise you she probably wasn’t gonna tip anyways.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Ariel via TikTok comment and Olive Garden via email for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 12, 2023, 6:35 pm CST