former Olive Garden employee speaking in front of light walls and white door (l) Olive Garden building with sign (c) former Olive Garden employee speaking in front of light walls and white door (r)

Janet Julie Vanatko/Shutterstock @hunterbutbald/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I’ve given people 10, 20 if they ask me for it’: Former Olive Garden server shares 4 hacks

'We once went and asked for extra mints and they gave us an entire to-go container of them.'


Melody Heald


Posted on May 2, 2023

A man on TikTok shared various “hacks” he said he learned while working as a server at Olive Garden for a year.

Hunter Alford (@hunterbutbald) responded to another TikToker, @cookiterica, who claimed she discovered a “hack”: “Get the large Alfredo sauce, and it comes with eight breadsticks.” She said she then dips the breadsticks in the sauce. “Now what this lady’s showing is not a hack. She’s literally just ordering dipping sauce,” Alford started in his stitch of her video.

He then shared four hacks, referring to them as “actual hacks.”

“Hack no. 1 only works if you’re eating there, doesn’t work for to-go,” he said. “But if you want that dipping sauce for your breadsticks but you don’t want to have to pay and order it, just ask your server for a ramekin of Alfredo.”

In her video, @cookiterica claimed she spent $6.49 on a large container of Alfredo.

Alford said that while “hard-ass” servers may not oblige customers’ requests for a ramekin of Alfredo, “99% of us will.”

His “hack no. 2” involves the infamous Olive Garden after-dinner mints. Alford called receiving the mints “the best part of eating at Olive Garden.” He said servers are trained to give customers one mint per person. “But if you ask for extra. Again, 99% of servers, we’re just there to make money for us; we don’t care if the company makes money. I’ve given people 10, 20 of them if they ask me for it. Just be direct.”

The third hack he shared is for someone at the table to order the soup and salad—that way everyone at the table can enjoy some salad. “And then there’s the kids’ meal pasta hack that everyone knows,” he added.

@hunterbutbald #stitch with @COOK IT ERICA 4 ACTUAL Olive Garden hacks #olivegarden #olivegardenhack ♬ original sound – Hunter Alford

The Daily Dot reached out to Alford via TikTok comment.

It doesn’t seem like everyone knows the kids’ meal hack, according to the comments section of Alford’s video. “Okay what’s the kids meal hack?” one viewer asked.

Alford’s video “blew up,” with over 123,000 views within 24 hours. It was so popular that it prompted a “part 2” from Alford, where he answered what the kids’ meal hack is. “What you’re going to do off the kids’ menu, order any pasta off of it. Then for the side of it, there’s also a pasta option. Sub that out for whatever type of pasta you want to match, like the fettuccini Alfredo. And then you can add chicken on the side. It is the same size as the adult portion and cheaper.”

He then shared some more hacks, like not letting servers take the salad bowl away when the entrees get to the table. “Just nibble on it a little bit here and there. And then right before you’re ready to go, ask for a refill of it. And then when they bring that, ask for a to-go box. Same logic applies to the soup and the breadsticks. We’re supposed to charge if we get you some specifically to-go—but not if you just get more and then get a to-go box.”

“And finally, the last one: Not so much of a hack as it is a way to make your server happy. Don’t think that a soup, salad, and breadstick is the easiest option. It’s literally the hardest one to do because we have to make all of it ourselves,” he shared.

@hunterbutbald Replying to @X ACTUAL Olive Garden hacks part 2 #olivegarden #olivegardenhack @Olive Garden ♬ original sound – Hunter Alford

Viewers under both videos shared their own experiences with Olive Garden hacks.

“We once went and asked for extra mints and they gave us an entire to go container of them,” one said, validating Alford’s claim that all a customer has to do is ask.

Viewers also urged those who are fans of the mints to just purchase the Andes mints from the store. “Or just buy a bag of Andes candies from CVS,” one suggested.

However, according to the Daily Meal, which spoke with an Olive Garden representative about the mints, while the recipe for the mints is the same, the Olive Garden ones are slightly different. “They are custom-made for us, featuring a different shape and wrapper,” the representative told the Daily Meal.

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*First Published: May 2, 2023, 4:09 pm CDT