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Olive Garden to offer dinner ... and free babysitting

Olive Garden and My Gym Offer Dinner and Free Babysitting
If you're dying for a date night with your spouse but need a babysitter - you're in luck. As 'Fox & Friends' reports, one restaurant chain is providing the babysitter AND footing the babysitting bill.

'For one night only, Olive garden will pick up the tab for babysitting! The restaurant teaming up with A children's activity center, it's called My Gym.'

On February 7th, My Gym will offer a fun evening of free games and activities for your children as you enjoy your Italian meal. But even with 145 participating locations, KPRC suggests booking your child's spot quickly.

'Space is limited that night to about 30 children at each My Gym location. They are going to have you pay a deposit, which of course will be refunded after you show your Olive Garden receipt.'

But some aren't too thrilled about Olive Garden's sudden show of generosity. One WFLD anchor even called the gesture quote 'desperate.' Here's why.

'I say desperate because their sales have been in jeopardy, and they are closing some stores and laying off workers ...'

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the chain IS using the Parents Night Out as a way to promote their 2-for-$25 special. But hey ... a free babysitter doesn't sound like a bad deal.

Join the discussion

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cherbts January 30 2014 at 3:28 PM

If they would get on board with healthier greens in their salad, it would help. Who eats iceberg lettuce anymore?

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7 replies
dorisnsteve January 30 2014 at 4:05 PM

Whats wrong with that! Good for you Olive Garden, save your business. If that's what its takes to get through the economy crunch right now, more people need that ego!

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sdestiny.lopez January 30 2014 at 4:06 PM

I kind of like the idea, I mean we wont be too far from them!! Its nice when you can actually eat a meal without being bothered by my kids! :)

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GldnOldy50 January 30 2014 at 10:46 PM

I think it is a great idea!

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AGalazzo January 30 2014 at 10:41 PM

To all those who are on here to complain and express their bitter opinions about a restaurant chain that is just doing business: have you ever tried comparing Olive Garden to an artisan Italian restaurant? Granted, their prices may be a little too high and their food isn't what the commercials crack it up to be. Fine. But seriously, if you want to be served the highest quality dishes and be treated like an absolute king or queen, don't pick a chain restaurant to go to.

This is a great promotional idea that many places have done in the past, so why not throw a little slack their way and admit that, despite not being an A+ restaurant (remember though, it is a corporate chain that is controlled by shareholders and must do everything possible to maximize profits), their promotions and advertising department probably had to jump through quite a few hoops to even get this idea approved.

The majority of people on this comment thread are doing well at living up to the stereotype of "picky, poorly mannered Americans". So, essentially what I'm saying is, do you have nothing better to do than complain about something that (if you don't even plan on going there) is really none of your concern?

You want to complain for the sake of repeating what has already been said a dozen times here? --do everyone a favor and shut up. If you actually have real, original suggestions for improvement with a practical method to do so (as far as rational business tactics are concerned), shoot an email over to the Olive Garden corporate site.

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1 reply
Bill & Julie AGalazzo January 30 2014 at 11:20 PM

Bravo! well stated :)

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thetripmommy January 30 2014 at 4:10 PM

Well I for one think this is a nice idea. We are already members of our My Gym and regularly attend the classes and free play. My kids love the teachers as do my husband I. Our kids have attended about one zillion birthday parties at My Gym some where we parents stayed some where we dropped our kids off. I do not think that by leaving my kids there for an hour while my husband and I walk next door ( literally) to have dinner is in anyway irresponsible or us "dumping" our kids off. I believe even if we didn't already have a membership or a relationship with My Gym I would love to take the time and interview them, just as I would a new sitter, for the possibility of 1. My kids having fun and 2. Me and my husband having a dinner kid-free. Olive Garden is not one of our favorite spots for dinner but do consider them to be a good choice. Their advertising worked on us. I hope we can get a spot!

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John Korchinsky January 30 2014 at 4:11 PM


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2 replies
Tessa John Korchinsky January 30 2014 at 4:19 PM

Same here! The one by my house always has a wait!!

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missybuto1 John Korchinsky January 30 2014 at 4:27 PM

Quick and easy isn't always tasty

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Patsy January 30 2014 at 4:13 PM

sounds really good about what The Olive Garden is doing however my daughter is now adult almost at 18 and can work there we go there to eat however and love it there. num So do love the Olive Garden.

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1 reply
ah1852 Patsy January 30 2014 at 4:25 PM

I am sorry you have never had real Italian food because if you had you certainly would not eat at Olive Garden.

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peterson.t January 30 2014 at 4:14 PM

Where are the 145 participating locations located? I may be interested in this.

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zzyxx January 30 2014 at 4:20 PM

it is called thinking out of the box

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1 reply
missybuto1 zzyxx January 30 2014 at 4:26 PM

I feel that what the food taste like....................No garlic and onions,sundried tomatoes are very rarely seen, and where's the olive oil....2@$25 make your own its more savory.............as for the kids ..let the relatives enjoy them for a few hours..

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