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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.

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belairfiftyfour January 31 2014 at 5:07 PM

That's what happens when growth, expansion, rising overhead costs, unusually high administrative costs occur. Their organization is probably pyramid-shaped, but it would be an upside-down pyramid.
They most-likely need to re-organize and restructure to be efficient. Been there.....done that.

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redhoefler January 31 2014 at 11:15 AM

I don't have children, but I think it's a great and brilliant idea. Any nay sayer is just envious that they didn't come up with it first. Many young couple would love to have a simple night out or dinner out but likely don't do so, EVER, because of the added expense of a sitter. If I had children, I'm sure I'd be one of those who skipped a simple form of enjoyment for this reason. BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Paul Eichmann January 31 2014 at 1:31 PM

Brilliant - Clearly you have never tasted the dog food they serve at Olive Garden

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neb1997 January 31 2014 at 10:48 AM

We aren't Italian food fans, so we don't eat at OG, but we do eat at Red Lobster quite often. The food is always good (no matter which location/state we are in) and the service has always been great. We live in the Seattle area, so we have lots of options for seafood and RL is our favorite. As for the babysitting, we don't need the service but would probably use it if we did.

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Chris January 31 2014 at 10:21 AM

I L-O-V-E their salad. Wish they had unlimited soup and salad for dinner, not just lunch.

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hfh January 31 2014 at 10:12 AM

Sad thing is.... I still don't think I'd go.... Olive Garden??? Really?

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Flash January 31 2014 at 10:05 AM

When Olive Garden was Brand New and owned by General Mills, it was a much BETTER product. I was a corporate trainer for them, training the staff at new stores. We actually had prep cooks that made the sauces fresh. Even most of the pasta was homemade, with stores actually paying to have the pasta made in front of the house while you waited for your table. It was all about good wholesome food, served up pleasantly and quickly. Now owned by Darden Restaurants it is crap, frozen crap in bags, in the freezer.

Darden tends to rely on greasy high fat for any flavor in thier product. That why everything at Red Lobster is slathered in butter. Baham breeze claims to sell fresh fish, but I know frozen, I live on the ocean for goodness sake.

Dont eat at chain restaurants, everything is made in a factory, poured in a bag, frozen and sent to your local chain resaturant!!
Take your date to a nice mom and pop where they actually use fresh ingredients and tomatoes for tomatoe sauce.

Here in Fort Lauderdale I would reccomend MOJO at 4140 N Federal highway. The chef is amazing, you will learn what GOOD FRESH cooking is all about!!

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hpycmpr155 January 31 2014 at 7:06 AM

It may be an act of desperation BUT...it is a really good idea.
I wish more restaurants would offer free or discounted child care so other people could eat their meals in PEACE without whiny, unruly, misbehaving children at the next table.
It's got my vote!

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Ben January 31 2014 at 4:09 PM

Exactly what I was thinking!

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futuramic98 January 31 2014 at 7:03 AM

I've has some of my best dining experiences at Olive Garden. Their employees are some of the best in the world......they could babysit everynight. Why ruin your evening with a bunch of unruly kids

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Flash January 31 2014 at 10:06 AM

you need to get out more

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Paul Eichmann January 31 2014 at 1:32 PM

Really - no lie.

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sharliesept January 31 2014 at 6:53 AM

These drastic steps would not be necessary, if they had treated their help better, had things on the menu tht you know what the hect it was instead of venturing out to the unknow to try and impress, who I am not sure yet. Also kept their prices in line, we used to go once week, I think the last time was in late August. some of the money they are paying the execatives , give the a wage and not all these bonuses for driving the company into the ground

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Flash January 31 2014 at 10:07 AM

lunch spagetti and meat sauce 11.99 LUNCH???

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rudniski136 January 31 2014 at 6:37 AM

Olive Garden is not the best or worse Italian Restaurant but the food is generally good, their prices are reasonable, and the wait staff is friendly and helpful. I really enjoy their soup, salad, and bread-stick lunch.

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