16 Olive Garden Secrets Your Sever Will Never Tell You

Updated December 19, 2017

Olive Garden is the perfect restaurant for money-savvy families trying to save a buck, but there are a few secret tips to help you save even more cash on your next trip. Read on for more details!


Olive Garden is a favorite for families, thanks to its huge portions, reasonable prices, and variety of options for picky kids.

Even better, Olive Garden is one of the only restaurants with a rewards program that can help you save tons of money.

But believe it or not, there are even more secrets to help you save money at Olive Garden!

  1. Sign up for Olive Garden Rewards to score free dipping sauce. This loyalty program helps you rack up points to redeem for gift cards and free items. You’ll get 100 points just for signing up, which you can redeem for a free breadstick dipping sauce, saving you $3.49 instantly.
  2. Score a free birthday dessert. When you sign up for Olive Garden Rewards, you’ll automatically get to collect a free dessert on your birthday every year.
  3. Use two coupons at once. If you’re having dinner with your partner or a friend, you can split the bill to use two coupons at once and score maximum savings.
  4. Eat at the right time. The best time to eat at Olive Garden is between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. If you get in early enough during the week, you can also score an entrée for $8.99.
  5. Know where to use your gift cards. You can actually use your Olive Garden gift card at Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s/Wildfish Seafood Grille, or Yard House, in addition to Olive Garden.
  6. Figure out when kids eat for free. At least once every eight weeks or so, Olive Garden runs a week-long promotion that allows kids to eat for just $1.
  7. Don’t buy the wine. While Olive Garden may have great deals on food, their wine prices are out of control. Bring your own bottle and may the corkage fee, which rarely costs more than $7.
  8. Sample wine. You can sample up to three different types of wine at Olive Garden for free.
  9. Apply for a job. Olive Garden employees get 50%-off their meals before, during, and after their shifts, which is a pretty huge discount in the food industry.
  10. Ask for gluten-free. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option on the menu that you don’t see, ask your server. Olive Garden will typically make your favorite pasta gluten-free for no extra charge.
  11. Box half your meal. Immediately after ordering, ask your server to box up half your entrée, so you have an extra meal for later. That way, you can save money on a second meal and avoid over-eating.
  12. Buy $50 in gift cards over the holidays. Throughout the holidays, Olive Garden offers $10 in bonus cards when you spend $50 on gift cards.
  13. Ask for an Italian soda. While it technically isn’t on the menu, you can ask for an Italian soda when your server comes around. One caramel Italian soda costs about $4.
  14. Buy Olive Garden salad dressing. Love the salads at Olive Garden? You don’t need to drop tons of money on a salad at the restaurant for that signature Olive Garden flavor. Retailers like Target and Walmart sell Olive Garden products, including their dressing.
  15. Choose the never-ending pasta. Classic dishes, like Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowls, typically offer the most bang for your buck. For $11.99, you can eat as much pasta as you can handle—an awesome deal.
  16. Hoard your points. If you rack up enough points, you can redeem your rewards for an Olive Garden gift card. Your points last forever, as long as you buy at least one item at Olive garden once every 120 days.
(This post may contain affiliate links. We only partner with brands we trust.)

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