Cost of an Olive Garden Dinner
Olive Garden is a mid-expensive national Italian restaurant chain. This is a great restaurant to take the entire family to for a nice night out or a great place for a first date or one year anniversary with your special someone. The atmosphere is fancy but the prices aren’t outrageous. It wouldn’t be recommended to show up in sweatpants and a T-shirt as you may feel awkward and way under-dressed but there is no need to get all decked out in your fanciest black-tie attire. The food is typically cooked to perfection and the service is top notch, dressed in black pants, a white shirt, and a short tie for both men and women servers.
Factors of Cost
The largest factors of how much your total bill will cost is going to be what you order and how many people are in your group. If you are going to Olive Garden for supper, the prices will be $2-$4 higher than their lunch prices and you won’t be able to find any entrée on the menu under $10 unless it’s on the children’s menu.
For most of the pasta dishes, you’re looking at around $10-$15 each unless you add in steak or shrimp. Any of the steak or seafood entrees could range as high as possibly $18 a piece depending on which one you order. As far as the current menu, there is nothing priced over $20. The great thing about Olive Garden though is that soup or salad is included with every meal and it is free refills on both. That makes the price more reasonable as you are sure to leave stuffed and satisfied.
Adding on extras such as an alcoholic drink, appetizers, and deserts will quickly add to your bill as most of the desserts and appetizers range from $4-$8 each. They also occasionally offer all you can eat pasta entrees which are more expensive in addition to the all you can eat salad and breadsticks which never leaves their menu. Also the have a great dessert selection which most items are $5-$7. One of the best desserts is Tiramisu costing $6.49.
None of the above mentioned items are included in the price of your entrée and neither is the service you are being given. In most restaurants, the dining guests are expected to tip their server at least %15 but since Olive Garden is a more high scale restaurant, a %20 tip or higher is expected as long as the service is exceptional.
Ways to Save
Ordering one of the lower priced menu options is a great way to save some money along with ordering just water to drink. Surprisingly, just a glass of soda could cost as much as $3 at Olive Garden. Although there are free refills on most of their non-alcoholic drinks, the likelihood that you will drink $3 worth of soda in one sitting is very unlikely as the typical cost to dispense one fountain drink is only 6 cents.
Keeping your overall bill low will also mean you are expected to tip less which decreases another cost there. To completely eliminate the tip, consider ordering out as you will still be able to eat the delicious food but at a lower cost and in the comfort of your own home.