Twitter Is Divided Over Olive Garden's Politics

While it's the infallible right of every American to have their own opinion, it's shocking to see just how much political discourse exists in the modern world. It's even sweeping the restaurant industry, where a single statement or action can be conceived as political and lead to some surprising reactions. Perhaps the most infamous example of politics in this industry is Chick-fil-A. For those who don't keep up with the political standing of fast-food restaurants, NBC News reports that Chick-fil-A came under fire for donations to charities with histories of anti-LGBTQ viewpoints, while Vox reports that certain religious statements regarding LGBTQ groups made by officials in the company have caused severe backlash.

On the other side of the spectrum, Cracker Barrel came under fire not for a political statement, but the addition of a new menu item. The chain's addition of "Impossible Sausage," a plant-based breakfast patty, somehow became a supposed sign that the old country restaurant was "going woke" (per New York Post). Customers ranted that they felt the chain had betrayed its original values and was now catering to the "woke crowd."

Even Olive Garden seems to be the target of a political debate, despite having done nothing that really drew such attention. Twitter, a place certainly not known for drama and overzealous debates (sarcasm), joined in the fray.

Political debates are on the menu at Olive Garden

A Twitter user posted a meme detailing the different levels of chain restaurant discourse, using Olive Garden as an example. The photo depicts that while Olive Garden is both good in the sense that it's a working class restaurant with working class employees, it's bad in the sense that Olive Garden hurts local small businesses. But, as the photo says, one can recognize the "ills of capitalism" while still supporting working class employees. Oh, and something about unlimited breadsticks. The photo led to users jumping into the debate of the classic Italian chain restaurant.

"The chain restaurant has one thing that's good and a hundred other things because you're stuck there," wrote one person. "Just give me two or three things that are good and nothing else." Another person asked, "Isn't Olive Garden owned by famously anti worker Darden?"

While Olive Garden hasn't been seen as a political restaurant in the same way Chick-fil-A has been, its parent company, Darden, has been under fire for what some call discriminatory practices. In 2021, the company was accused of sexual and racial bias towards women and minority servers, making them rely on tips to meet minimum wage obligations (per Reuters). Darden was also accused of avoiding practices that would have mitigated the issue and allowing sexual harassment in its workplaces.

Olive Garden employees, however, claim that the higher-ups aren't as bad as one would think.