Olive Garden to open in Arden on Monday

A new Olive Garden will open its doors at 400 Airport Road in Arden on Monday, Sept. 3. Below are the details from the restaurant chain’s office in Orlando:

Olive Garden will open at 400 Airport Rd. in Arden on Monday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. and will employ 200 people. The Olive Garden in Arden is the newest Olive Garden in the family of more than 750 restaurant.

The 7,441 square-foot restaurant can host up to 246 guests and features a design that is inspired by traditional farmhouses found in Tuscany, Italy.

The Arden Olive Garden has a rustic stone exterior, typical of the buildings in the Italian countryside, and an interior accented by Italian imports designed to make the dining experience here a tribute to the restaurant’s Italian inspiration. Ceilings supported by exposed wood beams, stone and wood accents throughout, and terra cotta tile highlight the interior.

The restaurant also will feature a number of interesting design elements, including recycled building materials, enlarged windows to increase natural light, low-water landscaping and energy-efficient equipment. These enhancements are part of the Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative launched by Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Arden restaurant and a great team at Olive Garden,” said James Alexander, newly named general manager. “In addition to our Italian specialties, including signature items like our homemade soups, garden fresh salad and warm, garlic breadsticks, the menu at the Arden Olive Garden will feature limited time offers like our popular Never Ending Pasta Bowl, which allows guests to order any pasta and sauce combination and receive unlimited refills.”

Alexander brings extensive restaurant industry experience to his new position. He has been with Olive Garden for more than 9 years, most recently as general manager of the Olive Garden located at 121 Tunnel Rd. in Asheville.

Alexander is one of more than 1,400 managers who have visited Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany in the Tuscan village of Riserva di Fizzano, which serves as the source of inspiration for some dishes on Olive Garden’s menu. Each year, more than 100 managers visit CIT and learn about Italy, its food, wine, culture and people. This includes learning the time-honored traditions of Italian cooking and working side-by-side with Italian master chefs. The CIT is designed to inspire attendees to share the Italian culture of hospitality and passion with their restaurant teams and guests back home.

To recognize Alexander’s role as head of the Olive Garden family in Arden and to emphasize the importance the company places on its general managers, Olive Garden honored Alexander by setting his name in stone. Travertine marble imported from Tuscany was chiseled with Alexander’s name and placed prominently by the restaurant’s front door.

Olive Garden is now accepting applications for employment. To be considered for an interview, please apply online at www.OliveGarden.com/Careers.

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 750 restaurants, more than 90,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a member of the Darden family of restaurants (NYSE:DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the second year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, the Arden Olive Garden will participate in the Darden Harvest program, which has donated more than 50 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.


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