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Another Feel-Good Restaurant Story: The Details Behind This Viral Olive Garden Receipt


Real or fake?

Okay, so the story goes like this: After dealing with a fire at his parent’s house, a man takes his family out to dinner at the Olive Garden.

“My brother, wife, 3 year-old daughter and I went to Olive Garden after a recent house fire at my parents,” the man, who goes by the username Tanek42, posted to Reddit.

This is where things take an interesting turn: “When the manager asked how everything was my daughter said ‘Grandpa's house burned down.’”

So what did the restaurant manager do? He comped their entire bill and gave them a free meal:


Unsurprisingly, after the man proudly posted the above photo to Reddit, the Internet responded with skepticism and accusations of fraud.

“That Olive Garden receipt is fake; it's free advertising. I know because I work in advertising and have spoken to the people who plan these campaigns,” writes Reddit user Iworkinadvertising.

“Honestly, I'm sick and tired of this [sh*t] on Reddit and the fact that users are getting defrauded by cheap advertisers looking to lift their engagement with some free advertising," the post adds.

A rep for Grey Worldwide, Olive Garden’s agency, told The Consumerist that it had nothing to do with the posted photo.

Still, this didn’t deter Reddit users.

Some note that the receipt is suspiciously free of creases, others question why the bill says “Duplicate Receipt.” Some point out that the Olive Garden logo is perfectly positioned, and more still notice that there’s no store information on the receipt, etc.

But here’s the thing: We decided to simply ask Olive Garden about the authenticity of the photo. They say it’s all very real.

“The receipt is real and was posted by the guests, not by anyone at Olive Garden or Darden.  We are always looking for ways to surprise and delight our guests, and this was one of the ways the Olive Garden team in Vernon Hills, Ill., did that last weekend,” Tara Gray, manager of media and communications for Olive Garden, told TheBlaze in an email.

Gray even directed our attention to a similar story out of Lubbock, Texas, where an Olive Garden manager took care of a family's tab after learning that their son was deploying the next morning.

So, after doing a little digging, it appears that the above photo is very real and the manager very much took care of their bill, despite what others may say about it.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured Image Getty Images.

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