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15 things you didn't know about Olive Garden

For many Americans, the first taste of “Italian” food they ever had was courtesy of their local Olive Garden, and it’s still millions of Americans’ first choice when they’re looking to go out for an Italian dinner. But even if you’re a loyal regular, we bet there’s a lot you don’t know about this chain. The first Olive Garden opened in Orlando in 1982, and by 1989 there were 145 locations. It quickly became the largest Italian-themed full-service chain restaurant in the United States, a position it still holds (Carrabba’s Italian Grill is in a distant second place). There are currently about 900 locations open nationwide, with more opening every year. Olive Garden is constantly looking to stay current, even if that means swapping in zucchini-based “zoodles” for real pasta in an attempt to appeal to health-conscious diners or adding “Giant Italian Classics” or Never-Ending Stuffed Pastas to the menu to appeal to those who... aren’t so health-conscious. And who can forget the Never-Ending Pasta Pass? Read on for 15 things we bet you didn’t know about Olive Garden. (This story originally appeared on The Daily Meal.)

Dan Myers, The Daily Meal
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