British Columbia’s only Olive Garden opened its doors in Langley in 2001 and 15 years later it is still just as popular as opening day, with line ups to get in and people travelling from far and wide to eat there.
The busy Italian food restaurant has also continued a high standard both in its look and style and the delicious menu items it offers. There is also a high standard of service you get when dining there.
That standard of excellence is in part because of the staff like Langley Olive Garden general manager Deanna Prothero, said Olive Garden president Dave George.
“Deanna embodies our belief at Olive Garden that everyone who walks through our doors should be treated like family—from our guests to our team members,” said George.
“She demonstrates outstanding leadership of her restaurant as well as passion for the Langley community, and I am proud to have her represent Olive Garden.”
This year, Prothero joins an elite group of 42 general managers selected from the more than 800 Olive Garden restaurants in North America, making this a truly exclusive honour.
Prothero has achieved parent company Darden Restaurants’ Diamond Club status.
“I think our culture at Olive Garden plays into this award a lot. This is a family oriented restaurant and we try to bring that culture to how we treat our guests and our staff,” said Prothero. “The award I received is based on sales, guest count and low team member turn over.”
Prothero has been the GM for two years and a server at Olive Garden for nine years.
The Langley Olive Garden has 175 staff from bartenders, servers, chefs, hostesses to dishwashers and managers.
Prothero said she loves her job and it helps that her commute is only five minutes.
Her favourite dish is the shrimp alfredo.
“I love seafood. As for the alfredo, we have fresh alfredo coming out every hour,” she said.
The Olive Garden has its own food institute in Tuscany with a test restaurant there, she said.
“There is a lot of creativity that comes out of Tuscany and onto the menus at Olive Garden,” she said.
The complimentary wine samples offered at each meal is also a big hit with diners.
As to whether or not there will ever be another Olive Garden in B.C., Prothero said there are always rumours.
“They are always talking about expanding in B.C.,” she said.
In the meantime, people are willing to wait sometimes for up to an hour on the weekends to be seated, but the experience is worth the wait, she said. Hungry customers come from as far as the Okanagan and Hope to Langley to dine at Olive Garden.
The Langley Olive Garden is located at 20080 Langley Bypass.