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Giving Thanks on Labor Day

September 09, 2013

By: Darden Restaurants,

Giving Thanks on Labor Day

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To again show our thanks and appreciation for these dedicated people who put our communities first, Olive Garden’s more than 800 restaurants nationwide delivered and served special Labor Day lunches to local firefighters, police officers and hospital staff on Monday, Sept. 2. During the past 12 years, Olive Garden’s local restaurant teams have delivered thousands of “thank you” lunches to these selfless men and women on Labor Day, as part of our ongoing commitment to serving the local communities where we live and work. 

My name is Alex Aragon and I’m the general manager of the local Olive Garden in Irving, Texas. Olive Garden’s Labor Day lunch deliveries are an event our team looks forward to every year.  It’s a way we can say thanks and show local firefighters, police officers and hospital staff that we appreciate everything they do for us.

I’ve worked for Olive Garden for more than six years, and I still clearly remember my first Labor Day food delivery to the Fire Department of Mansfield, Texas, when I was culinary manager at the Olive Garden there.  Our team members were so excited to plan our delivery and chose to honor our local firefighters.  We took special care to cover every detail, down to the last breadstick, to make the meal special.  When we arrived at the fire station, I was pleasantly surprised at how excited and thankful the Mansfield firefighters were to receive our gift of an Olive Garden meal.  And our team members were so proud to personally thank them for the sacrifices they make every day to keep our community safe.  We took pictures too, so we could share the moment with our other team members back at the restaurant.  It’s one of my favorite memories at Olive Garden.

This year, our restaurant team chose to honor two special groups on Labor Day – the Irving Fire Department and the South Irving Police Department.  We served salad, Lasagna, Spaghetti Marinara and Tiramisu and even brought banners signed by our entire restaurant team that said, “Thank you for putting your life on the line every day.”  These are simple gestures, but our team really took it to heart, and it meant a lot to all of us to say thanks to these brave men and women.

You can see photos from this year’s Labor Day lunch deliveries honoring local firefighters, police officers and hospital staff across the country here (Labor Day Hospitaliano Lunches 2013 | Facebook).

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