Thank you. Those two little words have a big job to do when it comes to expressing a nation’s gratitude to its first responders.
Olive Garden will make sure its thank you is up to the task on Labor Day. For the 17th year in a row, each of its more than 850 restaurants will deliver a pasta lunch to firefighters, law officers or other emergency workers in their communities on the holiday.
The Olive Garden restaurant in Scranton, PA, has embraced the tradition and delivered lunch to the same first responders for all 17 years — the nearby Dickson City fire, police and ambulance departments.
"We are showing our appreciation for emergency responders who are working to protect us every single day including Labor Day, when many people have the day off,” said General Manager Michael Mosiniak. “It’s important to pay tribute to these heroes in our communities.”
Police Chief Stephen Margeson of Dickson City said he and the other first responders look forward to their Labor Day pasta. “Everybody raved about the wonderful food last year,” he said. “Many citizens thank emergency teams who work 24/7 to respond to public safety issues, but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, people forget to express gratitude. We appreciate this recognition from Olive Garden and their very kind gesture.”
Dickson City Fire Chief Matthew Horvath said his all-volunteer department also appreciates the meal. “To receive a thank you and a delicious lunch, too, is greatly appreciated. It really means a lot to us.”
Each Olive Garden restaurant will deliver and set up “create your own pasta” stations with two pastas, three toppings and three sauces as well as salad and breadsticks.
Labor Day deliveries always bring a smile to Missi Setzer, Manager of To Go Operations Excellence for Olive Garden at the Restaurant Support Center in Orlando, FL. In previous roles, she participated in Labor Day deliveries as an Olive Garden server and supported them as a general manager.
“Every single person was extremely appreciative, grateful and overwhelmed that Olive Garden brought them lunch and thanked them,” she said. “It’s touching when you can brighten someone’s day. All Olive Garden is doing is taking them some food. They are the ones who are risking their lives to take care of strangers in the community every day.”