What Happens If You Don't Say 'Stop' To The Olive Garden Server Grating Your Cheese?

Pile of grated cheese next to block of parmesan
Pile of grated cheese next to block of parmesan - Fudio/Getty Images

Olive Garden's Never Ending Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks promotion is a famous deal that allows customers to enjoy unlimited refills of these items during their meal. But does that infinite courtesy extend to the grated cheese as well?

Imagine you're about to dig into your salad or hot pasta entree when the waiter comes by with fresh cheese, generously offering to adorn your dish until you say, "Stop." But what would happen if you never cut them off? Would they continue grating until you, your dining companions, and the table were all buried beneath a showering of fine cheese shreds?

Although there doesn't appear to be an official Olive Garden guideline on the conundrum of a customer never saying "stop" while the waiter is grating, a June 2023 Facebook post from the brand alludes to "Never-Ending Cheese." It also seems that it may be up to your server's judgment to determine when to quit.

Read more: The 101 Best Pizzas In America

Tales From The Frontlines

Olive Garden restaurant signs
Olive Garden restaurant signs - Bloomberg/Getty Images

The topic of how to navigate a cheese-loving customer has actually been broached in online forums, where self-proclaimed Olive Garden employees have weighed in. One former server shared his take on Quora. "I worked at Olive Garden for about 15 years and this happened to me twice," the user wrote. "If they don't say stop, you continue grinding until the grater is empty but one grater full is the cut-off."

Another former waitress also experienced this game of cheese chicken. She encouraged others to use the situation as an opportunity to hone customer service chops. "You keep grinding away on the cheese grater until the little block is gone and you say, 'there you go!', smile, and maybe also say 'I see you like cheese as much as I do!'" she wrote on Quora. "Any chance you can get to bond with the customer creates a more pleasant experience for the diner."

Over on Reddit, a former server shared their strategy for handling the scenario. "I waited tables at Olive Garden for years," the user wrote. "I always put a second block of cheese in my grater ... so I could grate through an entire double-block of cheese in a few seconds. If I were to finish a block of cheese, I would always offer to go get more. Nobody ever took me up on this."

About That Cheese

Pasta dish with grated cheese
Pasta dish with grated cheese - Vladislav Chusov/Getty Images

Many assume that the cheese so lovingly grated on top of their Olive Garden entree (until they say "stop") is Parmesan, and they may be shocked to learn otherwise. Indeed, the type of cheese inside Olive Garden graters is something of a hot-button topic on social media.

It turns out that the cheese is actually Romano or a blend of Romano and Parmesan, and Olive Garden has said as much in its own social media posts. It's an important distinction for cheese aficionados. Pecorino Romano, for instance, is made from sheep's milk. However, there are versions made with cow's milk or a combination of sheep's and cow's milk, known simply as "Romano cheese." On the flip side, Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano when produced in Italy, is typically made from cow's milk.

Taste-wise, Romano cheese has a strong, salty, and tangy flavor that is often described as intense or robust. Parmesan has a more nutty and fruity flavor with a hint of saltiness. It is slightly milder in taste compared with Romano. Still, for some Olive Garden customers, it may not matter which type of cheese servers are grating so long as they keep making it rain.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.