Olive Garden. Sigh.
On Friday, I got off work at 11. I had to be somewhere at 12:10, and am a slow eater, but was very hungry. Olive Garden was right next to where I needed to be, so I figured I could grab their soup, salad, and breadsticks and be on my way.
Get there at 11:15. There's a party of four that comes in after me. We're both placed in the back room area; they're about three tables away. Right after, 3 people in a party of 8 come in and are sat in our same area. Both tables have a different server, and 3 different hostesses have been back in that area. There were several waitstaff hanging around the hostess' stand and in the waiter's area. My car had been the third in the lot, so it wasn't busy at all.
The party of 4 gets water and they peruse the menu. The 3 people decide to wait until the rest of their party arrives. The party of 4 orders. The other party trickles in, and are brought beverages as they ask for them. The party of 4 gets their salad. I can see both waiters standing in the waiter's area, chit chatting to each other. We're both directly in our lines of sight. I look around, fold my menu, make it clear that I'm ready to order. I don't know if they're ignoring me or what, but IMO it would be pretty hard not to notice that I'm there. Nobody gets close enough to flag down though.
25 minutes pass; the party of 4 is on their second bowl of salad. I get up and leave, and stop by the hostess' station to let them know why. The hostess is appalled. The manager gave me a gift card and offered to bring me some food (at this point I only had about 20 minutes left and didn't really want to be there anyway.)
I suppose I'll go back sometime to redeem the gift card, but it won't be any time soon. I have never had good luck there--I expect because I'm frequently a single diner. I probably should have spoken up/flagged someone down, but it kind of got to the point where I wondered how long they would make me wait.