TikTok viewers have been left horrified after a recent viral video from a woman who claimed to work at Olive Garden for 10 years shared that she would never eat at the restaurant again for a host of reasons, including what she said were gross meal ingredients and cleanliness problems.
The woman known as @spookyshanny online, initially posted her video on Monday in response to the prompt, "Name one restaurant you will never eat at, no matter how hungry you are." The woman, whose name was not available, looked into the camera and responded simply with, "Olive Garden."
"I worked there for 10 years. There's a reason why you feel like s**t after you eat there," she ominously said. "Just trust me, don't eat there."
Since it was posted, the original video has been viewed more than 2.5 million times and liked by over 175,000 TikTok users, who flooded the comments desperate to know why Olive Garden was so bad a veteran employee would never eat there again.
"Omg I always felt terrible eating there and I knew I wasn't crazy. That food never sat well," one viewer noted, to which Shanny replied, "never will because IT ISN'T REAL FOOD!!!!"
Other viewers, most of whom said they either worked at Olive Garden themselves or were affiliated with someone who did, did not need a further explanation. "I agree with you. My husband worked there and omg the things he's told me made me never want to eat there again," one said. "Ha! I worked there too and haven't stepped foot inside one since," another added.
After teasing viewers in the comments with statements about the salads and chicken dishes, Shanny returned to the topic on her TikTok on Wednesday to share her insider knowledge on everything she felt was "wrong" with the chain Italian restaurant.
She specifically took issue with many of the popular main dishes, claiming that they were not treated properly nor were they authentic as advertised on the menu. "All across the board, they changed their chicken about six years ago from good chicken to chicken that's not so great," she said. "It's not 100 percent chicken, and the chicken that comes on the never-ending pasta bowl is actually canned chicken. Or, canned mystery chicken."
"Also, mystery cheeses, all across the board," she added.
Shanny also alleged that the salad was frequently contaminated and not washed properly. "There's always caterpillars and spiders that we have to pull out of the salad mix," she claimed. "Servers, all day long, are picking toppings with their fingers out of there and eating it. It's just the way it is."
She even claimed that at the location where she worked, there was "a very bad slug problem with the sodas."
"We actually had to knock slugs off before we filled up sodas, and our managers just said there was nothing we could really do about it," she alleged.
Shanny ended her first "insider" video with the wild claim that many employees are also not doing their part to keep the restaurant clean: "They took sanitizing wipes away from the Olive Garden servers, so the majority of them aren't sanitizing or even bothering to wash their hands," she said.
In her second tell-all video, the woman claimed that "the amount of gluten, sodium and calories that are in each meal" often made customers sick.
"That's why you're usually super tired, sluggish, feel like you're gonna throw up, have a lot of diarrhea ... that's just like basic, in-your-face knowledge," she said.
In other videos, she claimed there are "massive amounts of MSG" and "lots of fillers that contain microscopic pieces of plastic" that could also contribute to customers feeling unwell.
In her final post on Wednesday, she even boldly alleged that many people often get sick at their table from eating at Olive Garden.
"The amount of grown adults that actually throw up at the table is disturbing. It's so gross. People just overeat, or can't stomach it," Shanny said. "If you really wanna s**t, get the chicken scampi, thank me later."
She also claimed many chefs tossed food into the microwaves to cook before serving.
"Yes, they do use a microwave ... Your potatoes, your veggies, certain sauces and some of your meats are just microwaved and put on your plate," Shanny claimed.
Saying she believed the restaurant to be "a Hamburger Helper Italian kind of thing," Shanny said that the safest options at Olive Garden on the whole are the breadsticks.
"For the people saying their breadsticks are frozen, their breadsticks are actually not frozen. They're kept in the dry storage, they're probably your safest best at Olive Garden," she noted.
Shanny also claimed in a video to still be on friendly terms with her former managers and coworkers, who allegedly "say the exact same things, so it's just plain facts."
"Gross things are happening at all restaurants, it's just the way it is. It's what happens," she said. "If you wanna know exactly what's happening with your food and how it's being prepared, do it at home, farm-to-table."
"Other than that, people are always gonna be people, and people are generally gross."
Viewer reactions to the subsequent tell-alls were mixed, with some vehemently disagreeing with Shanny's assessment of the chain.
"LOL bro that's a big lie, served there 10 years and it's all the same chicken LOL," one self-professed employee claimed. "Girl this has to be just the Olive Garden YOU worked at [because] I've worked at two Olive Gardens in two years and I have NEVER seen any of this," another added.
Some, however, agreed with Shanny and were horrified with the allegations made. "Mystery cheese? Slug problems and sodas? ... I'm invested now," one fan commented. "She ain't lying I had an interview two days ago and they showed me everything and it was gross," another shared.
Newsweek reached out to Olive Garden for comment on the allegations, but did not immediately hear back in time for publication.
Similarly, a former employee at a Dunkin' Donuts known only as Hannah recently dished several chain secrets, including claims about what goes into the coffee's sweet cold foam topping and how the avocado toast is made.