85 Year Old’s Review of New Olive Garden Location May Make her The Betty White of the BrandBy: Heather Campobello - March 13, 2012
Never overestimate the tastes of the American people. A review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks, ND has gone viral.
The writer of the review is 85-year-old Marilyn Hagerty who has worked for the Grand Forks Herald; she has won numerous awards and authored thousands of articles, but none of them have received as much attention as her Olive Garden article. In the article she described having a lunch of fettuccine Alfredo, and a salad topped with several black olives. She called Olive Garden “the largest, most beautiful restaurant in Grand Forks. […] The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting.”
Some people really liked the review and thought that it was sweet while others find a review of such a major chain to be trivial and adding to a culture of idiocracy. The reaction requires framing though; someone who has never been to an Olive Garden is more likely to be impressed by its decor and ambience than someone who has had a location right around the corner for decades. Seeing as the chain is new to the area, it is understandable why Hagerty was so taken.
Hagerty says that her phone has been ringing off the hook for the past three days. According to wmctv.com she said that her review is getting so much attention that it feels like “a wild dream” and she doesn’t care if people jest at her positive impression of the new Olive Garden.
Individuals who work for and represent Olive Garden are stoked about the review, “We really love to see all the support we’ve had from all the Olive Garden fans out there that have stood up for her and the Olive Garden and given us more positive feedback,” said Donald Szutenbach, Olive Garden General Manager.
Her article has received over 1.3 million hits and has even landed her an interview on abc and a television appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” with guest host Jane Lynch from the Fox TV hit “Glee.”
Here is what some people tweeted about her review:
Marilyn Hagerty could become the Betty White of an Olive Garden rebranding campaign.