FACES of Olive Garden | Jenifer French

Jun 21, 2016 9:25 AM ET
Jenifer French, director of operations for Olive Garden.

Darden Digest

At Olive Garden, our team members serve as the faces of our brand and make a first impression on every guest who walks through our front doors. Olive Garden is strong and successful because we bring together people to serve our communities – each with diverse talents and backgrounds who respect each other and enjoy working together.

These are the FACES of Olive Garden.

Meet Jenifer French, director of operations for Olive Garden’s Houston division, who leads nine restaurant teams and 1,000 people.

Some of Jenifer’s fondest memories in foodservice are her earliest ones, when she worked the 5 a.m. shift at a mom and pop restaurant during high school. She grew fond of her regulars and enjoyed taking good care of them. Later, when she moved to Tyler, Texas, she applied to her first Olive Garden. “It was one of my favorite restaurants so I thought, ‘What a great place to work.’” 

Her rise through the ranks seems destined because her leaders recognized her potential and kept encouraging her to apply for promotions. “It was always someone encouraging me that I could reach the next level and lead people.”

Thinking back to her first Olive Garden job, she said, “Never in a million years did I imagine when I applied for that host position that I would be a director of operations and lead nine restaurant teams and a thousand people. It never occurred to me. Even today I look back and think, ‘Wow, this is a lot of trust and a lot of responsibility,’ and I’m thankful for it.”

Watch Jennifer telling her story here.

About FACES of Olive Garden
With the FACES of Olive Garden, each week we introduce a few of our many amazing team members. You’ll hear their stories and learn about why they enjoy working in a fun, supportive environment that makes them feel like part of our family.

See more FACES of Olive Garden quotes, videos and more on our Twitter page and YouTube channel. Learn more about team member opportunities by visiting our career page.