TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – We can all agree Olive Garden’s unlimited soups and breadsticks are something special. But would you name your child after the popular restaurant chain?
Jordan, 26, and Justin Garton, 27, of Arkansas said they spent seven straight weeks eating at their local Olive Garden restaurant to save money while in financial straits. Two years later, the couple decided to name their firstborn child, a baby girl, Olivia Garton.
“It actually didn’t start out as just us loving Olive Garden,” Justin told TODAY. “Jordan is a third-generation Italian-American so she wanted to pick a name inspired by her heritage, so we considered Olive and Olivia.”
“When we said ‘Olive Garton’ out loud, obviously we got a big kick out of that, but kids are cruel nowadays, so we wanted it to be a bit more subtle.”
“When we told our friends and family, they picked up on (the Olive Garden reference) immediately,” he said. “They’ve been having a field day with it.”
The couple told the TODAY show they bought a Neverending Pasta Pass, which usually sells out in seconds in 2015, and had dinner at Olive Garden nearly every night for several weeks. They would eat their leftovers for lunch the following day.
Justin would have the braised beef and tortelloni with chicken gnocchi soup, while Jordan preferred the ravioli di portobello.
“We could barely afford groceries, and it ended up saving hundreds of dollars,” Justin said.
They even befriended some staff members. “They really lifted our spirits during a tough time,” he said.
When the couple announced their daughter’s name on Twitter, they were contacted by Olive Garden’s corporate office who said they were sending Olivia a special care package when she is born.
“I’ve been a voice actor for over a decade, and Olivia is already more famous than I am,” Justin joked.
Olivia is due on December 6.