Olive Garden treated our local firefighters, who don't get to have a holiday, to lunch on Labor Day.
Firefighters brave danger, and risk their lives to keep all of us safe. They also sacrifice their time, and on Monday, when most workers have the day off, they have to work.
Olive Garden recognizes that sacrifice and public service, and honored them by serving them lunch.
The folks at Olive Garden delivered the free lunch to the firefighters at 910 Airline Road; a free lunch that the firefighters earned. Culinary Manager William Coleman explained the idea behind the annual effort.
"We love treating our civil servants," Coleman said. "They never get the day off. They're always out doing for us as the community, so we like to give back to the community, our local civil servants, by feeding them lunch. Give them a good meal, show our appreciation for the things they do for us everyday to make our community strong."
For the restaurant employees serving the meal, they don't have the day off either. It's another day of work for them, but they don't see it that way. It's more like an honor and privilege to be able to serve these heroes.
"To me it's just a day of gratitude for all the service people that, you know, go to any extent for the jobs they do," said Carla Loften, an Olive Garden employee. "And for us to show this little bit of gratitude, it's something special to me."
The firefighters don't take the Labor Day treat for granted. For firefighter Daniel Pena, Labor Day is another day of labor. It just comes with the territory, but he's thankful for the recognition of his and his coworkers' service.
"There's not many holidays that we get off, unfortunately," Pena said. "You know the fire department. We don't have a day off so, whether it's Labor Day, Christmas Day, any holiday, one shift has to be working. So for Olive Garden to take the time out and do this for us, we all are very appreciative of that."
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