When Marie-Anne and I dined at an Olive Garden in Kissimmee Florida a few weeks ago, I've gotta tell ya, the lay of the land was far better than the one we have here in Augusta. The bar and dining area were separate from the waiting area and there were actually booths in the bar where you could wait at the counter having a drink then take the first "bar booth" that became available.

While the wait for those going into the dining room was 20 to 30 minutes, we got maybe a sip into our drinks before a booth became available and we were seated and immediately waited on. The manager told me this was the "new" restaurant design...with less emphasis on the "old world style."

In addition to a new look, there will be more varied and less expensive offerings. To me, food quality/price is number one, service is a close second and atmosphere is important but ranks third. The new management (based in Orlando) seems to have the right idea when it comes to pleasing ME. I think I'm in line with most average diners in what I expect from a restaurant.

Personally, I really like Olive Garden. I love the spaghetti and meatballs, great salad and those delicious bread sticks (which have their own Facebook page!). I hope the changes they're making keep them relevant and in the black.

By the way, Olive Garden is owned by Darden Restaurants which also owns Longhorn Steakhouse and others.

That said, maybe I'll see you in line some Friday night waiting to be seated. I sure hope they put up one of the newer style buildings in Augusta so I can be a barfly while I wait for a booth. The current setup just doesn't do it for me.