Diory and Greg Polone came to the United States from Haiti in 2006 in search of a better life. They found that life with Olive Garden.
Diory, the eldest, is a lobby, bar and off-premises manager in charge of ToGo orders in Miami. He joined Olive Garden first, in 2011, and continually pushed Greg to join him there. “He kept telling me it was a great company,” Greg said. In 2014, Greg took his brother’s advice. A culinary team member who’s now a trainer who helps open new restaurants, Greg worked with his brother Diory for a year and a half before they moved to different Olive Garden locations in South Florida.
“It was the best time of my life when we worked together in the same kitchen,” Greg said. “We had so much fun. Our team members would announce our arrival: ‘The Polones are here!’ ”
Diory, who was hired as a line cook, was a team member for five years before becoming a manager in 2016 and moving back to the Miami restaurant where he and Greg started. Greg now works at a Fort Lauderdale location.
“When I started at Olive Garden,” Diory said, “I never expected to be where I am right now. There’s so much opportunity. The sky’s the limit. After I succeed as a general manager someday, I want to become a director of operations and then the president of the company.”
“Diory has played an integral role in our restaurant’s success,” said General Manager James Lipps. “He raises the bar with everything he’s a part of, and his goal of becoming a general manager is at his fingertips. It won’t be much longer.”
Greg is equally confident in his abilities. “It must be something in our blood,” he said. Although he’s proud of Diory’s accomplishments and wants to become a manager eventually, he said he’s in no hurry. “I want to take my time because I’m really enjoying opening new restaurants. I get to travel and meet so many great people.”
Greg has helped with three new restaurant openings (NROs) in the past year, and he’s especially proud of his second one, an international opening in Guam in Oct. 2018.
“Greg’s energy and positivity are infectious,” said NRO Manager Jenn Deck. “His passion and knowledge help establish a strong culture at every new restaurant he supports.”
Restaurant jobs are good jobs, Diory said. “If you love your family, you will love to work at Olive Garden because it’s all about family.”