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Emerging Leaders of Olive Garden | Chad Knackstedt

March 20, 2017

By: Darden Restaurants, Editor

Emerging Leaders of Olive Garden | Chad Knackstedt

Chad Knackstedt, a service manager at the Olive Garden restaurant in American Fork, UT, said his job leaves him plenty of family time.

Photo Credit: Darden Restaurants

Q. How long have you been with Olive Garden, and what was your first job with the brand?

A. I’ve worked at Olive Garden since 2011. I started as a server at the Idaho Falls, ID, restaurant and later moved to the location in South Jordan, UT. I went through management training at the Murray, UT, location and American Fork, UT, and now am a service manager at American Fork.

Q. Why have you chosen a career with Darden and Olive Garden?

A. I thrive on the family atmosphere. Here, everyone you work with becomes your friend. Olive Garden and its managers take good care of their team members. They understand that we have families we want to spend time with, and they don’t overwork us, which helps us achieve a healthy work-life balance. And I love the food, of course.

Q. How has Olive Garden recognized your potential and helped you to be successful?

A. My managers helped me move up in the company after I told them I wanted to advance. They trained me as a bartender and in other positions and guided me to where I am now. I’m grateful.

Q. What do you do to recharge your batteries?

A. I love to spend time with my wife and 10-month-old son. I’m a proud dad. I also enjoy reading. Some favorites are The Wheel of Time fantasy series, which I reread all the time, as well as Stephen King novels and the Bible. I read Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to my son every night.

Q. Is there one Olive Garden dish you can’t resist?

A. That’s a hard one because there are so many, but I’d have to pick the Chicken Scampi.

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