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Manager reveals what it's like to run the Times Square Olive Garden (and what happens when the breadsticks run out)

An Olive Garden restaurant located in Times Square, New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
An Olive Garden restaurant located in Times Square, New York.

Managing the three-floor Olive Garden restaurant at 2 Times Square in Manhattan, which offers seatings until 2 AM and often has lines two hours long, is no easy task. You must provide comfort food to tourists and homesick New Yorkers alike, and help all visitors looking for a break from the hectic city of strangers outside feel like they are, at least for an hour or so, "family."

In an epic Q&A, Bay Area writer Joe Wadlington offers insights, courtesy of a former general manager, into just how hard running a huge and popular outpost of an iconic restaurant can be.

Wadlington begins, "I went on a date last night and the guy meekly shared that he used to be THE GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE TIMES SQUARE OLIVE GARDEN."

Then he starts dishing out details. Here, for example, is what happens when a chain famous for breadsticks runs out of its signature product, which resulted in what the manager calls the "worst shifts of my life":

Here is what staff wonders about its American customers:

Here is what happens if you want to stay all day:

And here is what happens when two customers get in a knife fight.

The date explains that the women began a fistfight and were separated by the other manager, at which point they each grabbed knives from other tables and began brawling again. That manager disarmed them and threw them out.

Violent combat, in case you're curious, is where Olive Garden draws the line.

"Were they still 'family'?" asks Wadlington.

"No," replies his date.

Still, the date goes on to say, he preferred dealing with armed assailants to handling disappointed diners.

Check out the full Q&A collected in New York Magazine.