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Olive Garden Lets Parents Have A Date Night By Offering Free Babysitting

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Olive Garden may boast a family-style meal, but on Feb. 7, parents might be able to eat out alone.

The Italian restaurant chain partnered with My Gym, a fitness center for kids, to give parents around the country a night to dine sans kids. A representative for the restaurant told the Orlando Sentinel that it's using the "Parents' Night Out" to promote the 2-for-$25 deal, but moms and dads are free to enjoy other items on the menu as well.

According to Business Insider, parents can take their child to one of the 145 participating My Gyms locations and pay a deposit, which will be returned later when they show their Olive Garden receipt. The center will take kids on a first-come, first-served basis, because each gym will only accommodate 30 kids.

Jay Spenchian, Olive Garden's Executive VP of Marketing, told ABC news that the company wants to help parents out.

"We want to give them a break," he said. "What better way to give them a break than to go have a special night, worry free, and the kids can have a great time?"

But there might be another motivation behind the free-babysitting night. According to ABC, Olive Garden's sales are down 4% compared to last year. Other initiatives to boost costumer visits have included introducing a new "Italiano burger" and price changes on the menu.

Maybe some customers just need to be reminded: The breadsticks are unlimited.

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