Olive Garden Server Goes Above and Beyond With Stressed-Out Single Mom and Fussy Toddler

Parents who have felt the embarrassment from an unruly child in a restaurant can attest to wanting to leave or shrink into a corner. That was almost the case for Courtney Pedigo when she went to Olive Garden this past week.

Pedigo went to the restaurant with her daughter, father, stepmother, and family friends hoping to enjoy her meal. But the single mom’s 18-month-old toddler, Harlynn, had other plans. The little girl wouldn’t sit still in her seat and was trying to hatch an escape plan so she could run around. Pedigo was ready to give up.

That’s when she decided to ask her server, Nianni Rudder, to box up their food in to-go packages so they could eat in the car. Not wanting to see her leave, Rudder had a better idea. She sat down with Harlynn and fed her while chatting with Mom, and the baby kept still! Pedigo was also able to enjoy her food.

Pedigo was so amazed by the act of kindness that she posted a message of thanks on Facebook along with a picture of Nianni and Harlynn. Although the photo went viral, Rudder said she never expected the media attention and she only takes Olive Garden’s motto to heart: “When you’re here, you’re family.”

Take a look at the adorable moment by clicking on this video from WGHP and hear what both Courtney and Nianni have to say about the experience.

Parents: can you relate to Pedigo’s predicament? Have you ever had an experience like this at a restaurant? What are your thoughts on this story?