Olive Garden lovers, prepare for a new look.The restaurant’s president, Dave George, recently announced changes the company is undertaking to restructure the chain and rescue the wobbling brand.
CNBC reports Olive Garden’s sales fell by 1.2 per cent during the past fiscal year and the company is using everything from more affordable prices to updated decor to reel in new customers.
Here are the changes coming:
- New logo: The chain will be revamping the script green writing and purple grapes that currently grace its storefronts, although George didn’t go into specifics.
- Fewer restaurant openings: The number of new locations will be reduced to about 15 annually during the next few years, about half of the current speed of construction, Georg said.
- Steady prices: Olive Garden will hold down price increases on its menu items to 1 per cent annually. Darden Restaurants, which owns the chain, is also applying this rule at Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.
- A more modern feel: George said the current Tuscan farmhouse vibe that most restaurants feature will be updated to a “more relevant” look, toning down the stonework and archways.
- Smaller plates and fewer calories: A new lunch combo will go for less than $7 and a lower-calorie lasagna option is hitting menus soon. More varied menu options are on tap as well.
- New uniforms: Say goodbye to the starched shirts and black ties. Waiters and waitresses now will sport a new all-black ensemble.
But one Olive Garden staple isn’t going away: the restaurant’s endless breadsticks.
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