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Olive Garden tries to woo back customers after falling into a rut
McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers ^ | January 23, 2012 | Sandra Pedicini

Posted on 01/25/2012 8:25:29 PM PST by ConservativeStatement

With sales slipping, Olive Garden is trying to win back customers who have fallen out of love with the nation's largest Italian chain.

It is a major challenge for Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other brands.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: clarenceotisjr; michelleobama; olivegarden; restaurants
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1 posted on 01/25/2012 8:25:34 PM PST by ConservativeStatement
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To: ConservativeStatement

After they jumped on the “moochelle” bandwagon I decided the Darden chain didn’t need MY business.


2 posted on 01/25/2012 8:28:15 PM PST by Josa
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To: ConservativeStatement

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded all the time.


3 posted on 01/25/2012 8:29:16 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Offer free tea with any entree and sales would go up. People are sick and tired of 25% of the bill being a glass of tea.


4 posted on 01/25/2012 8:29:25 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: ConservativeStatement
When you open plastic bags and warm them up and call them soup, or open cans and call it sauce... Well, what do you expect?

I'm all for good field food, having served it to thousands of my closest friends under field conditions. But if I go to a restaurant, I expect the unexpected.

Tuesdays should be chef special days, getting rid of what didn't sell over the weekend (Don't eat the fish).

/johnny

5 posted on 01/25/2012 8:32:35 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Vigilanteman

Yogi?


6 posted on 01/25/2012 8:33:06 PM PST by aposiopetic
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To: ConservativeStatement

Pasta, pasta, pasta. Might as well just glue it on your midriff.


7 posted on 01/25/2012 8:33:38 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Vigilanteman; ConservativeStatement

Simple solution: Take reservations. Or at least offer “call ahead” like the Darden’s clone Red Lobster.


8 posted on 01/25/2012 8:36:57 PM PST by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: Vigilanteman

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded all the time.”

LOL!


9 posted on 01/25/2012 8:38:02 PM PST by FryingPan101
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To: Vigilanteman
I think their soup is awful, imo of course...the only really good thing is their salad, and sometimes it seems you have to beg to get anymore....

frankly, I'm trying to eat at local eateries that actually cook their own food.

10 posted on 01/25/2012 8:38:24 PM PST by cherry
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To: Josa

I guess cutting back on the portions, ostensibly to help people keep their weight in check, wasn’t such a good idea afterall.


11 posted on 01/25/2012 8:38:49 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I will put up with average food if a restaurant and its staff look CLEAN.


12 posted on 01/25/2012 8:42:11 PM PST by PGR88
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To: ConservativeStatement

Didn’t Olive Garden get the Bams SOTU message yesterday?
American economy is back and booming—get in line with the propaganda already.


13 posted on 01/25/2012 8:42:30 PM PST by tflabo (Restore the Republic)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Red Lobster has been a disappointment with their menu changes. We don’t go to eat there the way we used to. Cheesecake Factory is one of our new favourite restaurants.


14 posted on 01/25/2012 8:46:21 PM PST by psjones (u)
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To: psjones

Cheesecake factory is my GF’s fave too. She literally drags me there. In hindsight, it’s better she drag me there instead of some male-neutering movie like Sex and City’..(yeah, she tried but failed)


15 posted on 01/25/2012 8:50:12 PM PST by max americana (Buttcrack Obama is an idiot)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I will never eat at Olive Garden or any Darden chain (Red Lobster, Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52) because they are PC Fascists. Here’s what they did in my community a few years back - A local city councilman had a multigeneration family owned bakery distributorship. In addition to running the family business, he served on the city council and hosted a weekly talkshow. His politics were of the non-communist and thus not approved by Darden side. He made a politically incorrect statement about a mural painted on a school wall and Darden threatened to cancel their contracts for the local Olive Garden and Red Lobster (large and long time customers.) He was forced to sell his family’s interest in the bakery to save his employees jobs. That’s the Olive Garden (Chicago) way.


16 posted on 01/25/2012 8:53:27 PM PST by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
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To: Josa

Yea, I avoid them too because of their commie support. Let them eat bailout bilge water!


17 posted on 01/25/2012 8:55:51 PM PST by MtnClimber (Tim Tebow will never be successful in the NFL - Leftist journalists who have sold their souls)
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To: PGR88

‘I will put up with average food if a restaurant and its staff look CLEAN.”

Exactly what went through my mind!


18 posted on 01/25/2012 8:56:05 PM PST by Ecliptic
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To: ConservativeStatement

I never really like Olive Garden. Thought it was overpriced and portions notthat great. My favorite restaurant had always been Red Lobster (also a Darden restaurant) but the last time there was very disappointing.


19 posted on 01/25/2012 8:59:31 PM PST by fkabuckeyesrule (Lets institute SARAH-ia law in America!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Olive Garden: “If you’re here, you’re family” should be changed to “If you’re here, you’re not Italian”.


20 posted on 01/25/2012 8:59:41 PM PST by TexasNative2000 (Jimmy Carter's incompetence + Richard Nixon's paranoia = Barack Obama)
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To: Vigilanteman
Thanks Yogi.

Olive Garden is alright, but their food is overpriced for what one receives, imo. If I want to pay a lot for Italian food I'll go to little Italy in the city. At least then I'll get exceptional quality instead of generic, stamped out food.

21 posted on 01/25/2012 9:10:38 PM PST by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: cherry
I'm trying to eat at local eateries that actually cook their own food.

You must be an eccentric!

22 posted on 01/25/2012 9:11:23 PM PST by BlackVeil
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To: ConservativeStatement

Gosharooty, would I rather support restaurants in Orlando with charbroiled burgers, pork ribs and free samples of ice cream for about $7 to $16 for a meal for two or a restaurant chain that has a Wookie approved menu for lowering all fat, salt and sugar that’s $30-40 a meal for two?


23 posted on 01/25/2012 9:12:53 PM PST by Southern Magnolia
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To: azcap

Interesting. Of all those establishments listed, I have visited a grand total of maybe 3-4 times. I prefer Chili’s for a chain.


24 posted on 01/25/2012 9:15:38 PM PST by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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To: psjones
Cheesecake Factory food is delicious, but be warned - the fat and sodium content of nearly their entire menu is through the (Egyptian style) roof.

That aside, if you have not tried the deep fried mac-n-cheese you do need to stop in...

25 posted on 01/25/2012 9:17:54 PM PST by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: cherry

frankly, I’m trying to eat at local eateries that actually cook their own food.”

We traveled extensively over the Christmas holidays pledging ahead of time that when we ate out we would not eat at even one chain restaurant anywhere. One one meal in three weeks was marginal - the rest were all fabulous. Most were small family owned and operated, excellent service and surprisingly inexpensive.


26 posted on 01/25/2012 9:18:41 PM PST by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

A neighbor of mine works at Red Lobster part-time. She says on busy days they always run out of pasta and run to the store next door that sells generic 50 cents a pound pasta. There’s an olive garden near by, too, so I wouldn’t doubt that they resort to this. So you’re paying for a meal with pasta half the time that you probably wouldn’t even buy for yourself at home.


27 posted on 01/25/2012 9:23:13 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: ConservativeStatement

A neighbor of mine works at Red Lobster part-time. She says on busy days they always run out of pasta and run to the store next door that sells generic 50 cents a pound pasta. There’s an olive garden near by, too, so I wouldn’t doubt that they resort to this. So you’re paying for a meal with pasta half the time that you probably wouldn’t even buy for yourself at home.


28 posted on 01/25/2012 9:23:32 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: fkabuckeyesrule

I went to Red lobster last fall for the first time in 20 years.

IT WAS HORRIBLE!

not only was it horrible, it was NOT affordable.

never never ever going back again.


29 posted on 01/25/2012 9:27:51 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: ConservativeStatement

Visiting Florida, my wife and I tried Olive Garden for the first and last time. I couldn’t believe the child sized portions they served. I even asked the waitress if they were child portions, she assured me they weren’t.

I don’t know if they are all that way and am not curious enough to visit another one to find out.

My wife and I are not big eaters but we both left that place still hungry.


30 posted on 01/25/2012 9:28:22 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: Graybeard58
I have been to O.G. just once. I am sure others here will respond.
31 posted on 01/25/2012 9:30:53 PM PST by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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To: Jonty30
I guess cutting back on the portions, ostensibly to help people keep their weight in check, wasn’t such a good idea after all.

I posted #30 before I read your comment.

32 posted on 01/25/2012 9:31:33 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: TexasNative2000
lulz.

At the Olive Gardens I've been to, the waiters all affect these over-the-top Italian accents. Gimme il break-o.

33 posted on 01/25/2012 9:31:53 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Josa

That was our reason to stop going as well. Same for Red Lobster, drat it all!


34 posted on 01/25/2012 9:33:33 PM PST by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

My extended family and I will never set foot in that Obamessiah loving, MOOCHIELL food Nazi following Olive Garden again, EVER!


35 posted on 01/25/2012 9:34:34 PM PST by Jmouse007 (Lord deliver us from evil, in Jesus name, amen.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

supporting gay marriage, that’s what happens


36 posted on 01/25/2012 9:36:59 PM PST by dila813
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To: Graybeard58

Freepers are wise and quick witted.

It’s always going to be a race to who can say it first. :)


37 posted on 01/25/2012 9:37:08 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I read through the postings and noone seems to have mentioned the obtuse decision by the Management of the Olive Garden Restaurant in Oxford, Alabama, to not allow display of an American Flag for some sort of civic club meeting (they did try some mealy mouthed excuse, but it failed to convince me). That, along with Mrs. Dear Leader sticking her nose into things, is enough to place them off limits for this family. I did read where there most recent quarterly nets were down 28% during the last reporting period. Although a couple of their employees are personal friends, in the big picture I was very pleased with that report and hope the trend continues. The friends are good folks and can quickly gain employment elsewhere.


38 posted on 01/25/2012 9:44:10 PM PST by jennings2004 (Texas or Kansas?-- American geography is so confusing...at least they have some common border...:)).)
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To: psjones

My experience at the Cheesecake Factory wasn’t all that good as far as service and ambiance was concerned. The lighting was so poor that it was almost too dark to read the menu. The waiter also badgered us to hurry up and order. However, the food wasn’t bad.


39 posted on 01/25/2012 9:48:12 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: ConservativeStatement

If they hired Chef Ramsey, it might help

lol

/sarc


40 posted on 01/25/2012 9:59:17 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Josa
After they jumped on the “moochelle” bandwagon I decided the Darden chain didn’t need MY business.

I agree . . . haven't been there since Moochelle the Porker "made" them change their menu.

Neither I nor my wife want to put on as fat a behind as that bulbous hypocrite. Maybe Her Royal Hind Ass should get on a treadmill before she tells us that we and our kids are fat. Don't they have any mirrors in our White House, or has Obambi filled his room with them.

Any restaurant in the Darden chain is now off limits in my house.

41 posted on 01/25/2012 9:59:33 PM PST by laweeks
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To: ConservativeStatement
If you are in Whittier or North Orange County, Calif., you don't need to go to the Olive Garden or Red Lobster. If you want seafood, eat at the Seafare on Whittier Blvd. in East Whittier. A seafood restaurant owned by the Milhous family, a pioneering family which has been in Whittier since 1897, the eatery has been in business since 1961. Along Whittier Blvd. from Pico Rivera to Brea, only one other restaurant has been in business that long--Jack's in Whittier.

If you want Italian food, try Vinny's in La Habra. This is actually owned by an Italian family, unlike many "Italian" restaurants in Southern California. There's also Lomeli's in Brea, where I used to take my mother every Sunday.

42 posted on 01/25/2012 10:04:34 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: laweeks

Well I’m sure those generous liberals will step up to the plate and start eating out more often at the Olive Garden.


43 posted on 01/25/2012 10:06:21 PM PST by Josa
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To: martin_fierro

The last Olive Garden I went to was in Orlando FL, it is the test kitchen for the Darden HQ, also the one you see in most Olive Garden commercials.

Anyway, waitress comes over with the 5 pounds of Southern belle makeup and big hair thing, with a ridiculous fake Italian accent, I order my food using Sicilian pronunciations which is the only way I know how to pronounce some of the fake Sicilian/southern Italian food on the menu, and she didn’t understand a word of it.
This Olive Garden plays 4 CDs called “Mob Hits Complete Collection: I, II and III” on a continuous cycle from opening until closing. Very very racist.


44 posted on 01/25/2012 10:11:54 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: ConservativeStatement

I’ve always liked Olive Garden (I know, that’s like saying I like Romney on this thread). I’ve had a couple of somewhat unpleasant experiences there, but nothing worse than the mom and pops. I’ve always LOVED their salad and breadsticks (by the way, I like Microsoft Windows too, and Bank of America).

Having said that (about Olive Garden), I’ve told them that I’m through until they disown their Michelle love affair...so they’re now off my list.


45 posted on 01/25/2012 10:16:37 PM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Worst food ever. To quote fry:
“That’s the saltiest thing I’ve ever tasted. And I once ate a big, heaping bowl of salt!”


46 posted on 01/25/2012 10:30:47 PM PST by Trillian
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To: aposiopetic

“Yogi?”

LOL

Berra or Bear?


47 posted on 01/25/2012 10:32:56 PM PST by ha maker (Sanity for lurkers)
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To: laweeks; Josa

Any restaurant sucking up to Bammy and co. won’t get my business, either.


48 posted on 01/25/2012 11:05:27 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I have always enjoyed their chiliburgers.


49 posted on 01/25/2012 11:18:33 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I have boycotted them for years because of prolife but one time when I was with someone who needed to eat fast and went to RL I broke down and went with her. The food reminded me more of food a 4 year old would like than adults. It was basically had very little seasoning and was rather mushy. The bread was such that I wondered if it was bread as it seemed more like “Wonder Bread” than bread with any honest appeal. The salad was unremarkable. It made me realize how little I have missed out by not having gone there before. Never, of course, went back.


50 posted on 01/25/2012 11:44:27 PM PST by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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