Skip to comments.Traffic Slump at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn; Smaller Plates, Cheaper Items at Olive Garden
Posted on 03/04/2013 11:31:50 AM PST by Kaslin
High gasoline prices coupled with 2% payroll tax hikes is going to take a bite out of restaurant sales this year. For some chains the slump has already started.
Consider Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steak House. Darden Restaurant Traffic is down an average 4.5, with Red Lobster leading the pack down 7.5%.
Smaller Plates, Cheaper Items at Olive Garden
At Olive Garden, Smaller, Cheaper Plates are on the way, along with new uniforms including a more contemporary black button-down shirt and black slacks.
Don't worry, endless breadsticks remain.
Olive Garden is also creating a new logo and toning down its the "Old World Style" Tuscan stonework and wooden archways that have been a signature part of Olive Garden restaurants since 2000.
The main problem is saturation. I see endless miles of restaurants on strips nearby. Those restaurants include Steak & Shake, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Subway, China Express, Chili's, Chipotle, Panera, and other chains intermixed with some local eateries.
If the problem is saturation (and it is), spending money on architecture style changes, creating a new logo, and the new uniform changes is a waste of money, especially the architectural revisions.
People want good food, fast friendly service, and good value.
To pick up market share, restaurants need to lower prices, not make logo changes. And lower prices will take a bite out of earnings. One final point: as soon as restaurants stop expanding (and they will), the hiring will stop with it.
Those who thought Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not serious in his pledge to defeat deflation (and destroy the Yen in the process) need think again.
Haruhiko Kuroda (Abe's nominee to head Japan's central bank) pledges to do Whatever Needed to Combat Japan Deflation.
Haruhiko Kuroda, nominated to be the next Bank of Japan governor, said that a central bank under his leadership would do whatever is needed to combat 15 years of deflation.Mother of all Pyrrhic Victories
“I would like to make my stance clear that we will do whatever we can do,” Kuroda, the president of the Asian Development Bank, said in a confirmation hearing in the parliament in Tokyo today.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nomination of Kuroda has raised expectations for more aggressive monetary easing to revive the world’s third-biggest economy after Masaaki Shirakawa exits the job on March 19. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan, the largest party in the upper house, has signaled it will back Kuroda, easing his passage through a split parliament.
Kuroda said in an interview this month that falling prices exacerbate real debt burdens, and give an incentive to companies and households to postpone spending. Consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.2 percent in January. The price gauge hasn’t advanced 2 percent -- the central bank’s new target -- for any year since 1997, when a national sales tax was increased.
I'm sure they meant to say "coupled with the restoration of President Obama's 2% payroll tax reduction in advance of the 2010 election..."
I'll second that. I went a couple weeks ago for a coworker's birthday. It's her favorite restaurant. I hadn't been in one in more than a decade. Portions were tiny, prices exhorbitant, quality lousy.
We have learned to make some really good salsa and pico de gallo with fresh ingredients via the Mexican groceries here. Our problem is finding good chips that compare to restaurant style chips. The grocery that caters to the Mexican population sells ok chips that we heat, but they are just not the same.
I am surprised there are no Mexican restaurants there. Everywhere we have lived, we have found decent Mexican places. It has been so long since I was in your area that I can’t think of ANY restaurants much less good ones.
I miss the veal piccatta
Salad bowl and pasta figioli suits my diet and my taste
Nice strategy! :-)
Did someone say "picatta"?
As in Richard m. Nixon?
I recommend flour tortilla chips. Only place I’ve had them.......caballo blanco sacramento
Incidentally, Nixon's brother Donald operated a drive-in restaurant on Whittier Blvd.--called Nixon's--from 1952-1957. Great patty melts were to be had there.
I say deport 'em if they don't know which "they're" to use!
We think we get the most bang for our buck at (if the food is good) Mexican and Indian restaurants and Bob Evans. Most others are a crap shoot at best.
Red Lobster has terrible seafood. The driveby seafood joints in Seattle have better stuff.
Have only been to Olive Garden twice, but they seemed better. It is hard to mess up pasta and salad.
Olive Garden is Moochelle’s resturant.
As for Olive Garden: had not been there in years, until I think we went on New Year's Day, due to few places were open, and it was the chance to eat out for our wedding anniversary. I had something that was lobster/seafood cannelloni (?), which was amazingly wonderful. It was one of the pricier items on the menu, but it did not disappoint.
Thank you for your report.
Long as they don’t mess with the salad. I don’t much care for Olive Garden’s entrees, but I love the salad.
We used to do take out Olive Garden because it was close to my office and the boss was buying. (:
Red Lobster was always, I thought, overpriced for the quality and amount of food. For a couple bucks more per entree, you could eat at a decent restaurant.
Not really. A strong economy can support all these outfits and always has been able to do so fairly well.
The issue is --the type of society the globalists are building here is very much like a Scandinavian society on steroids.
Meaning, eating out is reserved for the elites and special occasions. McDonald's for a family of four in any of the Scandinavian countries will run you $50 and higher. TGIFs, or the like, easily well over $100. The only thing really affordable is, maybe, an immigrant run (usually Turks)pizza joint.
If they are successful at fundamental transformation of the United States, expect only a handful of these places to survive.
They’ve been doing this in grocery stores for several years. Smaller containers at the same or higher price.
When we lived in LA we often went to a little Italian place in Van Nuys that was awesome. It was tiny, one cook, two hot waitresses and cheap prices. The night before we moved back to Texas we went there to eat. When we told the owner we were moving he gave us “our last supper” for free.
About a year later I asked a friend if he was still going to that restaurant and he told me the guy got busted for selling drugs. Apparently the restaurant was a front.
Yes, the portions have gotten smaller and the quality has declined. However, you can see that even in the food you buy at the grocery stores. Meat is expensive and lower quality, and convenience foods are using cheaper ingredients.
We are becoming the kind of socialist dump that Obama has always wanted to create. Next we’ll be living in 800 sq. ft. apartments that have the washing machine in the kitchen, just like Europeans.
Wel... sort of, but if you watch this episode of Top Gear about commie made cars, you will see that even the elite end up with crapola.
Yes, I’ve noticed that, too, but at least you see the package size and price up front before you buy it. At the restaurant, you order something you have had before expecting the same thing (at the same or higher price) and then it comes and it’s like what happened?
, I argued with the waitress that she had brought me a child’s portion.
This just enrages me. I am a petite person and don’t eat that much, but it’s the being taken for a fool that gets me. If they want to do this, I would rather they put a note in the menu saying that they have had to increase their prices due to (insert reason) than play these little games thinking we won’t notice and just continue coming and getting ripped off. My poor husband is always leaving restaurants hungry!
It would appear that what you describe is anomaly. The article was written using data including all of the depressed Yankee hell holes that are the northern blue tier.
The depressed areas suffer from self imposed regulatory excess. The mandates have stifled growth. The peripheral businesses described are suffering from the negative trend in sales.
Thanks for the story. Me and my Gf do our best to discover small restos that no one found out yet. I’m not a “wait in line to get in” kind of guy. I was in-line more than a few times and our group ended up going to In N Out instead.