Darden can’t seem to convince more people to sit down for a meal at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.The company reported a sharply lower quarterly profit on Friday that missed Wall Street expectations, with sales down at its two biggest chains despite ongoing attempts to revamp their menus with lighter, cheaper options.
Well, yeah. Here, let me help with some marketing analysis.
Olive Garden. People are gradually realizing they don’t need Never Ending Pasta. And gradually realizing there are a lot better and more truly Italian places available locally almost everywhere.
Red Lobster. What happened to the food? You used to have a big lovely baked potato with kosher salt on the outside that was cooked just right. Now they’re little lumps. Used to have big, pretty side salads. Not anymore. Used to have many different choices of fresh fish in reasonable portions. Now, not so much. You can’t make a good seafood dinner if the main draw is baking mix biscuits. And of course you’re still known for being the place with the 45 minute line when there are 20 open tables …. hey wake up here.