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Jul 31, 2012 06:42 AM

Olive Garden in decline?

"Underperformance at Olive Garden, Darden's full-service Italian restaurant operator, which has 792 eateries, delivered lackluster results in three quarters of 2012. Olive garden will likely pose a threat to Darden's bottom line" -

Is John Q Public finally seeing through the OG menu?

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      1. re: L2k

        It should be entirely possible, using Flickr, Google Web Stats, Amazon AWS & other Web tools, to map out its pitch and decline, and -- more importantly -- determine *exactly when* was its height, what were the images made online during this peak time of Olive Garden apex and dominance...

        1. re: bkarger

          maybe not -- lot of OG's dominance was long before the intarwebs.

      2. Quelle horreur!!! Oh the humanity!! ;)

        1. Big surprise! People must be getting sick of alfredo sauce over cheese sutffed prefried chicken and pasta.

          1 Reply
          1. re: libgirl2

            Don't count on it but I would say there is more competition which is driving people into other restaurants. Even though there is a movement away from sugar and white starch I don't think the average visitor to OG is among them.

          2. Every location of the Olive Garden in my environs have started to have competition from one or more of Carrabbas, Macaroni Grill or Johnny Carinos. All three of which are marginally to greatly preferable to Olive Garden.

            I really do need to try Olive Garden again though, it's been 3-4 years since we have been.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kengk

              you aren't missing much. I still remember when they started out.... it was quite yummy. I miss my linguini with white clam sauce.

              1. re: libgirl2

                That was the dish that opened my eyes to what a fraud OG was. I know it's a popular dish, but the first time I ate at an OG, I ordered it, and was presented with overcooked pasta and gluey sauce, not at all what good linguini with white clam sauce should be. I chalked it up to a bad night at that restaurant. The second time I went to an OG, in a different state, I ordered it again and was presented with overcooked pasta and gluey sauce. There was no third time -- the few times since then I've had to eat at an OG, I ordered something else and filled up on the salad.

                1. re: Bob W

                  The last time I ordered it I had your experience, but the first couple of time.... it was good. My parents stopped going when they nuked my mom's soup and gave her sticky pasta too.

                2. re: libgirl2

                  <I miss my linguini with white clam sauce.>

                  It's really very easy to make yourself. ;)

              2. Maybe the CEO should bad-mouth some minority like the Chik-Fil-A CEO. It was horrible PR but at least it grabbed everyone's attention. And maybe other people who agree with him or her will create an Olive Garden Appreciation Day.

                Maybe that's not such a good idea after all.