When was the last time you ordered the ‘Tour of Italy’ at your local Olive Garden? That long ago, huh? Well, the struggling casual Italian restaurant chain is still suffering from lower sales and non-existent foot traffic.
It’s already come up with a few ideas to boost sales, including the addition of the “Italiano Burger” to add more variety to its menu.
The problem is, customers don’t go to Olive Garden for a burger…
I’ll Take That “To Go”
Part of its most recent changes don’t even involve keeping customers inside the restaurant. Olive Garden redesigned it’s website to cater to online shoppers since you can now click on all the food you’d like to eat, add it to a cart, use a coupon code if any, pre-pay for the whole purchase, then hop in your car and pick it up at your nearest location.
Breaking Down Walls
If you’re old fashioned and you want to actually sit and dine inside the actual restaurant, say goodbye to the homey décor because the chain is rolling out a whole new modernized look, as well.
The updated design knocks down the walls and makes the restaurant more open to encourage guests to gather; it’ll have more flexible seating to accommodate larger parties of guests. Olive Garden says the décor will still have a home-like feel, yet have a more modern lobby and bar area.
The chain left no stone unturned. It’s even replacing the plates with white sleek ones instead of those “Italian-looking” rustic dishes with busy designs.
Menus will also be leather-bound. The new menu design is being tested in more than 30 of its restaurants right now, with plans to roll it out nationwide by the end of the year.
If those changes weren’t enough, behold the new company logo:
This is the first time Olive Garden has made a big tweek to its logo in more than 15 years.
In its most recent quarterly report, released on June 20, 2014, Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, said total sales were $3.6 billion, a 1.1% decline from 2013.
Only time will tell if this new strategy is enough to turn things around.