9:57 am January 26, 2012, by David Markiewicz
Olive Garden likes to say, “When you’re here, you’re family.”
Lately, the family’s had a falling out.
That’s according to a dispatch from McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers remarking on the dwindling draw of the long-popular Italian dining destination.
Everyone from academics to (former) customers takes a shot at the chain.
One memorable line from a financial counselor who doesn’t go there anymore: “They pour subpar wine and play Dean Martin music and call it an Italian restaurant.”
Executives at the restaurant’s parent company wouldn’t dish for the article, but it’s noted that changes are in the works, including a remodeling and a menu re-do. There’ll be new ads, too.
Olive Garden, owned by the same folks who run Red Lobster, still had more than $3 billion in sales last year, and it’s more than a few plates in front of category runner-up, Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
Still, while industry analysts say a fix is possible, they also say it won’t be easy.
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