Can Olive Garden Save Darden Restaurants?

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI  ) just closed out a tough year. Sales at the company's flagship Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse locations fell hard this past winter as value-minded customers flocked to cheaper alternatives.

In the following video, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos talks about how Darden has responded to the exodus, noting one recent good sign: a bounce in traffic back to its Olive Garden restaurants. The bad news for investors, though, is that Darden has had to sacrifice profits to get customers back into those booths.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 12:10 PM, nofishbob3 wrote:

    ANY Company that tells the whole world that they are reducing the hrs of employees so that they don't have to provide health insurance is not a Company that I care to do business with. I did eat in Olive Garden 2-3 times a month, now I eat at other restaurants.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 3:37 PM, Cinnesyn wrote:

    I agree with nofishbob3. We used to eat at a Darden restaurant about once a week and now it's about once a month, if that. It's sad because Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Longhorn were my top 3 restaurants. I think corporations should not be so greedy and provide a minimum of benefits to employees. Yes, I know that costs money but the alternative is our taxes go up because employees have no health coverage and have to get medical assistance from government entities.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 3:54 PM, RickLT wrote:

    Red Lobster's prices are already way too high. 5 years ago, the 1/2 salmon dish was $8.50. It's now $14.50 here in Phoenix.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:50 PM, donicus wrote:

    So don't eat there if you don't like their policies. Pretty soon you'll be eating at home, because they will all be reducing hours because of Obamacare.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:47 PM, James902 wrote:

    Like the food but priced WAY TOO HIGH.

    $ 0.50 if soaghetti for $ 12.00 is ridiculous.

    I will cook it at home.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:47 PM, James902 wrote:

    spaghetti not soaghetti

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:48 PM, James902 wrote:

    Haven't been to Red Lobster for over 20 years.

    Again, loved the rolls and food but prices are ridiculous.

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