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Olive Garden shoots for value with new Giant entrees

The line includes classic Italian dishes reformulated in a larger size, at prices as low as $12.99.
Photograph courtesy of Olive Garden

Looking for more ways to offer everyday value, Olive Garden is showcasing a line of oversized entrees priced from $12.99 to about $21.99.

The new Giant Italian Classics include spaghetti with a single softball-sized, 12-ounce meatball, chicken parmigiana with a chicken fillet that’s 11.5 inches long, and three types of oversized stuffed shells, one topped with shrimp. The other two are not topped with a protein, but guests can choose either a meat sauce or a marinara sauce.

Unlimited servings of salad and breadsticks are included in the price of each.

The oversized items will be available through May 27.

The introduction follows a 50% boost in the amount of chicken included in Olive Garden’s signature chicken Alfredo. The heftier serving was cited by management as one of the factors behind Olive Garden’s 4.3% rise in same-store sales for the third quarter ended Feb. 24.

Efforts to stress value without pushing deep discounts have been a crucial part of the Italian chain’s strategy, which has kept it a front-runner in casual dining. Gene Lee, CEO of parent company Darden Restaurants, told investors that the company can pursue that approach because of the buying power it leverages. He cited the meatier Alfredo dish as a prime example.

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