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Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

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12 reveals from this week’s big restaurant event

The three dozen chains participating in the ICR Conference provided plenty of aha moments. Here’s a sampling of the surprising tidbits that were aired.

Workforce

LongHorn's labor approach yields 6.7% comp rise, Darden says

The casual steak chain outperformed all of its sister operations, largely because of how it handled personnel, its parent company said. Olive Garden's comps rose 1.5%.

After data revealed an unexpected marketing issue for the chain, management pulled back on advertising and started working on an adjusted plan.

The Darden Restaurants holding is still a no-go on small-order delivery, but its catering program is moving within reach of couples.

Get Top 500 data: sales, units and YOY change, average unit volume, and company/franchise units, as well as Technomic’s analysis, growth forecast and more.

The parent of Olive Garden and Capital Grille said its strong third quarter was the result of working a plan that’s long been in place. Here’s a refresher on some of the components.

The Italian chain posted a same-store sales increase of 3.5% for Q2, but Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen continued to underperform for the chains’ parent, Darden Restaurants.

The casual-dining superpower says it will focus as much on recruiting and keeping employees as it will on drawing customers.

Thieves hacked into a POS system that has since been replaced, the chain’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, said.

Trout? Harper? Judge? Step aside, MLB. Here are the real standouts to watch this summer, as determined by some critical fans.

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