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Olive Garden

Leadership

Olive Garden’s parent reinstates execs’ pre-COVID salaries

Gene Lee went from zero dollars, the pay level he set for himself to help Darden Restaurants and its employees, to $1 million a year.

Financing

Off-premise proves an effective bridge for casual dining

Takeout and delivery have helped many of the segment's big brands weather the lockdown of dining rooms. Will that momentum continue?

Olive Garden became the nation's largest casual-dining chain, growing sales 5% in 2019. The Italian

The Darden Restaurants chain is now generating takeout and delivery sales at an annualized rate of $2.8 million per store.

The parent of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse detailed how it has changed operations to temper the wallop, and warned of the potential damage if the situation worsens.

Customers who spend a certain amount in-restaurant can pick off a special $6 menu of heat-and-eat take-home dishes.

Blum also resigned his post as chairman, but remains a co-owner of the polished-casual chains.

The two casual-dining giants accounted for eight of last week’s 10 most effective ads for full-service brands. On the QSR side, chicken and pizza spots dominated.

A ranking of chain commercials by consumer engagement shows the game program delivered for its restaurant sponsors.

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.

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