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Olive Garden

Operations

Talk of the industry this week: On-premise dining

Or at least that was a major theme at the ICR Conference, where three dozen chains aired their strategies and financial results.

Marketing

Value pitches dominate start of QSRs' ad year

Full-service TV advertising was dominated by Applebee's and Olive Garden, which both put a spotlight on attractively priced new offers.

A weekly ranking of restaurant chains’ top TV commercials by effectiveness shows consumers responding to value-oriented pitches from casual brands. But limited-service brands fared better with spots promising an experience.

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%.

A new feature of Restaurant Business looks at the week’s most effective TV ads.

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

Are they likely to succeed in snagging attention and sales? Decide for yourself.

Winners will have the opportunity to buy a special version for an additional $400.

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

The third-party service also becomes the exclusive delivery partner of Maggiano’s.

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