How Covid Derailed Olive Garden's Success

Richard Levine | Corbis | Getty Images

When you think of free breadsticks, unlimited salad and pounds of pasta, one name comes to mind — Olive Garden.

But the Italian eatery, known for its $5 take-home meal, has fallen on hard times as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. In December, Darden Restaurants reported Olive Garden's fiscal second-quarter same-store sales fell 19% from a year earlier.

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 110,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S have closed permanently or long-term due to Covid-19. Lost sales are expected to reach $240 billion in 2020.

In response to the pandemic, Olive Garden has trimmed its menu, pivoted to takeout and cut costs. Are those changes enough for Olive Garden to regain its momentum and offset the overall decline of the dine-in restaurant experience? Watch the above video to find out more.

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