Why Olive Garden Is Struggling

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 response, the casual dining chain trimmed its menu, pivoted to take out, and cut costs. But are those changes enough for Olive Garden to survive the pandemic and offset the overall decline of the dine-in restaurant experience?

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Why Americans Love Olive Garden

50 Comments

  1. Boyd Cord on January 2, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    i stopped eating there only because I prefer to cook my own food. But I found that its only 3-4 dollars more to eat there than at McDonalds. I usually order the basic spaghetti dinner.

  2. girffrommars kissit on January 2, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    I didnt watch but olive garden is very overpriced for very average pasta

  3. NeeNee K. on January 2, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I don’t go to Olive Garden anymore because you pay the same price for their takeout as you do for dine in, but with dine in the portions are much larger and worth the price, plus you can take advantage of the endless pasta and breadsticks. With takeout, you pay the same price for less food.

  4. TheCarpenterUnion on January 2, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I stopped going when their gluten free portion is literally a handful of pasta. (I’m celiac)

  5. Princess mochi on January 2, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Olive garden smacks

  6. ʞɔɐz on January 2, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Um there pasta sauce tastes like ragu and you pay 3x as much for it there is a start

  7. not today on January 2, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    I have 2 Olive Gardens near me. Each are 2 miles away. One east, the other west. I went there for the first time last summer. In 30 years around here, that was my first visit. I went at the lunch hour, because I only need a lunch portion for a full filling meal. Reheating Alfredo Sauce is not decent. I added chicken for an extra $4.00, beverage $3.00. I wanted to get out for UNDER $15.00 including protien, beverage, tax, tip. Nearly $20 for a lunch portion. The salad was a generous portion, but good lord, it came in a bowl the size of a theater popcorn bucket. I do not need that much salad. As I recall, it was fresh, crispy, cool. I don’t remember the add on’s to it. It was good, simply more then I need. The bread sticks were OK to. I only need 2 though. The Alfredo Sauce was nothing to rave about. And many think it is, or maybe was a very good Alfredo Sauce. I won’t know how good it was, since I can’t go back in time. I have had Marie Callenders Chicken Alfredo and though the portion is standard frozen dinner size, was better than what I had on this day. Probably 2 from Marie, Salad from the Store and some bread sticks warmed in a home oven, the at home cost would be about $6.00 plus beverage for a decent portion lunch meal for me. That was my first visit in 30 years. That was my last visit. Why oh Why do people rave about their Alfredo Sauce? I am with many others that either make it at home or check out the small, independents.

  8. TheRubenLopez on January 2, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Nothing you want there is $5

  9. Hei Nu Chung on January 2, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Demolition man predicted the restaurant apocalypse that causes only the great Taco Bell to survive. lol -all nerds will understand this reference. (demolition man)

  10. Erica Tejas on January 2, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    They never put enough sauce🤏

  11. Star Gazer on January 2, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    2:13 Do all Olive Gardens look like that? O_o because that looks exactly like the closest one near me before it closed

  12. T BZ on January 2, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Does the narrator put inflection in weird spots while speaking to anyone else? I find his speech irritating.

  13. Samuel Toomer on January 2, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Olive Garden has always been trash! 🤮🤮🤮

  14. Hayden Lindley on January 2, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    How do you have all this 2021 data and it’s not 2021 yet?

  15. Conscious Crypto on January 2, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Horrible conclusion. Last thing we need is a "chain dominated landscape." Real food was hard enough to get pre-pandemic. Now more empty calories, mass produced, coming up. I’ll keep cooking at home if I can’t get quality ingredients cooked from scratch when I go out.

  16. bbear on January 2, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    They’re not in DoorDash or Uber Eats or Grubhub and it’s COVID. That’s why. 😂

  17. colby babcock on January 2, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Covid-19 is killing most restaurant.

  18. Say My Name on January 2, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Chicken alfredo is 16 bucks over here and I can make 5+ plates of that for just 20, so I ain’t coming back. 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️

  19. Coslough Hussein on January 2, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Me: I’m going out to Olive Garden.

    Jesus Christ: No bruh. My last supper didn’t end well. Probably should have stayed home.

  20. kimberly wallace on January 2, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    What happened to the manicotti !?!!!???

  21. ΛFK on January 2, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Microwave thats why

  22. Jacob Risch on January 2, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    It was never thriving to begin with

  23. knm_plans on January 2, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    I’m honestly surprised they’ve managed as long as they have. Every Celiac knows to give that place a wide berth. Supposedly some places were okay and they didn’t do truly stupid things (like cooking the gluten free pasta in the same damn water they’d just cooked regular pasta in…). Rumor has it they’ve done away with the GF menus completely thanks to Covid though so any places that could have catered to Celiacs has now slashed their potential customer pool. I’m not expert but when a restaurant tells customers to leave cause they can’t/won’t feed them they usually struggle to stay afloat. But hey CNBC, I’ll listen to your take.

  24. Quincy Jones on January 2, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    This place just sucks why does it have to live on?

  25. Matthew Wynne on January 2, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Ask anyone who just ate at Olive Garden what they had and they will mention the breadsticks… but have a hard time remembering the actual meal.

  26. John Pearson on January 2, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve always found it odd that Olive garden is doing poorly. The local restaurant to where I live is always busy, it’s usually an hour wait to get in. I’ve been to ones in other cities and you just walk in and get a table, very strange.

  27. Melissa T. on January 2, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    They took everything good off of the menu.

  28. Jonathan Watanabe on January 2, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Well they should open a SECOND and THIRD restaurant here on Oahu. Today there was an hour wait at the new restaurant.

  29. Tamera Bonner on January 2, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    It is nasty. And the servers are the worst. Talking about Carson California , the worst servers.

  30. JM Studios on January 2, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    The family guy skit ruined this place

  31. L G on January 2, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Olive Garden: Where everything tastes like cardboard. Good riddance!

  32. Perseus Arkouda on January 2, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Rich people are so happy during this pandemic for increasing their stupid wealth, since they have the means and a green card from governments to do so. But they’ll understand one thing, money don’t matter if people don’t give value to them. You can’t buy an army with money if that money don’t mean food, clothes, home etc.
    You can’t break the legs and expect for the rest of the body to be fine.

  33. Boo Babylon on January 2, 2021 at 11:40 pm

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  34. M N on January 2, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    When I would rather get a pasta dish at Bahama Breeze over Olive Garden than you should know that you have a problem….

  35. Mark robinson on January 2, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Cuz it taste pretty bad everytime i have eaten there is tasted like frozen food

  36. Shannon Williams on January 2, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    I’m a server and I work at a restaurant owned by the same company that owns Olive Garden. This pandemic has been catastrophic for this industry. It’s so scary.

  37. lifebrarian on January 2, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Their food sucks, that’s why.

  38. Isaias Urrutia on January 2, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    THEY ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE I WENT TO ORDER SOUP AND I DIDN’T WANT CHICKEN, AND THEY SAID “ITS ALREADY PRE PACKAGED, meanwhile they sell their food like its made to order, WHO EVER TOOK OVER OLIVE GARDEN IS ONLY MAKING DECISIONS TO GET MORE MONEY INTO THEIR POCKETS AND LESS TO THE WORKERS. That’s a recipe for disaster, any highly intelligent person would understand that.

  39. Layla Requena on January 2, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    1. Too expensive for the poor quality
    2. The sauce is prepackaged not made in house
    3. Service always sucks
    4. My food is never hot
    5. The bread sticks taste like fake bread

    This is exactly why I stopped going
    Every time I go I experience this

  40. Jo Smo on January 2, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    COVID
    And all of a sardine, people realised they could not only cook food for themselves but at a more affordable price and tasted better because they were catering for their own taste

  41. Spirit Animal on January 2, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Why would anyone want to waste their money on something everyone knows how to make, I could go to walmart and spend less than three dollars to make the same thing, its 88 cents for a box of noodles and two bucks for sauce.

  42. Daddy Yank on January 3, 2021 at 12:00 am

    plandemic

  43. kimberly wallace on January 3, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Well, part of the problem is that there are limited choices on the menu, appetizers have gone up with smaller portions if you can get them at all.

  44. Fred Laxton on January 3, 2021 at 12:02 am

    The last time we went (for a to go order), we got their salad, which is pretty large. But it’s all lettuce. “Olive” Garden puts maybe two olives, a couple tomato slices, a couple pepperoncini and a few onion slices in it. Nothing like the marketing video you showed in this video of their salad. In response, we decided to have our own “Un-Olive Garden Night” at home, made our own Italian dishes, but we did buy a bottle of their salad dressing and one order of breadsticks. We made our OWN salad which was far better and not skimped out like theirs. This was for 7 people. Cost? $25. In the restaurant that would have been $150. AND it was way better tasting. THAT is why they’re failing.

  45. jayko23 on January 3, 2021 at 12:04 am

    I went to the location in Time Square last month and it sucked . I prefer the one here in Orlando FL

  46. Tommy Ohlrich on January 3, 2021 at 12:04 am

    The last two times I’ve been there people I was with got sick from their food.

  47. dolebiscuit on January 3, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Because their food is mediocre at best and there are better alternatives.

  48. A Bomb on January 3, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Olive garden is fine italian for us ghetto people! Lol

  49. Paul Funk on January 3, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Personally I got layed off .at olive garden due to the pandemic 2 times now!!..I just think they should shut down .not have take out or delivery close it down!!!!!….toxic in house management anyways

  50. Mohag on January 3, 2021 at 12:08 am

    bogus saying Panera is cheaper lol that place is a scam and a half

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