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(BusinessWeek)   Olive Garden and Red Lobster struggle to revive sales, as American appetite for authentic Italian foods and high-class seafood cuisine dwindles   (businessweek.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, American Appetites, casual dining, Tuscany  
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10321 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2012 at 6:27 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-22 06:52:49 PM  
Last time I went to Red Lobster our waiter smelled like he'd just gotten done chain smoking for an hour back by the dumpsters and wouldn't stop this annoying humming/singing thing he was doing while we were trying to place our order. He was an African American gentleman, and wouldn't stop carrying on with the African American customers in his area. Had very little time for us. When my scallop appetizer thing came, it tasted like his hands probably smelled. Couldn't finish my meal.

Won't be a next time, but if there is I'm just going to continually ask for more cheesy biscuits and water.
 
2012-06-22 06:53:07 PM  
Olive Garden sucks. I hate going there. I'd rather eat at Jack in the Box or McDonalds.
 
2012-06-22 06:53:09 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: OG and RL both have decent dinner rolls/bread sticks.

The last time I ate at RL it was next to the hotel I was staying at. I got shrimp pasta alfredo (pretty hard to screw up). It was served with the cheese on the top molten and the cheese in the middle raw.


Which means it wasn't microwaved. Otherwise, the cheese in the middle would be melted and the cheese on top would not.
 
2012-06-22 06:53:10 PM  
Sad tag, subby? Really? What, is the Spiffy tag on vacation?
 
2012-06-22 06:53:46 PM  
Ray Liotta described what Olive Garden makes in Goodfellas

"I asked for spaghetti with marinara and I got egg noodles and ketchup"
 
2012-06-22 06:53:50 PM  

dericwater: PF Chang's is the worst mass-market chinese food I've ever been in.


You've been in Chineese food? I thought they used cats and dogs?
 
2012-06-22 06:54:44 PM  
This past Easter I took my mother and daughter to Red Lobster after church service because my mother really wanted to go and since she's 63 with MS she tends to get her way. Even she had to admit that it was a god-awful meal, especially considering what we paid and I know that I will never eat there again. Mind you I have fairly mid-western plebian tastes when it comes to food so I am not hard to please, however deep fried everything with a side of icky tartar sauce was not worth the price tag. AT least Mom got to share some of her memories about eating there back in the 70's and 80's, which was a nice part of the day for her, but I don't think she'll ask to go back.

Plus, since we were in our Easter Sunday clothes and no one dresses up to go out anymore, (why do American white people dress casually for everything?!) we were emphatically overdressed. Only one other elderly couple was there dressed up. They, too, had just come from church and one look around was nearly enough to send them back out the door only the wife insisted on staying.

Overpriced, lousy food and no ambiance is not a way to attract customers.
 
2012-06-22 06:55:21 PM  
meat0918

Could it be that Americans

...don't think the economy is doing as great as this idiot does.
cdn.breitbart.com
 
2012-06-22 06:56:20 PM  

Great Janitor: Olive Garden sucks. I hate going there. I'd rather eat at Jack in the Box or McDonalds.


I would so totally agree with you...if it weren't for "other locations".

I have found great experiences with both places....and bad for both too.

Remember you friggin "critics"....the location makes the place.....
 
2012-06-22 06:56:37 PM  
Whenever I don't like someone I give them a gift card for Red Lobster.
 
2012-06-22 06:57:06 PM  

Gestankfaust: Great Janitor: Olive Garden sucks. I hate going there. I'd rather eat at Jack in the Box or McDonalds.

I would so totally agree with you...if it weren't for "other locations".

I have found great experiences with both places....and bad for both too.

Remember you friggin "critics"....the location makes the place.....


Yer an idiot...just for showing a pic of the asshat in charge...dickwad
 
2012-06-22 06:57:56 PM  
Yea, grew up in Boston and married an Italian... Never been to either place, and don't feel the need to...
 
2012-06-22 06:58:08 PM  
I think the reason old people like OG is because you can gum the pasta. Seriously, I don't think the people who run that restaurant have ever heard of al-dente.
 
2012-06-22 06:58:58 PM  
When I was a kid, my father would drive down to the Jersey shore and buy fish dockside from the boat operators. It would go into an ice filled cooler for the trip back home. The fish were usually still moving when we go home. It would be on the dinner table that evening. I've also tasted fish dishes made from processed frozen fish......no thanks.

/Couldn't pay me eat at Red Lobster.
 
2012-06-22 06:59:01 PM  

Hermione_Granger: Plus, since we were in our Easter Sunday clothes and no one dresses up to go out anymore, (why do American white people dress casually for everything?!) we were emphatically overdressed.


European white people don't put on their suits to go to McDonalds either...
 
2012-06-22 06:59:02 PM  

9beers: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Called my dad on father's day. He said he'd gone to Red Lobster for dinner only to find it "full of every black and mexican" in the area.

I LOL'd at his racism.

That's not racism, it's a fact. The last time I was in a Red Lobster, it was about 75% black and that's in an area where blacks make up 10% of the population at most. Brothers will drive their asses off for some bad seafood.


A few of us went to Joe's Crab Shack a couple of weeks ago for a friends birthday. Our group was 50/50 black and white but everyone else in the place was black in a predominantly white and Hispanic part of town. I am not exaggerating, even the black people at our table were aware of it and were giving us a hard time about being the only white people. So I said "At least our waitress will get a tip."

/csb
 
2012-06-22 06:59:18 PM  

dericwater: PF Chang's is the worst mass-market chinese food I've ever been in. It's vile. The food is way over salted and even if they claim no MSG, I leave there with that MSG shake and the tightening of the throat.

Just vile and way too expensive for chinese.


Meh, I like PF Changs. I agree on overpriced though. I end up going maybe once every 2 years because the wait is ridiculous and I don't like the prices. A lot of the dishes are very sweet and probably horribly bastardized, but I'm not to ashamed to admit that kind of food turns me on.
 
2012-06-22 07:01:10 PM  
Oh, and as for Olive Garden, I've only ever been for baby showers and the yearly Never Ending Pasta Bowl that my now ex insisted on participating in.

Partly why he's my ex.
 
2012-06-22 07:01:10 PM  

OnlyM3: meat0918

Could it be that Americans
...don't think the economy is doing as great as this idiot does.
[cdn.breitbart.com image 475x356]


Now for the real reply I made (thanks to fark for combining them instead....how weird)


Yer an idiot...just for showing a pic of the asshat in charge...dickwad
 
2012-06-22 07:01:12 PM  
Red Lobster and Olive Garden are in the same category as Applebee's, Chili's, On the Border, Chi-Chi's (remember those?), etc. Piss poor representations of their respective cuisines. Joe's Crab Shack sucks, too.
When you know where all the independent restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints are in town, the chains just don't cut it.
Here in KC, I don't understand why anyone would eat at On the Border when there is better, more authentic Mexican faire such as El Maguey or Manny's, often with lower prices than OTB. Same goes for Italian-- why spend a fortune eating at Carrabba's when V's or Garozzo's has much better food? It might sound snobby, and that's okay, but there's no way anyone can say with a straight face that the food is better at those chain restaurants.
 
2012-06-22 07:02:22 PM  
Didnt read the article, cant believe it. Whenever i drive past the olive garden here between 4 & 8 pm, even on most weeknights they are lined up out the farking door.
and it truly is terrible italian food, i just get the chicken tender app there, and eat that, the salad, and the breadsticks

/totally worth going there just for the breadsticks tho
 
2012-06-22 07:03:13 PM  

dericwater: TheGreatGazoo: OG and RL both have decent dinner rolls/bread sticks.

The last time I ate at RL it was next to the hotel I was staying at. I got shrimp pasta alfredo (pretty hard to screw up). It was served with the cheese on the top molten and the cheese in the middle raw.

Which means it wasn't microwaved. Otherwise, the cheese in the middle would be melted and the cheese on top would not.


I see people make this assertion, and yet no microwave oven I've ever used has actually worked like this. I have yet to encounter one that cooks from the inside out. If you have a make and model you can recommend, that'd be awesome. I'd love to give it a spin.
 
2012-06-22 07:03:27 PM  
My father once went to a trade show where the organizers were replaced the next year for several reasons.

The next year's announcement started off "First of all this year we will be going to a city where 'Red Lobster' is not the best establishment in town."
 
2012-06-22 07:04:15 PM  
Red Lobster == DISGUSTING
Olive Garden == Italian-esque, better than nothing
 
2012-06-22 07:04:23 PM  

Rufus Lee King: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Called my dad on father's day. He said he'd gone to Red Lobster for dinner only to find it "full of every black and mexican" in the area.

I LOL'd at his racism.

Wow, didn't take long to insert "racism" into it, eh?


This is FARK. Racism usually shows up in the FP. I despise a lot of these little old white boys but I stay around if for no other reason than to remind them that they're mostly assholes despite mostly having good taste in beer.

I hold onto a sliver of hope that people who like beer as much as your average FARKer can't be all bad. But god they are some racist farks aren't they?
 
2012-06-22 07:04:54 PM  

kroonermanblack: I'll agree with the red lobster thing, I like the bread and that's about it.

Olive garden, while not being 'good' italian food, is a passable enough go at it that it's fine. All one really ever wants from faux italian is too much bread/starch/pasta, and passable sauce. I choose better when I can, but if you just want to 'go get something', it's fine. Like Mcdonalds isn't super cuisine, but it's a passable interpretation of a burger.


You seem very reasonable and moderate in your opinions. Normally this is a great thing and I tend to agree with people like you.

However, in this particular case, these gentleman are correct:

styckx: Olive Garden = Salt flavored heated frozen pasta
Red Lobster = Salt flavored frozen seafood


Great Janitor: Olive Garden sucks. I hate going there. I'd rather eat at Jack in the Box or McDonalds.

 
2012-06-22 07:05:34 PM  

KOOLmike: Red Lobster and Olive Garden are in the same category as Applebee's, Chili's, On the Border, Chi-Chi's (remember those?), etc. Piss poor representations of their respective cuisines. Joe's Crab Shack sucks, too.
When you know where all the independent restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints are in town, the chains just don't cut it.
Here in KC, I don't understand why anyone would eat at On the Border when there is better, more authentic Mexican faire such as El Maguey or Manny's, often with lower prices than OTB. Same goes for Italian-- why spend a fortune eating at Carrabba's when V's or Garozzo's has much better food? It might sound snobby, and that's okay, but there's no way anyone can say with a straight face that the food is better at those chain restaurants.


Im not even sure if it was a national chain, but if it was add Cooker's to that list.
 
2012-06-22 07:05:39 PM  

Rat: /inside voice

I love biscuits and crab alfredo

/inside voice

© don't tell no one I'm honkyish


does the crab alfredo give you the worst shiats ever the next day, too??
 
2012-06-22 07:05:43 PM  
Cheddar Bay Biscuits melt in your mouth, not in your pants.
 
2012-06-22 07:05:56 PM  
I still like the unlimited shrip and cheddar biscuits at RL. However, you have to convince them to put the next order in while you're eating this one. Takes 20 minutes to cook. 4 shrimp and then wait 20 minutes ain't my idea of a great time.
 
2012-06-22 07:06:18 PM  
So.... they're only making $4.00 per share instead of $4.06 per share. Alert the authorities. We must to something about this. Actually RTFA. Sad tag accurate. Hoping for real doom and gloom.
 
2012-06-22 07:06:38 PM  

Shenanigans!: I see people make this assertion, and yet no microwave oven I've ever used has actually worked like this.


Its just a false assumption because of the way certain foods can cook:

From wiki:

A common misconception is that microwave ovens cook food "from the inside out", meaning from the center of the entire mass of food outwards. This idea arises from heating behavior seen if an absorbent layer of water lies beneath a less absorbent dryer layer at the surface of a food; in this case, the deposition of heat inside a food can exceed that on its surface. In most cases, however, with uniformally-structured or reasonably homogenous food item, microwaves are absorbed in the outer layers of the item in a manner somewhat similar to heat from other methods. Depending on water content, the depth of initial heat deposition may be several centimetres or more with microwave ovens, in contrast to broiling/grilling (infrared) or convection heating-methods which deposit heat thinly at the food surface. Penetration depth of microwaves is dependent on food composition and the frequency, with lower microwave frequencies (longer wavelengths) penetrating further.
 
2012-06-22 07:07:17 PM  
I'll go to Olive Garden when on road trips, and get their soup and salad combo.
The 'try local places' is a myth when you randomly pick one while traveling as 95precent of them really suck. But then again 100 percent of Applebees really suck.
 
2012-06-22 07:07:23 PM  
If these are not good concepts for a casual dining restaurant chain that'll last 30 or 40 years, then what is?
 
2012-06-22 07:08:00 PM  
Yeah, saw that coming over a decade ago.

When you get cheap and breaddy, you die faster.

;)
 
2012-06-22 07:08:24 PM  

KOOLmike: Red Lobster and Olive Garden are in the same category as Applebee's, Chili's, On the Border, Chi-Chi's (remember those?), etc. Piss poor representations of their respective cuisines. Joe's Crab Shack sucks, too.
When you know where all the independent restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints are in town, the chains just don't cut it.
Here in KC, I don't understand why anyone would eat at On the Border when there is better, more authentic Mexican faire such as El Maguey or Manny's, often with lower prices than OTB. Same goes for Italian-- why spend a fortune eating at Carrabba's when V's or Garozzo's has much better food? It might sound snobby, and that's okay, but there's no way anyone can say with a straight face that the food is better at those chain restaurants.


See, to me, it's the exact OPPOSITE of Snobby. Snobby is paying more for something less - if you can get good food for less money, and you do that, you're not being a foodie, or pretentious - you're being sane.

We have a fantastic Italian place called Enzo's - use to be the lunch place for all the IBM bigwigs when IBM was big in this area. Great pizza, fantastic pasta, lots of cheap, good food, real Italian deserts, nice people. Yet because it's not on the "main drag" and Olive Garden is, guess which one you can't get a table at?

/it's just nicer for me, they own the building, they'll never close
 
2012-06-22 07:08:47 PM  

Gestankfaust: Gestankfaust: Great Janitor: Olive Garden sucks. I hate going there. I'd rather eat at Jack in the Box or McDonalds.

I would so totally agree with you...if it weren't for "other locations".

I have found great experiences with both places....and bad for both too.

Remember you friggin "critics"....the location makes the place.....

Yer an idiot...just for showing a pic of the asshat in charge...dickwad


What pic did I show?

I've been to two Olive Garden locations, but were not good experiences. Last time I could not get the staff to understand that when I say "No mushrooms." I mean the complete absence of fungus.

The first time I was thrown out of one. I was on a double date, my my now wife, her best friend and her best friend's now husband. He and I got bored, took the napkin, made it into a paper football and I shot it (accidentally) across the restaurant hitting some kid in the head. Farking dicks.
 
2012-06-22 07:09:17 PM  

ROBOTwHUM4NHAIR: KOOLmike: Red Lobster and Olive Garden are in the same category as Applebee's, Chili's, On the Border, Chi-Chi's (remember those?), etc. Piss poor representations of their respective cuisines. Joe's Crab Shack sucks, too.
When you know where all the independent restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints are in town, the chains just don't cut it.
Here in KC, I don't understand why anyone would eat at On the Border when there is better, more authentic Mexican faire such as El Maguey or Manny's, often with lower prices than OTB. Same goes for Italian-- why spend a fortune eating at Carrabba's when V's or Garozzo's has much better food? It might sound snobby, and that's okay, but there's no way anyone can say with a straight face that the food is better at those chain restaurants.

Im not even sure if it was a national chain, but if it was add Cooker's to that list.


Hmm, never heard of Cooker's. What type of food did they claim to serve?
 
2012-06-22 07:09:55 PM  

optikeye: I'll go to Olive Garden when on road trips, and get their soup and salad combo.
The 'try local places' is a myth when you randomly pick one while traveling as 95precent of them really suck.


Prior to things like Yelp this might have been a problem. While not perfect its certainly a better litmus test than blind guessing and unlike a chain restaraunt there is a chance you will come away without a wallet filled on nausea and a step closer to type 2 diabetes.
 
2012-06-22 07:10:34 PM  

sci2: So.... they're only making $4.00 per share instead of $4.06 per share. Alert the authorities. We must to something about this. Actually RTFA. Sad tag accurate. Hoping for real doom and gloom.


Ikr, now their CEO is prolly only gonna make like $13 mill instead of $15 mill, omg they need a bailout from Obama asap
 
2012-06-22 07:10:59 PM  
How do a bunch of honkie crakers turn an article about Red Lobster and Olive Garden loosing business in piss poor economic times into a race issue?
 
2012-06-22 07:11:31 PM  
http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Red-Lobster-Cheddar-Bay-Biscuits-Recip e.html - save yourself a 15 dollars an entree, go buy some good trout, fry or pan sear it, then make these
 
2012-06-22 07:11:55 PM  

OnlyM3: meat0918

Could it be that Americans
...don't think the economy is doing as great as this idiot does.
[cdn.breitbart.com image 475x356]


Shove it, trollboy... he said the private sector was doing fine, and it is... unemployment is way inflated by the number of government workers he is cutting... but if you want to go back to hiring more government employees and big government waste, Romney has already promised he'll add at least a hundred thousand more... and your taxes will go down... and the deficit will go down... and hell, he'd probably pull a Newt and promise a moon base, but that just seems too specific.
 
2012-06-22 07:13:05 PM  

KOOLmike: ROBOTwHUM4NHAIR: KOOLmike: Red Lobster and Olive Garden are in the same category as Applebee's, Chili's, On the Border, Chi-Chi's (remember those?), etc. Piss poor representations of their respective cuisines. Joe's Crab Shack sucks, too.
When you know where all the independent restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints are in town, the chains just don't cut it.
Here in KC, I don't understand why anyone would eat at On the Border when there is better, more authentic Mexican faire such as El Maguey or Manny's, often with lower prices than OTB. Same goes for Italian-- why spend a fortune eating at Carrabba's when V's or Garozzo's has much better food? It might sound snobby, and that's okay, but there's no way anyone can say with a straight face that the food is better at those chain restaurants.

Im not even sure if it was a national chain, but if it was add Cooker's to that list.

Hmm, never heard of Cooker's. What type of food did they claim to serve?


It was one of those applebee/ tgi friday like places. Dont remember too much about them they closed down when i was like 12
 
2012-06-22 07:14:11 PM  
What's funny is watching all of the ghetto black people who go to Red Lobster in their "finest" fake furs and crap because to them that's a "very upscale restaurant" LOL! I wonder how many times Red Lobster has been asked if they take food stamps :P
 
2012-06-22 07:14:18 PM  

titwrench: 9beers: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Called my dad on father's day. He said he'd gone to Red Lobster for dinner only to find it "full of every black and mexican" in the area.

I LOL'd at his racism.

That's not racism, it's a fact. The last time I was in a Red Lobster, it was about 75% black and that's in an area where blacks make up 10% of the population at most. Brothers will drive their asses off for some bad seafood.

A few of us went to Joe's Crab Shack a couple of weeks ago for a friends birthday. Our group was 50/50 black and white but everyone else in the place was black in a predominantly white and Hispanic part of town. I am not exaggerating, even the black people at our table were aware of it and were giving us a hard time about being the only white people. So I said "At least our waitress will get a tip."

/csb


HEY.

The Sam Adams Steamer Bucket at the Fort Lauderdale Joe's is pretty damn good, thank you VERY much. And, why, yes, I *am* a honkey!
 
2012-06-22 07:14:36 PM  

Rufus Lee King: Contrabulous Flabtraption: Called my dad on father's day. He said he'd gone to Red Lobster for dinner only to find it "full of every black and mexican" in the area.

I LOL'd at his racism.

Wow, didn't take long to insert "racism" into it, eh?


So, guessing by your scare quotes, I'm thinking that you don't agree that that was a racist comment?
 
2012-06-22 07:15:46 PM  
They need to join forces and call it Red Garden or Olive Lobster.
 
2012-06-22 07:17:09 PM  

DocFarker: How do a bunch of honkie crakers turn an article about Red Lobster and Olive Garden loosing business in piss poor economic times into a race issue?


Welcome to Farkkk.com.
 
2012-06-22 07:18:36 PM  
Yet every time I drive by either of the two local Olive Garden's there's a line out the door waiting to eat their Sysco food.
 
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