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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 416
    More: Sad, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, American Appetites, casual dining, Tuscany  
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10307 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2012 at 6:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-22 07:18:44 PM
Yesterday the wife and I went to Olive Garden and we were making jokes at them the whole time. Like they ran out Gnocci Soup and we were offered alternatives, and my wife asked how long it would take to defrost a new batch. Anyway, good times. I made this graphic earlier and it seemed fitting to share it. I am no photoshop pro. Just having some fun. It's what I picture Olive Garden's kitchen to look like.

sites.google.com
 
2012-06-22 07:18:45 PM

saintstryfe: 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.


To me, snobby is looking down judgmentally on other people's tastes, and there's plenty of that in this thread. By your definition, a hipster who thinks some independent band is better than the mainstream and looks down on the "conformists" who like the mainstream bands who "sold out" can't be a snob because it's cheaper to get a ticket to an independent band than to a mainstream.
 
2012-06-22 07:20:19 PM

ROBOTwHUM4NHAIR: 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


Ah, sounds like the Bennigan's that were around when I was a kid growing up in the Detroit area.

There's a fairly chain joint here in KC called Cheddars. Yet another place like Applebee's that basically serves glorified bar food. Fam and I tried it and it wasn't too bad, and the prices were reasonable. I'd probably consider it again if the kids requested we go there, but I don't think it will be my or the wife's first choice.
 
2012-06-22 07:21:59 PM

Abner Doon: I dunno if Red Lobster changed, or my tastes did, but that shiat is terrible. So damn salty that you can't even taste what you're eating, it's disgusting.


THIS! Even the farking shrimp cocktail was salty. WTF is wrong with that company?

My wife's granny loooves that place. Otherwise I would have never set foot in one.
 
2012-06-22 07:22:00 PM
Sales are down at Red Lobster?

Looks like the 1% has decided to finally stop throwing their money around.

We get it. You're rich!
 
2012-06-22 07:22:26 PM
^ ...Fairly NEW chain joint, I meant to say.
 
2012-06-22 07:23:03 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: 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?


This is fark... where everything and nothing is racist.... whether it's a broad statement questioning the intelligence of a political party, or a statement about not visiting a restaurant because of discomfort with black people and hispanics... it's the new way of things.
 
2012-06-22 07:23:04 PM
My favorite ghetto place (and by ghetto I mean stereotyping the place by the commericials) is Golden Corral. I see their commercials all the time and lol @ the fattie magnet Chocolate Wonderfall and now they're even giving away Cotton Candy.. That place is the poster child for obesity in America.
 
2012-06-22 07:23:48 PM
I like their Zuppa Toscana. Every restaurant has good stuff and bad stuff, I assume.
 
2012-06-22 07:25:17 PM
I am so glad to live in a city with real food and great local restaurants. If your gonna be a snob about something, what you tickle your taste buds with and put in your body is a great thing to be a snob about. Goes for beer and booze too.
 
2012-06-22 07:25:18 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. But then again 100 percent of Applebees really suck.


Think I found your problem...

/aware that much of small-town America is a culinary wasteland
//but not all of it
///slash
 
2012-06-22 07:25:37 PM
I once got into an argument with an Italian-American woman for saying the Olive Garden is like "Taco Bell for Italians."

It ain't the authentic stuff, I told her. "Yeah but it tastes better!" was her reply.

Btw, the mom & pop Italian places I've ate at aren't much better sometimes. Had a lasagna lunch at one little hole-in-the-wall restaurant across the street from a Costco. Yep, the lasagna was identical to taste and look of the Kirkland brand.
 
2012-06-22 07:25:41 PM

meat0918: Could it be that Americans got pissy at their CEO and didn't want to go to a place that doesn't want to give sick employees time off or give them lunch breaks?

Regulatory mandates flowing from federal health care reform may be the most visible, but the list also includes measures such as new mandatory paid leave provisions that require us to change the way we accommodate employees who need to take time off when they are ill and ever more unrealistic requirements regarding employee meal and rest breaks that, in California for example, force our employees to take breaks in the middle of serving lunch or dinner


Requiring restaurants to give breaks in the middle of lunch or dinner rush is asinine and only shows that the regulators are clueless, not to mention people like you who think it's a reason to boycott.
 
2012-06-22 07:26:12 PM
I am sicilian, french, and Colombian, who is from South Louisiana.

REd lobster is farking awful.

Olive Garden does have a good salad.

I live in Ocala Florida, and we have an all you can eat chinese buffet with crawfish, that are hideous, but every black person in town eats about ten plates....
 
2012-06-22 07:27:09 PM
And don't get me wrong,

I used to LOVE going to Red Lobster.

'Twas *slap* one of my fav restaurants.

Big shrimp. Large lobsters. Big fish and mussels. Crabby crabs.

Yummy-past.

;(
 
2012-06-22 07:27:44 PM
Go ahead and laugh about it - I do. But when I was growing up in rural Alabama Red Lobster was where you took your girlfriend if you were really trying to impress her and had saved up your money to be able to afford it.
 
2012-06-22 07:28:21 PM

12349876: saintstryfe: 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.

To me, snobby is looking down judgmentally on other people's tastes, and there's plenty of that in this thread. By your definition, a hipster who thinks some independent band is better than the mainstream and looks down on the "conformists" who like the mainstream bands who "sold out" can't be a snob because it's cheaper to get a ticket to an independent band than to a mainstream.


Dude, if you bump ya some Bieber on your way to Olive Garden, that's your deal and I certainly don't think any less of you for it. You just can't bump Bieber in my car, nor will I be joining you at Olive Garden. There are no aspersions being cast here either way.
 
2012-06-22 07:28:25 PM
Shenanigans!:
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.


I think this is a common misconception because the microwaves are tuned to be absorbed primarily by water molecules and heating something like a cup of water the water will end up hotter than the cup making it seem to be cooking from the inside when in fact the waves are coming from the outside and are just passing through. You prolly knew that already but just in case.
 
2012-06-22 07:28:47 PM

iaazathot: On the other hand the same business group operates PF Chang's which has some decent food by comparison.


Decent????

Insert the jpeg of "free cat" here. That would be the PF Chang shopping list.

A silk purse can not be made from a sow's ear.
 
2012-06-22 07:29:09 PM

meat0918: Could it be that Americans got pissy at their CEO and didn't want to go to a place that doesn't want to give sick employees time off or give them lunch breaks?

Regulatory mandates flowing from federal health care reform may be the most visible, but the list also includes measures such as new mandatory paid leave provisions that require us to change the way we accommodate employees who need to take time off when they are ill and ever more unrealistic requirements regarding employee meal and rest breaks that, in California for example, force our employees to take breaks in the middle of serving lunch or dinner


Bingo!!

Haven't been to the Olive Garden since he wrote that ridiculous article.
 
2012-06-22 07:29:13 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?


Well you see, they fancy themselves "not racist" while at the same time demonstrating that by their very though processes they are, in fact, racist.
 
2012-06-22 07:29:47 PM
I refer to Red Lobster as "The Black Chart House". Anyone from the Philadelphia area will appreciate this (they think Red Lobster = fine dining, bwahaha!)...
 
2012-06-22 07:30:00 PM

styckx: My favorite ghetto place (and by ghetto I mean stereotyping the place by the commericials) is Golden Corral. I see their commercials all the time and lol @ the fattie magnet Chocolate Wonderfall and now they're even giving away Cotton Candy.. That place is the poster child for obesity in America.


They show Golden Corral commercials all the time here in Los Angeles.

The nearest GC is halfway between Barstow and LA, which is a few hours driving to and from. Rather just keep driving to Vegas.

/also no Applebee's in my part of LA either
 
2012-06-22 07:31:02 PM

flashfry: Olive Garden I can stomach.

Red Lobster?

[strongdogz.com image 400x298]


OMG YOU ARE A DOG THAT CAN TYPE? BRILLIANT!

I seriously lol'd
 
2012-06-22 07:31:12 PM
(But yeah, it is completely chock-full-o-blacks. I go there for the margaritas maybe once or twice a year and every time I feel like I've died and gone to Crooklyn).
 
2012-06-22 07:31:25 PM

12349876: saintstryfe: 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.

To me, snobby is looking down judgmentally on other people's tastes, and there's plenty of that in this thread. By your definition, a hipster who thinks some independent band is better than the mainstream and looks down on the "conformists" who like the mainstream bands who "sold out" can't be a snob because it's cheaper to get a ticket to an independent band than to a mainstream.


Can't look down on something that's not there. In all seriousness though, you seem like the kind of person that takes exception to people choosing which businesses they patronize based on the business practices of said institution; if it's good enough for you, it should be good enough for them, no?
 
2012-06-22 07:31:26 PM

meat0918: Could it be that Americans got pissy at their CEO and didn't want to go to a place that doesn't want to give sick employees time off or give them lunch breaks?


You've obviously never worked in food services. You make a f*cking killing on tips but you don't get a break for 8 hours and you make $2.15/hr.
 
2012-06-22 07:32:18 PM

Ed Finnerty: 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.

Se gusta skrimps.


www.fohguild.org

/oblig
 
2012-06-22 07:32:22 PM

falcon176: all you can eat shrimp at red lobster or get the fark out


I will happily get the fark out.

/skrimp snob
 
2012-06-22 07:33:45 PM
My sister-in-law and her husband always want us to go meet them at either Red Lobster, Olive Garden, the Golden Corral or some other shiat hole for dinner on a regular basis. I stopped going out with them to eat in the late 80s when that side of the wife's family constantly met at the "Old Country Buffet". I put my foot down and said no more will I go to any of those places. It caused a rift in the force for a few years. I still won't go.
 
2012-06-22 07:34:05 PM

LtDarkstar: 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


It's even funnier watching the trailer trash white folks like you that go there dressed in your best CAT hat and flannel laughing at them when everybody already knows the real joke is that Red Lobster is the closest that you will ever get to an upscale restaurant.
 
2012-06-22 07:35:24 PM

ongbok: LtDarkstar: 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

It's even funnier watching the trailer trash white folks like you that go there dressed in your best CAT hat and flannel laughing at them when everybody already knows the real joke is that Red Lobster is the closest that you will ever get to an upscale restaurant.


gbge.aclu.org
 
2012-06-22 07:35:43 PM

misanthropic1: 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. But then again 100 percent of Applebees really suck.

Think I found your problem...

/aware that much of small-town America is a culinary wasteland


When traveling...I don't have want to have a excursion to track down a well known local place. (Unless it's almost a destination in itself). Interstate exit..stop take a break, eat, back on the road.
 
2012-06-22 07:36:10 PM
I have to say the biggest gap between what the commercial shows and what you get on your plate has to be Red Lobster.
 
2012-06-22 07:36:12 PM

ongbok: LtDarkstar: 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

It's even funnier watching the trailer trash white folks like you that go there dressed in your best CAT hat and flannel laughing at them when everybody already knows the real joke is that Red Lobster is the closest that you will ever get to an upscale restaurant.


Just so you know, your reply was vastly inferior to the statement which you were answering (on multiple levels - humor, accuracy, etc.).
 
2012-06-22 07:36:30 PM
I still tease my mom about the first time she and dad came to visit me in Vegas, nearly ten years ago now. They had offered to take my then-husband and I out to dinner and she suggested Olive Garden.

Who goes to Vegas to eat at the freakin' Olive Garden?

I talked them into Battista's Hole in the Wall. The food is good--not spectacular, but the cool "Old Vegas" atmosphere, the little old man strolling around with his accordion and the all-you-can-drink house wine kick Olive Garden's ass any day.
 
2012-06-22 07:36:34 PM

styckx: My favorite ghetto place (and by ghetto I mean stereotyping the place by the commericials) is Golden Corral. I see their commercials all the time and lol @ the fattie magnet Chocolate Wonderfall and now they're even giving away Cotton Candy.. That place is the poster child for obesity in America.


Oh yeah I saw that this morning and was thinking alike laughing. I would really like to sit in on their marketing team meetings. It's like their subtly mocking their clientele. Golden Corral, we know you have no dignity left so come on down.

I really want to go there and stick my wang in the chocolate wonderfall and cause a scene for lulz but I would probably end up tased to death.
 
2012-06-22 07:37:57 PM

misanthropic1: 12349876: saintstryfe: 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.

To me, snobby is looking down judgmentally on other people's tastes, and there's plenty of that in this thread. By your definition, a hipster who thinks some independent band is better than the mainstream and looks down on the "conformists" who like the mainstream bands who "sold out" can't be a snob because it's cheaper to get a ticket to an independent band than to a mainstream.

Can't look down on something that's not there. In all seriousness though, you seem like the kind of person that takes exception to people choosing which businesses they patronize based on the business practices of said institution; if it's good enough for you, it should be good enough for them, no?


You seem to be the kind of person that thinks someone who likes frozen overly salted food is an ignoramus. Choose where you want to go, just don't be a snob about it by insulting people who have different tastes from you.
 
2012-06-22 07:38:45 PM

optikeye: misanthropic1: 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. But then again 100 percent of Applebees really suck.

Think I found your problem...

/aware that much of small-town America is a culinary wasteland

When traveling...I don't have want to have a excursion to track down a well known local place. (Unless it's almost a destination in itself). Interstate exit..stop take a break, eat, back on the road.


Ah; road-tripping through pop
 
2012-06-22 07:41:50 PM

berylman: styckx: My favorite ghetto place (and by ghetto I mean stereotyping the place by the commericials) is Golden Corral. I see their commercials all the time and lol @ the fattie magnet Chocolate Wonderfall and now they're even giving away Cotton Candy.. That place is the poster child for obesity in America.

Oh yeah I saw that this morning and was thinking alike laughing. I would really like to sit in on their marketing team meetings. It's like their subtly mocking their clientele. Golden Corral, we know you have no dignity left so come on down.

I really want to go there and stick my wang in the chocolate wonderfall and cause a scene for lulz but I would probably end up tased to death.


Dude, people dip steak and meatloaf in that fountain and not for jokes either. Link
 
2012-06-22 07:42:41 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. But then again 100 percent of Applebees really suck.


It's 2012... and you still haven't heard of Yelp? Really?
 
2012-06-22 07:43:12 PM

12349876: misanthropic1: 12349876: saintstryfe: 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.

To me, snobby is looking down judgmentally on other people's tastes, and there's plenty of that in this thread. By your definition, a hipster who thinks some independent band is better than the mainstream and looks down on the "conformists" who like the mainstream bands who "sold out" can't be a snob because it's cheaper to get a ticket to an independent band than to a mainstream.

Can't look down on something that's not there. In all seriousness though, you seem like the kind of person that takes exception to people choosing which businesses they patronize based on the business practices of said institution; if it's good enough for you, it should be good enough for them, no?

You seem to be the kind of person that thinks someone who likes frozen overly salted food is an ignoramus. Choose where you want to go, just don't be a snob about it by insulting people who have different tastes from you.


Nothing of the sort; merely that lauding it as "fine dining" is rather a misuse of the vernacular.

/don't eat the stuff because I don't like the corporate politics or the food; nothing to do with trying to differentiate myself from the masses
 
2012-06-22 07:44:43 PM
This company also bought Longhorns and are destroying it.
 
2012-06-22 07:45:04 PM

Any Pie Left: I don't get the Red Lobster hate: took the mrs. there last month on a date, the wood-fire-grilled salmon was teh sex. Really, very good, and yet still reasonably priced.


I don't know about anybody else in this thread, but I certainly don't hate Olive Garden or Red Lobster. I eat at both places occasionally, generally when someone else suggests it. It's just that there is better seafood and better Italian available, at least where I live.

Earlier in the thread someone suggested using urbanspoon or google local to find better. Personally, I read the food page of an old-fashioned paper newspaper. You could try just asking friends and co-workers for suggestions. But whatever your methods, I advise you to shop around and see if there's anything nearby you might like better.

But hey, if you enjoy Red Lobster and you're happy, more power to you.
 
2012-06-22 07:45:27 PM

AbortionsForAll: ongbok: LtDarkstar: 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

It's even funnier watching the trailer trash white folks like you that go there dressed in your best CAT hat and flannel laughing at them when everybody already knows the real joke is that Red Lobster is the closest that you will ever get to an upscale restaurant.

Just so you know, your reply was vastly inferior to the statement which you were answering (on multiple levels - humor, accuracy, etc.).


No it is pretty accurate. After all you seem to know a lot about what type of people frequent Red Lobster. The only way for you to have that type of knowledge on the subject is if you frequent the place quite often yourself, and that would tend to prove the point that Red Lobster is the closest that you will ever get to upscale dinning. Me on the other hand, I have no idea what kind of people frequent either Red Lobster or the Olive Garden because I have never been to a Red Lobster and only been to Olive Garden twice in mt life. Furthermore since I was a child I was taught that if you were going to eat out, you really should look for upscale places to eat.
 
2012-06-22 07:45:32 PM

I should be in the kitchen: I still tease my mom about the first time she and dad came to visit me in Vegas, nearly ten years ago now. They had offered to take my then-husband and I out to dinner and she suggested Olive Garden.

Who goes to Vegas to eat at the freakin' Olive Garden?

I talked them into Battista's Hole in the Wall. The food is good--not spectacular, but the cool "Old Vegas" atmosphere, the little old man strolling around with his accordion and the all-you-can-drink house wine kick Olive Garden's ass any day.


Almost as bad as people who go to New York, home of the best Italian food outside of Italy, and eat at farking Olive Garden. I'm pretty sure those people actually hate food.

/but never-ending pasta!!!11!!
 
2012-06-22 07:45:49 PM

styckx: berylman: styckx: My favorite ghetto place (and by ghetto I mean stereotyping the place by the commericials) is Golden Corral. I see their commercials all the time and lol @ the fattie magnet Chocolate Wonderfall and now they're even giving away Cotton Candy.. That place is the poster child for obesity in America.

Oh yeah I saw that this morning and was thinking alike laughing. I would really like to sit in on their marketing team meetings. It's like their subtly mocking their clientele. Golden Corral, we know you have no dignity left so come on down.

I really want to go there and stick my wang in the chocolate wonderfall and cause a scene for lulz but I would probably end up tased to death.

Dude, people dip steak and meatloaf in that fountain and not for jokes either. Link


shiat, if this is gonna be that kind of party, I'm gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.
 
2012-06-22 07:46:20 PM
Oh and Applebees doesn't suck if you look at its usefulness correctly.

Usually Applebees has one of the better bar setups and some of the best drunk food available. I spent more time in my drinking days getting hammered at Applebees than the local bars..
 
2012-06-22 07:46:24 PM

misanthropic1: Nothing of the sort; merely that lauding it as "fine dining" is rather a misuse of the vernacular.

/don't eat the stuff because I don't like the corporate politics or the food; nothing to do with trying to differentiate myself from the masses


That's fine. I thought were disagreeing on the definition of snob. I was saying that price has nothing to do with it. When you insult someone for their taste, it doesn't matter whether your taste is cheaper or more expensive, it's snobbery.
 
2012-06-22 07:47:47 PM
Red Lobster is probably the biggest scam amongst the restaurant chains. $40 for a place with $3 worth of old sea food.
 
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