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Olive Garden owner records a solid jump in sales



Darden reported earnings and earnings that outperformed on Thursday thanks to strong sales growth at Olive Garden, which accounts for more than half of the company's total revenue.

The company also increased its revenue and earnings outlook for the full year. Shares of Darden ( DRI ) rose 4% over the news.

Darden has been one of the hottest stocks of gastronomy in recent years. Analysts attribute much of the success to the turnaround of Olive Garden, developed by CEO Gene Lee, who took over the company in 2014 after activist investor Starboard called for major changes in the company.

"Our strong performance outperformed the industry" This quarter has led to significant market share gains, "said Lee in a press release," This sales performance, coupled with strong operating profit growth, is a testament to our strategy and excellence in our execution and execution Restaurant teams that create an extraordinary dining experience for our guests every day. "

  Olive Gardens Big Turn: Better Wine, Less Breadsticks

Under Lee, Olive Garden chose an approach that emphasized traditional Italian dishes, added more expensive wine and alcoholic beverages, and focused more on service.

The company also raised prices for its never-ending promotions to make them more profitable.

But many other Darden chains are fine. The company posted strong sales growth for LongHorn Steakhouse, which accounts for approximately 20% of the company's sales. The Capital Grille and Eddie V & # 39; s also made solid gains.

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, which Darden acquired for nearly $ 800 million two years ago, still has problems. Turnover at sites that had been open for at least one year decreased by 2.7%.


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