Darden Restaurants Sees Sales Rise in Q2 from Olive Garden Business

Thu. December 22nd, 2016 - by Laura Hillen

ORLANDO, FL – Boasting some new strategic focuses, Darden Restaurants Inc. is coming out of its Q2 report for 2017 with increased sales reports. Thanks especially to its Olive Garden business, the company reported a 2.1% total sales rise to $1.64 billion.

Gene Lee, CEO, Darden Restaurants"We had another strong quarter with same-restaurant sales growth significantly outperforming the casual dining industry benchmarks, especially at Olive Garden," said CEO Gene Lee. "We remain laser-focused on our operating philosophy rooted in food, service and atmosphere, and creating memorable experiences for our guests." 

Darden also reported an increase to its reported diluted net earnings per share to $0.64, along with a rise of 18.5% from last year’s adjusted diluted net earnings per share. The company reported a profit of $79.5 million for its second quarter, ending in November. 

Darden’s same-restaurant sales rose 1.7% for the quarter, led by a 2.6% rise in sales at Olive Garden alone, according to a press release. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stated that analysts expected a 1.8% total same-restaurant sales increase for Darden, with Olive Garden surpassing analyst projections of a 2% increase.

Olive Garden’s increases come from a shift in strategy to deliver on consumer demand for quick and on-the-go meals instead of just a sit-down experience. With a heightened focus on carryout online ordering, the restaurant saw a rise in to-go sales of 21% for the quarter. The company stated that Olive Garden sales were also influenced by successful marketing campaigns such as the “Pasta Pass,” and lunch specials. 

For the rest of its string of restaurant chains, Darden saw the following movement to each segment’s respective same-restaurant sales: 

  • LongHorn: +0.1%
  • The Capital Grille: +1.2%
  • Eddie V’s: 2.7%
  • Yard House: +0.7%
  • Seasons 52: -0.3%
  • Bahama Breeze: +2.6%

WSJ stated that following the release of Darden’s Q2, the company’s shares rose 2.7% during morning trading.

What's next for Darden as the foodservice and restaurant industry continues to shift in the sway of consumer demand? AndNowUKnow will have the latest.

Darden Restaurants