updated - September 22, 2019 Sunday EDT
Olive Garden has presented a new logo and changes to their menu as its way of winning back old customers while gaining new ones.
The Italian restaurant chain presented the new logo to executives at Darden Restaurants Inc., the owner of Olive Garden, on Monday. Darden executives expressed their excitement for the move, saying the logo is "the symbol for our brand renaissance," according to BuzzFeed.
Dave Pickens, chief restaurant operations officer for Darden, spoke in the presentation about the process of searching for an engaging logo, The Consumerist reported.
"We started with brand conditioning as the foundation for our initial design," Pickens said. "We then conducted extensive testing and quantitative research to further shape and validate the new design."
Olive Garden has also made changes to its menu, AOL reported. The updated menu includes more small dishes and the option of mixing and matching pastas and sauces.
According to BuzzFeed, investors have insisted that Darden should break off from Olive Garden and Red Lobster due to huge drops in sales for both restaurants. However, Darden said in the presentation it has decided to keep Olive Garden and sell or spin off Red Lobster, stating Red Lobster has different target guests than the rest of the company's chains, which include Yard House, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze.
"We believe separation will allow Red Lobster and the rest of Darden to better serve what are increasingly divergent guest targets," Darden said. "Separation moves from Darden the high level of same restaurant sales volatility associated with the more promotional nature of the Red Lobster business."
CEO Clarence Otis said in a phone call that the need to evolve was a reason for Darden's decision to keep Olive Garden and not Red Lobster, AOL reported.
"We certainly recognize that industry dynamics have changed considerably over the past two years," Otis said.
Olive Garden presented new plateware to executives at the presentation as well, The Consumerist reported. The plateware is expected to come out in 2015 and "lets the food be the star."
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