With new strategies at the helm as the company continues to invest in its turnaround, Darden Restaurants Inc. has reported positive increases in its just released 2017 Q2 report. Credited in part to its Olive Garden business, the company reported a total sales rise of 2.1% to $1.4 billion.
"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’s diluted net earnings per share rose to $0.64, along with an increase of 18.5% from last year’s adjusted diluted net earnings per share. The company also 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 strategic shift to deliver on rising 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:
WSJ stated that following the release of Darden’s Q2, the company’s shares rose 2.7% during morning trading.
As strategies are unveiled to further solidify foodservice and restaurant trends, Deli Market News will have the latest.