Olive Garden Launches Last-Ditch Menu Re-Vamp

Staff Writer
Olive Garden Introduces more lunch items and pasta customization program in an attempt to turn around faltering sales

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Mama Mia! In an attempt to turn the nation’s largest Italian restaurant chain’s faltering revenues around, Olive Garden is introducing a whole new menu, offering pasta customization, lighter lunch options, and small plates, according to National Restaurant News.

A new menu section named “Cucina Mia” will let patrons mix and match pastas and sauces for their own creation for $9.99, and add a choice of three different types of meatballs.  Olive Garden is also dipping into the small-plate craze by adding the Parmesan Olive Fritta — a blend of Italian cheese and olives fried into a bite-sized pizza form.  Known for its creamy sauces and cheesy pastas, Olive Garden is also trying to help diners cut back with an extended lighter fare menu for lower-calorie options.

The new menu adds a total of 20 new items to the Italian chain’s repertoire, but will it be enough? According to Yahoo Finance, Olive Garden isn’t the only fast-casual chain in trouble, as Americans nationwide are losing interest in places like Applebee’s and Friday’s, where customer interest across the board has declined over the past decade.  

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