Olive Garden is booming, and it's not only because of the Chocolate Lasagna and free breadsticks. Darden Restaurants,
which owns Olive Garden and other chains like Longhorn Steakhouse and Yard House, recently reported a strong quarter.
Darden raised its 2023 fiscal year revenue expectations after reporting better-than-expected profits per share, revenue, and same-store sales.
Last week, CEO Rick Cardenas stated that Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse established all-time weekly sales records over Valentine's Day week.
Darden, like many other restaurant chains, boosted prices last year to cover rising food, labor, and other costs. Darden officials claimed on the
earnings call that the company hasn't raised prices as much as others, keeping them below inflation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-service menu prices rose 8% in February 2023 over February 2022. According to CFO Raj Vennam
Darden executives also credited high staffing levels for the company's recent performance.
"Of course, none of this would be possible without having the right people in the right roles ready to serve our guests," Cardenas said.