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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Olive Garden Breadsticks to Debut in Lunch Sandwiches

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Olive Garden, faced with steadily declining sales, announced plans to capitalize on perhaps its most popular menu item, breadsticks. The restaurant chain, owned by Darden Restaurants, says it will use its breadsticks for chicken parmigiana and meatball sandwiches starting June 1. Consumers ordering the new items will, of course, get unlimited breadsticks. The breadsticks used for sandwiches will be shorter and wider than the regular ones, said Justin Sikora, a Darden representative. Olive Garden’s breadsticks gained attention last year during a dispute with an investor, Starboard Value. Among other criticisms, Starboard said Darden wasn’t being disciplined in its distribution of breadsticks to customers. It also said the quality of the breadsticks seemed to have declined. Shortly after, Starboard won its bid to take control of Darden’s board. The new sandwiches will be available only on the lunch menu. The meatball sandwich will cost $7 and the chicken parmigiana $8, Mr. Sikora said.

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