Olive Garden is dropping its renowned "Buy One Take One" market this quarter, a sign that restaurant chains are willing to sacrifice some customer web traffic in order to wean themselves off promotions.

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The agency is pursuing an everyday value strategy, meaning it wants customers to feel like they"re getting a great deal on their food without a distinct offer, according to the Italian chain"s parent, Darden Restaurants Inc. The Buy One promovement had actually let customers order one meal to eat at the table and also then receive a second one for later on at residence.


"It may have have a short-lived impact on web traffic," Darden Chief Executive Officer Gene Lee sassist on a conference call Thursday. But he expressed confidence that the chain might absorb the hit. "I"m motivated by Olive Garden"s momentum," he sassist.


The move is a gamble for a organization that posted disappointing results last quarter. Both Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, Darden"s 2 best brands, posted smaller comparable-sales increases than analysts predicted. Harsh winter weather hurt outcomes in January and February, the firm shelp.


The tepid performance sent shares of Darden down as much as 7.7 percent to $86.10 on Thursday, noting the worst intraday decline in more than five years. The stock had actually currently fallen 2.8 percent this year before the latest tumble.


Restaurants are changing away from limited-time deals to focus on what"s easily accessible on a everyday basis. Chili"s freshly readjusted its loyalty regimen to always offer a cost-free drink or chips-and-salsa appetizer.


In all, Olive Garden is cutting its promotional offers from nine to six this fiscal year, so the deals aren"t disshowing up altogether. The chain is presently providing $8.99 dinners for those that dine in between 3 p.m. and also 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It"s a time as soon as the restaurants aren"t typically busy, administration said on Thursday"s contact.


Olive Garden and also other chains also are grappling through higher labor prices, one reason why they might have to cut earlier on aggressive promotions. Weras are climbing, and also UNITED STATE joblessness is near a record low.


To help keep employees happy, Darden plans to invest invest $15 million in its workpressure after the UNITED STATE tax-price overhaul.


"We are seeing a transition throughout the industry, just bereason carriers are trying to absorb labor inflation," shelp Mizuho Securities analyst Jeremy Scott. "The issue is the temporary impact."


The new spending is on height of the $20 million labor investment Darden already announced in January. The added spending will certainly enhance the customer and employee suffer, administration sassist on the contact, without giving even more details.

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"Tbelow demands to be some investment in some of the non-wage determinants -- so the benefits -- in order to gain that employee retention up and turnover down," Scott sassist.


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