The last few days has seen quite a bit of news about Olive Garden and their parent company, Darden. Starboard Value, a hedge fund that is one of the largest shareholders of the public company, has recently put forward a slate of 12 new board prospects to replace the entire board of Darden. Now, Starboard has released a 300 slide deck blasting the inefficiencies they see with Olive Garden and other concepts like Longhorn Steakhouse, while outlining turnaround steps they would take to get the brands on the right track. According to Starboard, Olive Garden is missing out on $56 million in annual earnings by not taking basic steps with their beverage program.
If you are in the hospitality industry, I highly recommend taking a look at Starboard’s analysis and proposal for yourself. But after spending hours reading through their materials, I’m going to highlight several things called out in the report that all restaurants should be focused on to improve the guest experience and bottom line. While there are a lot of problems identified and solutions proposed in the report, I’m going to focus on alcoholic beverages based on our experience at Uncorkd and provide information on how to improve your beverage sales. Read more