Olive Garden Just Announced a Partnership with Amazon
Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, has just announced a new partnership with Amazon that might just mean unlimited (okay, probably “limited”) soup, salad, and breadsticks...delivered.
In an earnings call, CEO Gene Lee left out details on exactly when the partnership would go into effect. He also declined to include details about whether or not the full menu would be offered for delivery. Or, frankly, too many other details about anything, for that matter.
What he did say, though, is that there’s definitely a “test” going on between Olive Garden and Amazon. “The only way Amazon is in our world right now is through Amazon Prime delivery,” he said. “We have a test going on with them. We’ll continue to partner with them and see if we can make that work.”
Darden’s other restaurant chains include LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s, Bahama Breeze, Yard House, Capital Grille, Season 52, and Eddie V’s, all of which might be involved with the partnership as well.
And Lee thinks it’s bound to be a success, thanks in part to the brand’s millennial diners. While many chain restaurants have experienced a decrease in sales over the past few months, and some have attributed that decrease to millennial customers, Olive Garden's sales are actually on the rise. In fact, they’re up more than four percent in its most recent quarter.
“I know you don’t think millennials want to go to restaurants,” Lee noted on the call, implying that the Amazon partnership had a lot to do with an increased attempt to reach that demographic. “But 30 percent of our guests are millennials, versus 24 percent of the population.”