Insufferable Progs – They Just Don’t Get it….. They Probably Never Will…..

It really doesn’t matter what aspect of progdom you are looking at, the inherent failure, nay – constitutional inability, to recognize the obvious, is the commonality in all things progressive.   Really, I’m not kidding; nor am I being snarky or curt, it’s just factually true.

Prog companies spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on marketing analysis and various consultants to help them understand what is occurring within their business model because they operate from a detached reality view toward their customer.

Prog companies believe that all their customers are also progs.  It is just how they view the world.   It’s weird.

But when stuff does not make sense to them, or their business model weakens or begins to fail, they pay a lot of money because they have to exit their comfort circle for advice or they will fail.   It’s true, and I can give you countless first hand experiences.  If progressively run companies maintain only advice from like-minded progs when they are suffering, they will fail.  100% of the time.   Guaranteed.

It is what’s happening to Facebook right now.  They are still stuck in the prog circle aka doomsday-predictive, circling, echo-chamber of progdom.   But this post is not about Facebook.   This post is about a brick and mortar company.   And what you are about to read, free of charge mind you, is an example of everything above.

Today’s Headline:   Olive Garden, Red Lobster Struggle To Revive Sales

Inside the article:   Darden Restaurants Inc. is struggling to revive sales at its flagship Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. A key sales figure fell at the chains during the latest quarter, and the company issued a profit forecast that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant operator has been reworking the menu and pricing to reverse declining sales at Olive Garden, which is its biggest chain and accounts for almost half its revenue. The 10 percent rise in Darden’s net income for the quarter came primarily from the opening of new locations, including those for its smaller specialty chains.

Revenue at Olive Garden restaurants open at least a year fell 1.8 percent in the quarter. At Red Lobster, the figure fell 3.9 percent. The metric is an indicator of health because it strips out the effect of newly opened and closed stores.

Darden attributed the drop at Olive Garden in part to its “Taste of Tuscany” promotion, which it said didn’t emphasize value enough at a time when diners are watching their budgets and have so many more casual dining options.

Olive Garden’s menu “failed to keep pace with guest expectations that started to evolve much faster than they had in the past,” said Andrew Madsen, Darden’s president and chief operating officer.

Executives noted that a new promotion starting next week – two meals for $25 – will go back to underscoring value. A new core menu and advertising campaign are also slated for next year.

We’re making progress on our efforts to elevate the guest experience at Olive Garden, and over the next 12 months guests will see more and more of the improved food, service, value and advertising we’ve been developing,” CEO Clarence Otis said in a prepared statement.

(snip – can you see Mr. Otis circling the drain…  “we’ve been developing”…. key warning signs…..  Development = We don’t know what’s wrong)

For 2013, Darden forecast a profit of $3.86 to $4 per share, which fell short of Wall Street expectations of $4.06 per share, according to FactSet. Given the expectations for a slow economic recovery, the company forecast sales at established restaurants to grow just 1 percent to 2 percent.

Based on the long-term prospects for its brands, however, the company plans to accelerate growth in its fiscal 2013, with about 100 net new restaurants. The company had 89 more restaurants at the end of the quarter than it did a year earlier.  […]

At Red Lobster, the company noted that a $1 price hike for its popular “Festival of Shrimp” wasn’t well received.

Madsen said company research suggested consumers would be “largely indifferent” to the higher $12.99 price for the special of any two shrimp dishes. But the softer sales during the promotion proved the hike “turned out to be too aggressive,” he said.  (more)

In short, they are struggling and really don’t know why.  The stockholder explanations are textbook damage control red flags for upper executive management disconnected from causation.

Here is the real reason for their problem:

September 15th 2011 Olive Garden Media Announcement - First Lady Michelle Obama gave her support Thursday to healthful menu changes at Darden Restaurants, the parent company of mega-chains such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster. The company announced Thursday  it’s cutting calories and sodium in all of its restaurants, offering more healthful choices on its kids’ menus and revamping other food choices.

Darden Restaurants Inc. is pledging to cut calories and sodium in its meals by 20 percent over a decade. Among promised changes for children, a fruit or vegetable side and low-fat milk will become standard with kids’ meals unless a substitution is requested.

Yes, you read that right.   The food police, nanny statist and tamale loving FLOTUS, talked her prog pals and campaign 2012 donors into becoming food Nazi’s, and now there are no more french fries for the little ones unless an adult asks for them.  Yep, French Fries Now Need Parental Permission at the Olive Garden effective October 2011.

Fail #1

First Lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by Darden chef Julie Elkinton, second from right, talks to Charisse McElroy, right, and her daughter Jacqueline McElroy, 9, during a Let’s Move! event in one of Darden’s national restaurants in Hyattsville, Md., Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. The first lady announced Darden Restaurants’ commitment to reduce its calorie and sodium footprint and to provide greater choice and variety on its children’s menus and make healthy options the default choice whenever possible. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Also you might remember a little incident about a month later regarding the refusal to allow the American Flag in Alabama:

(STORY)  80-year-old Marti Warren of Anniston said she wasn’t allowed to bring an American flag into an Olive Garden for a planned Kiwanis Club banquet in the east Alabama town of Oxford.

Warren tells WBRC-TV that she learned the night of the banquet that she wouldn’t be allowed to display the flag or the Kiwanis banner in the restaurant.

Orlando-based parent firm Darden restaurants said in a statement that the Oxford Olive Garden lacks a private dining area, and is unable to accommodate flags or banners of any type to avoid disrupting the experience of other guests.

Public Relations Fail #2

These types of Prog decisions have consequences.

It ain’t the $1 shrimp fiesta issue, or a lack of product quality.   It is the Insufferable outward Progressive policies toward their customer base.   It really is THAT simple.

In February of this year Prog Michelle was talking to the military about them needing to change their menu and diets too.   Michelle Obama Targets Military Food:  “Don’t Worry You’ll be a Vegetable Guy Soon“…

“Don’t worry, you’ll be a vegetable guy soon,” she reassured one airman

SERIOUSLY ?

I’ve got two words for ya, and they ain’t Merry Christmas !

You see the point is, Progs believe in their progressive ideology with such core reverence, they are constitutionally incapable of seeing how detached they are from the rest of us.  It is an emotion over logic thing for them.

That’s why they look at each other cross-eyed, whether in the Olive Garden board room, or the MSNBC punditry round table following the Wisconsin Election.    Same-Same.

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37 Responses to Insufferable Progs – They Just Don’t Get it….. They Probably Never Will…..

  1. This is brilliant! Unfortunately I doubt it will every wind up as a case study at Harvard Business School or the Drucker Institute, which of course means that more prog companies will go out of business. Stupid is as stupid does.

    Like

  2. jodark says:

    Those pictures of the military food are ridiculous. They better have been photo-op meals, because there is no way an Army can win a war on such paltry rations. Then again, it is the Chair Force so maybe that’s all they need…

    Like

    • howie says:

      They have plans to color code all food and ration it to the population of stupid capitalist pigs. I kid you not. They are mad with power.

      Like

    • Meme says:

      NO ONE who’s Military should be subject to such rations, especially men! No sexism meant, just that a majority of men love their meat and potatoes and a man needs a GOOD meal especially if he is out in the field. We have Military all over my family, including two of my children. I’ll need to ask them some questions.. I should get an even response as one is a son, one a daughter. Btw – Wife of a “Chair Force” vet here! Lol Still a proud one! :)

      Like

  3. WeeWeed says:

    Goat puke and a sprig of broccoli do not lunch make.

    Like

  4. Highdesert45 says:

    What a disappointment…Olive Garden/Red Lobster are Obama supporters. Non-offensive words escape me.

    Like

    • Meme says:

      I’m with you! I love my Red Lobster where my son takes me out several times a year! Being away from my dear New England seafood, I just wonder, now what? ::sigh:::

      Like

  5. stellap says:

    I’ve thought of Olive Garden as Fake Italian, and Red Lobster as Fake Seafood for years now. Never eat at either one. There are plenty of better options. Not to mention that the food Nazis have joined their organizations – doesn’t help a bit!

    Like

    • Enough says:

      I agree. Stopped going to them a few years ago. I now go to the local Italian places (friggin’ yummy!) and since we live in New England…I get all my seafood fresh from a local place that is not Nanny handled. The fish and clam cakes are all deep fried in that yummy goodness and the lobster is served with much yummy butter.

      Let the chains follow the First Sasquatch. They, and their second rate food will see the same outcome as her hubby, the Illegal President.

      Like

      • Meme says:

        You made me both homesick and hungry! How I MISS my New England seafood! Alas, no more Red Lobster though for me. I agree totally with your comment, though I would hate to see them go under if for nothing but the sake of people’s jobs being lost. We don’t need more of that! Enjoy the good stuff!

        Like

  6. Sal Paradise says:

    Great work. Forwarding it on to my friends….

    Like

  7. jodark says:

    With regards to Darden and their brands, cutting food calories and sodium is only going to have a completely insignificant effect on national health, but it will have big effect on their books.

    How often does an average family go and spend a bunch of money at either of these restaurants? Not that often. Monthly, if they are a family of moderate means. Quarterly or yearly if they have even less. SO, If you are dining at such an establishment on such an infrequent basis, you will expect the food to be rather unhealthy, but worth every penny because you want premium food. You want the salt, the fat, the fries and that kinda sick feeling you get when you’ve eaten too many salty, garlicy breadsticks. If you reduce the food flavor quality, you WILL lose people’s hard-earned dollars. People want bacon-wrapped shrimp in a Bacon-Alfredo Bacon-Garlic Bacon-sauce NOT steamed Talipia with broccoli.

    Now, let’s look at companies doing the opposite and having extraordinary effects. Burger King for example has just released the Bacon Sundae. It is a very simple sundae, vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel syrup, and 4 strips of bacon. When I went to get one the week it was released, the cashier said they had already sold 400 of them in the 5 days it had been out. I’m willing to bet that if you added up their entire dessert menu sales in those same 4 days of the prior week, you’d barely hit 400 total.

    Finally, what the #$%@ does Michelle Obama know about the food business? Hell, what the hell does she know about food? Bloody well nothing. If you want to partner with a food icon that can bring in the masses, throw Giada De Laurentis up on the commercial with one of her low-cut shirts, have her pronounce “mootzerella” kinda weird a few times introducing dishes combined with prosciutto and pancetta (Italian BACON), and you’ve got yourself a knock-out national campaign. How hard can it be?

    BRB. I’m going to start a consulting firm and squeeze these suckers for all they’re worth.

    Like

    • Wraith says:

      People want bacon-wrapped shrimp in a Bacon-Alfredo Bacon-Garlic Bacon-sauce NOT steamed Talipia with broccoli.

      Dude. You totally forgot the nine layers of every cheese from cheddar to gorgonzola. :D

      Finally, what the #$%@ does Michelle Obama know about the food business? Hell, what the hell does she know about food? Bloody well nothing.

      Oh, she knows plenty about food. But her knowledge is limited to how many ribs and wings she can eat without exploding. ;)

      Like

  8. Bro-cahontas says:

    Just wanted to throw this in to give you the wide appeal sites like this have. I’m usually pretty “progressive”. I’m vegetarian and get my organic food from a CSA, do yoga, and spend a good amount of time every Summer wandering around the back country(yes, I’m totally straight and really enjoy sex with my girlfriend). Anyway, the difference between myself and Obamanites is that I don’t expect or even advocate anyone else doing what I do. I really don’t care what other people do and the things I do enjoy tend to get down graded once they are mass marketed. I actually detest people who tell other people what they should do and the pc absurdity that goes along with it. This isn’t about left vs right. This is about totalitarianism vs freedom.

    Like

  9. aliashubbatch says:

    Rarely, if not ever, ate at those places. I found a sea food place that I love going to; owner is Vietnamese, so clearly, he is a man who can “sea food differently”. Love me some grilled red snapper with a lemon glaze *drool*.

    Like

  10. jw says:

    OG and Rl will never get another penny from my purse.
    Our visits there were purely for celebratory occasions.
    jodark put the hammer on the nail.
    When the American Flag was banned we banned ourselves.
    Now that Moochelle is in the kitchen the ban is lifetime.

    Like

    • Meme says:

      Your last two sentences cover exactly what I was just going to post, although I only found out just now about the American Flag ban – so it would have been similar, not exact. However, in FULL agreement. My son WAS taking me to Red Lobster this weekend.. where to go now?? :::sigh:::: We’ll see! Great comment, jw!

      Like

  11. GunTotinGranny says:

    Any business that dances to the dictates of anyone besides their customers deserves to fail. Going PC has wiped some off my list of places to spend my money, e.g. Penny’s. Plus, I’ve eaten my last Oreo.

    Like

    • aliashubbatch says:

      Same here pal. (b.t.w. lookin’ at your name, coolest, granny, ever!)

      Like

    • Meme says:

      “Granny” – Could you please tell me where to find the full list of these places to not give my business to anymore? It’d be so much appreciated! Or if anyone reading this knows? IS PC the right way? I don’t know, I don’t care for it myself. Your last Oreo?? NO Oreos??? ::::sigh:::::

      Like

  12. Sharon says:

    We dropped Olive Garden the day after Michelle gave her corporate orders, and haven’t been back once since last fall–because it was someone else’s choice and we were invited along.

    It’s so weird to see this all laid out and try to process that they REALLY don’t get it. Progs truly aren’t just rude and desiring-to-dominate for personal-power reasons. They really are that clueless. Ready-made victim group in every sense of the word.

    Like

  13. elvischupacabra says:

    Yep, the day Darden bought into Mooooo-chelle’s Mystery Meal Methodology, I wrote them off my list of eateries. No Red Lobster and No Olive Garden. Despite my #1 eating-out rule of always choose a family-owned restaurant, I occasionally stopped in at one of these places. No more. We’re done!

    Like

  14. Yeah… give Moochelle enough time and she will destroy anything!

    Like

  15. rjp says:

    Highdesert45 says: Olive Garden/Red Lobster are Obama supporters.

    I’ll give one more reason. Darden places it’s restaurants only in sufficiently populated areas which tend to have a problem, lot’s of “Obama Supporters”. And “Olive Supporters” like Olive Garden/Red Lobster, and if for no other reason the ones that didn’t now do because Moo-chelle does. Just one family of them can ruin a dining experience. People don’t want to pay for that experience.

    Like

  16. LibertyCitizen says:

    Moochelle gave Darden a health waiver! Remember? All in bed together…

    Like

  17. Michell says:

    I’m one of those that did eat at Olive Garden, not weekly or even monthly. I cook better Italian at home then they do, but if we were craving Italian and I didn’t feel like cooking we went to Olive Garden. I got pissed about them listening to Michelle and said I wouldn’t go back, but my husband and I had went away for the weekend on our anniversary and he wanted Italian and they were our only choice in the town we were in. The food didn’t taste the same, I figured it was just a different town, different cook sort of thing. When our waitress brought the check and asked how everything was, my husband informed her the food wasn’t as good as in the past, she said they had changed their recipes to make the food lower in fat and sodium and many customers have noticed the change and most aren’t pleased with the change. So just maybe if they’d talk to their employees they’d know why they’re losing business.

    Like

  18. apachetears says:

    I took my Elderly Mom out to eat at a subway shop known for good healthy meals that can help you lose weight, Mom got her favorite sandwich only made by Subway, after the first bite she said, “Something is missing” it didn’t taste like food to her, it tasted like something you get served in a Hospital or Nursing home. She said next time son take me to a real eating place where they serve real food. The subway held back the salt, fat and other bad stuff that was targeted for elimination in their customers meals. Mom prefers a hamburger at Jacks or Wendy’s and always has. Mom is currently 81 years old.

    Like

    • aliashubbatch says:

      She has good tastes, but I wonder, do you or your mother live in Texas? If so, Whataburger all the way! An A1 Thick-n-Hearty Burger, or the Whataburger Pattymelt, oh man I’m drooling all over my keyboard now! :)

      Like

  19. apachetears says:

    Olive Garden is the McDonalds of Italian food.

    Like

  20. sybiljx1 says:

    FAIL #3:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-darden-part-time-workers-20121007,0,1505128.story

    Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom

    Like

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