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.
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“…
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.