In response to:

Traffic Slump at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn; Smaller Plates, Cheaper Items at Olive Garden

floridahank Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 8:37 AM
Hey, cooking at home doesn't have to be work. With all the great cookiing shows, books, sites, it doesn't take any special talent to make great, tasty, novel meals -- the challenge can actually be fun and a pleasant surprise with a totally different meal. The ingredients are far cheaper than a meal at a restarunt, and put on a great movie or music, invite a couple of friends over and it's more of a party. But most are too lazy to try new things. When my kids lived at home, they never complained about eating at home most of the time.
Rich L. Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 3:36 PM
For many, cooking at home is the way to go. Some, on the other hand, have trouble boiling water and can ruin soup. The only times I have eaten out in the last 2-3 years is when someone gives me a gift card to a restaurant that I can't sell for near the face value. Even then, it usually costs more than the card + $5-7 for tax and tip for me and my girlfriend. I like to grill the family packs of chicken or ribs and eat for 4-6 days.

High gasoline prices coupled with 2% payroll tax hikes is going to take a bite out of restaurant sales this year. For some chains the slump has already started.

Consider Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steak House. Darden Restaurant Traffic is down an average 4.5, with Red Lobster leading the pack down 7.5%.

Smaller Plates, Cheaper Items at Olive Garden

At Olive Garden,