In response to:

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

Virginia Lady Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 10:14 AM
Eating at a restaurant costs 5-10x what a comparable meal costs at home. Even if you buy prepared stuff, it still costs less to eat at home. We're expecting our income to drop this year. Eating out was the first thing we cut from our budget.
Pat2881 Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 10:58 PM
We cut out movies. We spend less eating out at our favorite local Thai restaurant than we spent on 2 movie tickets and popcorn and a drink. Besides, that local restaurant treats us like family and cooks our food just the way we like it, Thai spicy. It is a family run business that needs the income. We do movies on Vudu or Amazon and pop our own popcorn at home. Renting a movie to stream for $6 is a lot cheaper than $20 for 2 movie tickets and another $10 to $15 for popcorn and a soda to share.

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,