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The Truth Behind Rumors of Olive Garden Closing

Find out the truth about what’s happening to Olive Garden.

Everybody loves Olive Garden. It is reliable, the food is good, and their breadsticks are to die for. So when you heard that Olive Garden was closing its doors, it is likely that you panicked. This news was not welcomed with open arms, instead, it was faced with uproar on most social media sites. 

olive garden entrance

Despite the wide circulation of this news on social media, it seems that there is very little official documentation on this news. This got us wondering whether this news was true, or if it were just a rumor. So, let’s take a look at what we found out. 


So, is Olive Garden Actually Closing?

Well, now is the time to breathe a big sigh of relief because it seems that these rumors are just rumors. So, you don’t have to worry about missing out on your unlimited breadsticks and salad because it seems that this Italian restaurant is sticking around. We say this because the company themselves have never acknowledged the rumors that any of their stores are even at the risk of closing. So, it seems that the company is going nowhere.

Throughout the years that they have been in business, Olive Garden has always been popular among patrons, and this is why the closure rumors came as such a shock to so many customers. But, it is important to recognize that Olive Garden is just one cog in a wheel. 

outside of olive garden restaurant

This is because Olive Garden is owned by a parent company, and this parent company is called Darden Restaurants. While Olive Garden is a fan-favorite, their parent company hasn’t always been so successful, and it is likely that this is where the rumors have come from. But, let’s take a further look. 


Where did these Rumors Come From?

So, if Olive Garden is doing well, you might be seriously wondering where these rumors came from. After all, Olive Garden restaurants are seemingly always busy, so surely they can’t be performing so badly that they would be at risk of closure, right?

Well, as we have said, Olive Garden isn’t actually closing. But, it is pretty easy to see where these rumors came from by simply doing some light research into Olive Garden. As we have said, Olive Garden is owned by the parent company, Darden Restaurants, and this company hasn’t always done as well as Olive Garden. Especially when the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

While Darden Restaurants have always performed okay financially, they took a real hit when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and their restaurants were forced to close their doors. In the fourth quarter of the financial year 2019-20, the company actually swung to a loss financially as their revenue fell by 43%. 

olive garden sign

Darden Restaurants is the parent company for a lot of different restaurants, so it is understandable that they would take a hit due to the pandemic. After all, the hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So, it is likely that the rumors of closure for Olive Garden came from this poor financial performance. 


Will it Close in the Future?

As Darden Restaurants continues to struggle financially, it is understandable that you might wonder if Olive Garden is likely to close in the future. After all, if a parent company is struggling, this has to have an impact on the children’s companies too. So, is Olive Garden likely to close in the future?

Well, we are not psychics, and so we cannot say whether, or not, Olive Garden will close in the future. It is impossible to know what the future holds, and there is always the possibility that any company could close its doors. But, at the minute, we would like to say that Olive Garden is safe. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, Olive Garden was able to keep money coming in as they offered takeaway orders. This meant that the company stayed afloat, even in difficult times. Olive Garden still took a hit during the pandemic, just like every restaurant did. But, the fact that this company has adapted to the circumstances does make us optimistic about their future. So, while we could never say for definite if Olive Garden is going to continue to operate in the future, we would like to think that they have a long future ahead. 


Stores That Aren’t so Lucky

While Olive Garden was able to adapt in order to survive the coronavirus pandemic, some other stores haven’t been so lucky. As we have said, the pandemic hit the hospitality sector incredibly hard, and because of this a lot of businesses just weren’t able to survive.

olive garden sign

A year after the pandemic first hit, it was reported that around 10% of US restaurants and food joints were forced to close their doors permanently as a result of the pandemic. 

As you would expect, the larger chains, like Olive Garden, were best able to survive this financial hardship. But a lot of smaller stores were not so lucky. While independent chains with more than 50 units were able to thrive, independent businesses and food trucks with fewer stores really struggled. It is these stores that make up the bulk of this 10%. 

But even larger chains that have been able to survive have struggled. Some of the largest food chains in the USA have had to close some of their stores in order to absorb the financial impact of the pandemic.

These chains include some big-name brands, like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Dunkin’. So even those companies that have survived the pandemic have struggled. But at the moment, it seems that Olive Garden isn’t going anywhere.

Final Thoughts

Fear not, Olive Garden is here to stay! Our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant isn’t going anywhere and we’re glad to hear it. After all, who doesn’t love pasta and unlimited breadsticks?

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is from Sanibel Island, Florida, and a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.