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Olive Garden Unveils Restaurant Remodel Initiative Inspired by Italy
Kissimmee Olive Garden among the more than 400 restaurants being remodeled through June 2015
ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2010) –Today, Olive Garden announced that more than half of its 721 restaurants will undergo an interior design refresh, inspired by the timeless warmth of farmhouses in Tuscany, Italy.
Within the newly remodeled restaurants, guests will find updated décor including new tables, chairs and booths that emanate the warm, rustic tones of a Tuscan Farmhouse. Other updates include modernized window treatments and updated decor, which together create a cleaner, more polished design. In addition, the refreshed bar area reflects a true, Tuscan-inspired space, with a more modern and sophisticated feel.
“We believe the Farmhouse design reinforces our vision by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that enhances the overall experience at Olive Garden,” said Valerie Insignares, executive vice president of operations for Olive Garden. “Within the next few years guests will enjoy the same genuine Tuscan look and feel inside every one of our family of local restaurants across North America.
For more than a decade, Olive Garden chefs, General Managers and restaurant team members travel to Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany (CIT) to learn Italian cooking techniques and to draw inspiration for menu items, promotional entrees and restaurant décor. It is at the CIT where members of the Olive Garden family learn the secrets of great Italian foods from Italian Master Chefs. Secrets include how to choose the freshest ingredients to create Italian-inspired entrees, how to layer flavors to produce the perfect Italian aroma and taste, and how to pair Italian wines with specific Italian dishes and sauces to enhance the dining experience.
“Each year, our Olive Garden development chefs travel throughout Italy to gain inspiration from the latest Italian culinary trends and traditions so they can bring the taste of Italy home to our guests,” said Terry Stanley, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “The Tuscan Farmhouse remodel is an essential element in completing the genuine Italian dining experience at Olive Garden.”
This restaurant design refresh also demonstrates Olive Garden’s dedication to supporting local communities. In celebration of the newly renovated restaurants, Kissimmee will host complimentary wine tasting events that are open to the public on October 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Led by Olive Garden wine specialists, these interactive events will further educate guests on Italian wines including their origin, body style, aroma, flavor/finish and food pairings. To receive more information on the wine tasting event, guests can visit www.Facebook.com/OliveGarden, visit www.OliveGarden.com/remodel or sign up for the “Our Family Table” e-newsletter at www.OliveGarden.com.
About Olive Garden:
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 700 restaurants, more than 85,000 employees and $3 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a part of the Darden family of restaurants (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company. For more information, visit Olive Garden’s Web site at www.olivegarden.com.