Olive Garden's new logo (left) and old logo
The Olive Garden has a new logo, which executives are describing as "the symbol for our brand renaissance."
Darden, the owner of the Italian restaurant chain, showed off the logo Monday in a presentation to investors and analysts after revamping its menu last month. The company is "very excited" about it, executives said.
Darden "conducted extensive testing and quantitative research" to "shape and validate the new design," Dave Pickens, chief restaurant operations officer for Darden, said in the presentation. The logo was created with design firm Lippincott, he said.
Olive Garden's menu additions last month included small plates, under-575 calorie options and a make-your-own pasta section that starts at $9.99.
Some investors have been pushing Darden to break off both Olive Garden and Red Lobster, as both chains see drops in sales at locations open a year or more. Darden, which also owns Longhorn Steakhouse, Yard House, and Bahama Breeze, plans to hang on to Olive Garden and spin off or sell Red Lobster, which it says has an increasingly different target guest than the rest of its chains.
"We believe separation will allow Red Lobster and the rest of Darden to better serve what are increasingly divergent guest targets," the company said in today's presentation. "Separation removes from Darden the high level of same restaurant sales volatility associated with the more promotional nature of the Red Lobster business."
Shares of Darden fell about 5% today, making it the biggest loser in the S&P 500.