Olive Garden wants to breadstick its way back into our hearts. The chain of casual Italian(ish) food is planning to take its most famous appetizer unlimited free breadsticks and turn them into a giant garlicky, yeasty form that will cushion gooey parmigiana sandwiches. The change to its menu starts next month as part of a continued effort to build sales momentum and prove that breadsticks know no bounds.
The “breadstick bun sandwiches,” as a spokeperson described them to Mashable on the phone, will come in two varieties: chicken parm and meatball. The meal will start at $6.99 on the lunch menu.
“We’ve been evolving our menu a lot over the past year and we’re really trying to give our guests more ways to enjoy the things that they love,” Jessica Dinon, a rep for Olive Garden, told Mashable in an interview. “We know our guests love our breadsticks. It’s iconic.”
By re-thinking its signature product, Olive Garden may just earn the kind of media and customer attention that McDonald’s, another restaurant chain experience lackluster sales, received last week for overhauling its famous Hamburglar character.
“Restaurant consumers are always looking for something “new,” and menu innovation, like a breadstick sandwich, can be successful in driving traffic,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at The NPD Group. Read more…