Is it a Better Garden?

By: Nikki Nies

I’ve never met someone who doesn’t enjoy Italian food.  With the hearty flavors, it is understandable how one could not walk away from such a delicious array of foods.  With Olive Garden’s revamped menu, including “healthier” dishes, the company promises to help its customers not only enjoy the flavors of modern Italian dishes, but not feel as guilty about eating a bite or two.

Original Image by Mike Mozart via Flickr
Original Image by Mike Mozart via Flickr

I find it clever that Olive Garden uses the word “modernize” in describing healthier dishes.  However, whatever way they have promote their healthier dishes to lure more customers in, be my guest.  I recognize their modernity comes in the wake of lower profit sales, so I know these healthier options don’t only come from “wanting to improve” customers waistline, but to improve their profit margin.

I guess that’s a win win for all of us.  Its parent company, Darden Restaurants announced Olive Garden’s plans to enhance its image and become more up to date with the times.  Everything from the logo, uniform [all new black uniform], migration from “…Tuscan warmth to a contemporary Italy.”  The most pertinent change, is its revival of entrees with fewer than 575 calories.

I question that advertisement.  Everyone gets stuck on the calories.  How many dishes do you think are 570 kcal? 565 kcal?  Is that pushing it?  Perhaps, I’m too doubtful, but Olive Garden doesn’t advertise the low-fat, sodium or cholesterol content.  That’s not as appealing to consumers. However, calories is something everyone can connect to, the lower the numbers the better. People should take a closer look at the nutrient content.  Just because the caloric content is more ideal, there are other aspects of the nutrition facts that need to be taken into consideration, as fore mentioned.

I’m hoping Olive Garden can shine light on my doubts and prove me wrong.  I don’t frequent that restaurant much, but I definitely will be checking it out in the future.  Of course, I want businesses to succeed, but I want them to stay true to the words they advertise, especially when it comes to nutrition advertisements!



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