Friday, September 12, 2014

Fund hedges its bread(sticks)

Olive Garden can't get no respect, it seems;
In a nearly 300-page treatise on what's wrong with Olive Garden and its management, investor Starboard Value suggests the Italian restaurant chain is being reckless with its unlimited breadsticks. The hedge fund notes the chain's official policy is to bring out one breadstick per customer at a time, plus an extra for the table.
But Starboard says servers bring out more than that, leading to waste — and cold breadsticks. Starboard notes that it isn't pushing for an end to unlimited breadsticks, just more control in how they're doled out.
Also, nuts to the soup (and the pasta, the salads...);
Among Starboard's other complaints were Olive Garden's failure to salt the water used to boil its pasta, noting that "If you were to google 'how to cook pasta,' the first step of Pasta 101 is to salt the water."
It also criticized Olive Garden's liberal use of salad dressing, offerings such as fried lasagna and the Italiano Burger that aren't "authentic Italian" and even the length of the asparagus it serves. Rather than making its soups from scratch, Starboard said Olive Garden should save money and improve consistency by using an outside supplier for the bases.
Why you couldn't get Starboard Value to take over Olive Garden if you paid them.

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