These Struggling American Restaurants Are Fighting to Survive

Can you imagine a world without Olive Garden or McDonald’s? Changing consumer tastes — like favoring local eateries over national chains — are hurting American staples. However, the following restaurants won’t give up without a fight. One adaptable seafood restaurant may make it just yet (page 10).

1. Olive Garden

The Olive Garden Sign is on the rock exterior of the building
It is anything but authentic, but it’s still open.| ljhimages/iStock/Getty Images
  • Iconic dishes: Zuppa Toscana, Fettuccine Alfredo, and breadsticks
  • Saving grace: Olive Garden relaunched the Never Ending Pasta Pass, a “season pass” to unlimited pasta bowls for a single cost.
  • Good news: The chain expects same-store sales to grow 2% to 5% in fiscal 2019.

The poster child for struggling restaurants, Olive Garden is focusing on creative promotions and its bread and butter — literally. The chain is beating sales forecasts and many customers are returning for dinner.

Next: Do diners still want to go “down under”?

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