Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square, New York.
Adam Jeffrey | CNBC
In a typical year, Olive Garden Times Square restaurant sales reached 15 million U.S. dollars.
However, the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on local dining have lost business in the best locations of the chain, cutting its average weekly sales from $300,000 to less than $1
Gene Lee, CEO of Darden Restaurants, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter conference call that daily sales at the takeaway store alone had fallen to $2,500 per day. Olive Garden accounts for about half of Darden’s total revenue.
Olive Garden is not the only Dutton restaurant that sees business faltering in New York. Li also said that the three New York branches of Capital Grid are a high-end restaurant chain under Darden, which has lost millions of dollars in sales every week.
The dining room, which is scheduled to reopen on September 30 with 25% capacity, has been closed in the city since March. As of Monday, New York was the worst-hit city in the US restaurant industry. According to Toast, the city’s restaurant revenue has fallen by 65% compared to the same period last year.
The loss of tourism is one of the factors that damage New York’s restaurant industry, including the olive grove in Times Square. Times Square Alliance data shows that pedestrian traffic in New York City’s tourist hotspots has dropped by about 73% from the same period last year. Less than half of Times Square restaurants are open for outdoor dining.
Dutton shares rose nearly 5% in early trading after the company’s quarterly earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations. Darden’s overall sales fell by 28% in the most recent quarter, but the next quarter’s sales are expected to fall by only 18%.