As those of you who keep up with carbohydrate-related feuds between activist hedge funds and chain restaurants may recall, back in September 2014, Starboard Value released a 294 page presentation detailing the many ways Olive Garden wasted food, money, and customers' time. One of them was the fakakta breadstick policy, wherein diners were pelted with breadsticks upon arrival. Instead of an average of 3 per person, Starboard urged the chain to implement a strict rule of 1 each, unless more were requested, and estimated a cost savings of $4-5 million, in addition to an improved customer experience of not having breadsticks shoved down one's throat.
And while the hedge fund was ultimately successful in its overall quest, replacing the entire board of the OG's parent company, Darden Restaurants, when it came to the 'sticks, the response was swift: go f*ck yourselves. Not only would the place where everyone is family continue to make it rain breadsticks, it would redouble its efforts at the Olive Garden Breadsticks Lab, where teams of people work around the clock to create new and exciting breadstick offerings.
From the AP:
Olive Garden isn't finished dreaming up new ways to use its breadsticks. The Italian restaurant chain said earlier this month it would introduce "breadstick sandwiches" as part of a broader menu revamp intended to play up its most popular offerings. The sandwiches don't arrive until June 1, but Olive Garden already has a follow-up act planned with "breadstick crostini" in August. The "breadstick crostini" — or toasted bread — will be sliced and used as part of an appetizer, said Jose Duenas, Olive Garden's executive vice president of marketing.
Could a pasta dish made entirely out of breadsticks, that you eat with a breadstick shaped like a fork, be far behind? Clearly the answer is no.