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Olive Garden suspends expansion; fate of Kapolei plans unclear

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 11:37 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2013

<br /><br />associated press<br />Olive Garden is planning to open a restaurantat the Kapolei Commons, according to the MacNaughton Group. People leave an Olive Garden restaurant in Foxborough, Mass.<br />

The fate of Hawaii's first Olive Garden restaurant is in question following its parent company's earnings report released this morning.

Florida-based Darden Restaurants Inc. announced that it would sell or spin off its Red Lobster restaurant chain, and that it would suspend openings of new Olive Garden restaurants, as well as the expansion of its LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant chain.

The announcements were made in light of company earnings, as sales have declined at both the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains.

The impact on the highly anticipated Olive Garden in Kapolei is unclear. "We haven't provided an update on the impact to planned or potential new Olive Garden locations," said Rich Jeffers, Darden director of media relations.

The MacNaughton Group confirmed in June it was in lease negotiations with Olive Garden officials for a restaurant in Kapolei Commons, which the development company is expanding. MacNaughton officials said at the time the Kapolei Olive Garden could be the first of multiple Hawaii locations.

This morning Todd Hedrick, director of leasing and property management at the MacNaugton Group, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser it was possible Olive Garden parent company Darden was simply "pushing the pause button," for 2014, because "they have not signaled to us any change in direction," for the planned Kapolei opening.

Hawaii's lone Red Lobster restaurant, at 1765 Ala Moana Blvd., opened in 1994.

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HanabataDays wrote:
They will merge the two money-losing chains into one, which they will call Red Olive. And it, too, will lose money.
on December 19,2013 | 08:10AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
how's about Garden Lobster (the B-52 cockaroaches that come out at night)?
on December 19,2013 | 10:44AM
MKN wrote:
How about calling the merged restaurant Garden Lobster? LOL!!!
on December 19,2013 | 08:39AM
pj737 wrote:
Probably because of the health craze. Their food is great for those looking to add on a few dozen pounds or have a cardiac arrest 20 years sooner than they'd like.
on December 19,2013 | 08:58AM
localguy wrote:
Not totally true. As with any restaurant chain, there are good and bad choices to make for your health. Do the research before you go and you will eat just fine. http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/nutrition/
on December 19,2013 | 04:07PM
aomohoa wrote:
You are right localguy. I always go on line and look at the healthiest choices before I go to a restaurant;
on December 19,2013 | 05:03PM
aomohoa wrote:
So why is Zippy's always packed? Olive Garden would do well here. They do have healthy choices and the prices are good.
on December 19,2013 | 05:02PM
copperwire9 wrote:
When I take long road-trips on the mainland every summer I really enjoy Olive Garden. You can get pasta and a decent glass of wine, along with an absolutely endless salad bowl, for less than an evening at Zippy's. I hope they do come here.
on December 19,2013 | 07:06PM
itmatters wrote:
How can you possibly lose money on Olive Garden's empty-calorie menu of pasta, bread and pasta with a little stale lettuce thrown in for color? On the plus side maybe a healthier less diabetes-causing restaurant will go in in its place.
on December 19,2013 | 09:01AM
kiragirl wrote:
All the Olive Garden restaurants I have been to were very busy. Red Lobster not so much and I was looking forward to Olive Garden although a long drive for me.
on December 19,2013 | 09:16AM
RandolphW wrote:
Very few items on the Olive Garden menu are helpful to those who are obese, or diabetic.
on December 19,2013 | 09:44AM
busterb wrote:
Maybe the only thing that's low calorie is that splat of marinara in the bottom corner of the menu. Lick that off and you have a low cal meal.
on December 19,2013 | 12:19PM
aomohoa wrote:
Have you ever herd of ordering a salad??
on December 19,2013 | 05:13PM
localguy wrote:
Not totally true. As with any restaurant chain, there are good and bad choices to make for your health. Do the research before you go and you will eat just fine. http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/nutrition/
on December 19,2013 | 04:07PM
Anonymous wrote:
Maybe they can replace it with a restaurant serving real Italian food.
on December 19,2013 | 09:53AM
kailua000 wrote:
my thoughts exactly.
on December 19,2013 | 02:12PM
2NDC wrote:
Red Lobster sucks! Has sucked for some time and will continue to go down hill. Olive Garden OTOH would have been great for Hawaii. One of the few restaurants we seek out while traveling.
on December 19,2013 | 09:56AM
jomama wrote:
you are obviously quite the gourmet.
on December 19,2013 | 05:18PM
copperwire9 wrote:
And you are...what? A judgmental individual who dismisses other people's preferences because they aren't yours as well? Or is it something more refined?
on December 19,2013 | 07:08PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The MacNaughton Group will now add this dining option to their multi-million condo developments at Ala Moana and Kings Village.
on December 19,2013 | 10:00AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
No Olive Garden! Now where am I going to find mediocre, bland, Americanized Italian food?
on December 19,2013 | 10:01AM
lee1957 wrote:
Chef Boyardee!
on December 19,2013 | 10:38AM
Mythman wrote:
love northern italian
on December 19,2013 | 07:24PM
Morimoto wrote:
I have a feeling the main reason people here want Olive Garden is because it's not here right now. Always want what you don't have syndrome. Just an ordinary at best Italian American restaurant, nothing special except for the fact that there aren't any in Hawaii, yet.
on December 19,2013 | 10:10AM
aomohoa wrote:
How about the fact that you can get all the salad and soup you can eat for lunch for $6,99. That's a good price.
on December 19,2013 | 05:15PM
jomama wrote:
How much soup and salad can you eat?
on December 19,2013 | 05:18PM
aomohoa wrote:
Certainly $6.99 worth. lol
on December 19,2013 | 07:24PM
randall72 wrote:
I'd bet the owners of Bravo's Restaurant just let out a sigh of relief.
on December 19,2013 | 10:18AM
WhyBother wrote:
I love Olive Garen and would visit regularly. Like others, I search it out when on the mainland.
on December 19,2013 | 10:20AM
aomohoa wrote:
I agree. There are no decent Italian restaurants here.
on December 19,2013 | 05:16PM
lokela wrote:
They were better in the past. Don't think I'm missing much here.
on December 19,2013 | 10:40AM
jomama wrote:
OG is nasty
on December 19,2013 | 05:19PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
It's absolutely mind-boggling to me that anyone would make a conscious decision to eat at Red Lobster.
on December 19,2013 | 11:26AM
kailua000 wrote:
maybe if you live in the mid west and cant get fresh seafood, other than that, I'm with you
on December 19,2013 | 02:13PM
aomohoa wrote:
Hvae you ever had their cheese biscuits. ?? That;s why I like it.
on December 19,2013 | 05:17PM
awahana wrote:
Darden Restaurants is making a big mistake. They obviously don't know the Hawaii market. We are suckers for anything brand name or chain store. Opening their 1st Hawaii location would probably reverse their fiscal problem. I'm not kidding. Just ask any major retailer that opened in Hawaii, how it quickly rose to top 5 in their chains. This is also why we have so many self storage rental warehouses. We need someplace to put our hard earned paycheck turned into objects, that we refuse to let go of...buried in hoarding.
on December 19,2013 | 11:36AM
Anonymous wrote:
Agreed. Just look at Cheesecake Factory .
on December 19,2013 | 11:52AM
localguy wrote:
Now that is one chain serving unhealthy food. Then again, by their name..............
on December 19,2013 | 04:08PM
aomohoa wrote:
True, but it sure tastes good. LOL The trick is take half home.
on December 19,2013 | 05:19PM
on December 19,2013 | 02:42PM
Anonymous wrote:
Bring on a Chipolte franchise. Tasty and not that bad for you.
on December 19,2013 | 11:54AM
NotNasti wrote:
on December 19,2013 | 02:10PM
SandBar wrote:
Chipolte is a McDonald's brand. This association with a fast food brand alone tells you the quality of their product.
on December 19,2013 | 05:48PM
Maipono wrote:
I always eat at Chipolte when I go to the Mainland. Great tasting Mexican food, and lots of it, for about $7.00. Not too shabby!
on December 19,2013 | 08:34PM
Wazdat wrote:
Chipolte is good but would not call it mexican.
on December 19,2013 | 09:23PM
lowtone123 wrote:
The on again-off again-on again-now off again saga of the Olive Gaden in Kapolei. Why toy with people's emotions like that?
on December 19,2013 | 01:13PM
Emotions, they're toying with my stomach.
on December 19,2013 | 02:43PM
kailua000 wrote:
must be bad management because pasta and tomato sauce are so inexpensive to produce. It cost about 50 cents per plate and they charge upwards of $10 for a bowl. they sell millions a year, can their overhead be so much that they are losing money? if so, its poor management.
on December 19,2013 | 02:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Yes but then the chain realized what would happen on the Leeward side with all you can eat bread and salad. Those 4 words spell bankruptcy when applied out there because all-you-can-eat means more-than-you-can-afford.
on December 19,2013 | 02:41PM
localguy wrote:
Not true. If you watched Hotel Impossible they explained the rule is food cost and prep should be 1/3rd of the total price. $9 food item would cost $3 in food and prep. Can't say much for the Hawaii cost of doing business.
on December 19,2013 | 04:10PM
Mahalo wrote:
on December 19,2013 | 02:24PM
aomohoa wrote:
Me too:) I would love to have El Pollo Loco too.
on December 19,2013 | 05:21PM
Ewaduffer wrote:
They will do fine in Hawaii as long as they don't mess up like Krispy Kreme and not open on Oahu.
on December 19,2013 | 02:50PM
aomohoa wrote:
What's up with Krispy Kreme? Who wants them after they have to be shipped from Maui. It's like eating a Malasada that's not fresh.
on December 19,2013 | 05:22PM
soundofreason wrote:
Panera Bread restaurant are making money and they attribute that to not having servers. Reduces customer's outlay by 20%(tip)
on December 19,2013 | 06:00PM
blackmurano wrote:
Wow!! The first Olive Garden in Hawaii. This is one of the best restruant on the mainland and I am very happy their coming to Hawaii. I read the article and it doesn't say they will not go through with this expansion in Kapolei.
on December 19,2013 | 07:11PM
aomohoa wrote:
First no mall and now this:(
on December 19,2013 | 07:24PM
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