Fact-Check: Is Olive Garden Closing More Locations in 2022?

Joel Eisenberg

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of the perennial chain, saw a substantial downturn in business during the height of COVID-19, though all indicators show a strong recovery. Why then, have the rumors of Olive Garden closings continued?

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Olive GardenShutterstock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: RestaurantClicks.com, RestaurantTome.com, FranchiseDarden.com, and Investor.Darden.com.

Introduction

I have previously written about the Olive Garden restaurant chain for NewsBreak. See here for May 30th’s “Plans For Olive Garden Closings in 2022.”

The article excerpted a February, 2022 piece from RestaurantClicks.com, entitled “The Truth Behind Rumors of Olive Garden Closing,” that directly addressed concerns of the company going out of business: Darden Restaurants is the parent company for a lot of different restaurants, so it is understandable that they would take a hit due to the pandemic. After all, the hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So, it is likely that the rumors of closure for Olive Garden came from this poor financial performance. 

Indeed, as also quoted in the article: In the fourth quarter of the financial year 2019-20, the company actually swung to a loss financially as their revenue fell by 43%. 

My article went on to discuss the source of the original rumors, which of late appear to have been renewed online.

Let us explore further.

Olive Garden, 2022

A September 8, 2022 article from RestaurantTome.com, “Is Olive Garden Closing in 2022? (Rumor or Truth),” addressed the latest spate of rumors: As of 2022, the simple answer is no, Olive Garden is not going to close, and the news about Olive Garden restaurant closing is just a rumor that comes from several social media sites. Even Olive Garden Italian Restaurant has plans to stick around for a long time. Darden Restaurants, Inc. is the parent company of Olive Garden. The parent organization of Olive Garden restaurants hasn’t said anything about Olive Garden restaurants closing yet. The president of Darden Restaurant, Inc. and Olive Garden, Dan Kiernan, also didn’t claim anything about the Olive Garden door closing rumor.

In terms of Darden itself closing, the Olive Garden parent also owns the following companies per FranchiseDarden.com: LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V's.

Olive Garden remains their largest entity in terms of location count and financials, followed by LongHorn Steakhouse, and none of the listed companies have been noted as going out of business.

According to ScrapeHero.com: There are 891 Olive Garden locations in the United States as of September 05, 2022. The state with the most number of Olive Garden locations in the US is Texas, with 104 locations, which is 11% of all Olive Garden locations in America.

For specifics regarding Darden revenue across all sectors, including Olive Garden trends, see here for comprehensive Investor.Darden.com report.

Olive Garden is not expected to go out of business anytime soon, and, in fact, the company has announced plans of expansion per the above links.

Conclusion

Darden continues to do well, having picked up considerably, and now sustaining, since its pandemic-height financial woes, and Olive Garden remains its highest revenue generator.

Although rumors of Olive Garden and other Darden holdings shuttering remain rampant online, no new locations have been announced as closing this year at the time of this writing.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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