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Darden Restaurants Inc. says to sales at Olive Garden grew to $52,936 per restaurant in the week ended April 19.

Olive Garden parent Darden says Q4 same-store sales down 44.7% so far

Off-premise sales show marked weekly increases amid coronavirus restrictions

Darden Restaurants Inc.’s same-store sales in the current quarter, through Sunday, were down 44.7% as the industry continued in the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Monday.

"Our brand teams continue to work extremely hard to deliver exceptional to-go experiences to our guests," said Gene Lee, Darden CEO, in a statement. "We are proud of our team's ability to adapt and their dedication to producing results that consistently outperform our expectations and are building momentum."

In a business update in the first week of April, Darden reported a 39.1% drop in same-store sales for the partial six-week quarter.

Based on the past two weeks' performance, Darden said its ongoing weekly cash burn rate improved to about $20 million, including capital expenditures.

The Orlando, Fla.-based casual-dining company said same-store sales for the fourth quarter, which began Feb. 24, through Sunday, April 19, by brand were:

  • Olive Garden, down 38%
  • LongHorn Steakhouse, down 42.6%
  • Fine Dining division, down 55.9%
  • Other concepts, down 59.2%

To-go sales for Olive Garden and LongHorn have both grown measurably since the week ended March 1 amid the city and state restrictions on dining rooms to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

For Olive Garden, to-go sales per restaurant grew from $16,191 in the week ended March 1 to $52,936 per restaurant in the week ended April 19.

For LongHorn, to-go sales per restaurant rose from $6,517 in the week ended March 1 to $28,653 per restaurant in the week ended April 19.

Darden has more than 1,800 casual-dining restaurants, including such other brands as Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V's.

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

Learn how consumer trends are shifting during COVID-19 at our webinar on Wednesday, April 22.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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