The surprise lettuce crisis cost Olive Garden’s owner as much as $5 million in 3 months

olive garden

Despite growing sales, Olive Garden hasn’t been immune to rising costs.Steve Helber/AP Photo

  • Olive Garden has lost nearly $5 million in the space of three months, its parent firm’s chief financial officer said.

  • The company is contending with crop disease in California, which is plaguing most US supply.

  • Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell previously warned customers to expect shortages of the crop.

Olive Garden’s parent company has been hit by a “surprise” lettuce crunch which cost as much as $5 million in the three months to November 27.

At its quarterly analyst call for its fiscal Q2 2023, Darden Restaurants chief financial officer Raj Vennam estimated that issues with lettuce production cost between $4 million to $5 million. The company owns Olive Garden in addition to Longhorn Steakhouse and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

Darden has faced mounting costs this year, with Vennam saying costs are up 20% for chicken and dairy

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