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Pandemic reduces Times Square sales in Olive Garden by 94%

Olive Garden Restaurant, located in Times Square, New York.

Adam Jeffrey CNBC

During a typical year, Times Square’s Olive Garden restaurant grossed $ 15 million.

But the coronavirus pandemic and local dietary restrictions have destroyed the chain’s best-located business, reducing its average weekly sales from $ 300,000 to less than $ 1


Darden Restaurants CEO Jean Lee told analysts regarding the company’s fiscal call for the first quarter that sales had slowed to just $ 2,500 a day for the export-only location. Olive Garden accounts for approximately half of Darden’s total revenue.

And Olive Garden isn’t the only Darden restaurant where his New York business is shaking. Lee also said that the three New York locations of Capital Grille, an elegant dining room owned by Darden, lose millions of dollars each week in sales.

The dining rooms, which are due to reopen with a capacity of 25% on September 30th, have been closed in the city since March. As of Monday, New York is the city in the United States with the most affected restaurant industry. According to Toast, revenue from restaurants in the city has decreased by 65% ​​compared to the same time a year ago.

The loss of tourism is among the factors hurting New York’s restaurant industry, including Times Square’s Olive Garden. Pedestrian traffic at New York’s tourist spot dropped to about 73 percent from the same time last year, according to the Times Square Alliance. Less than half of Times Square’s restaurants are open for outdoor dinner.

Shares of Darden rose nearly 5% in morning trading after the company topped analysts’ forecasts for its quarterly gains. Darden’s total sales fell 28% in the last quarter, but expect sales to fall by only 18% in the next quarter.

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