Recently, hedge fund Starboard Value published a 294-page report on how to fix that mediocre-at-best chain of “Italian” restaurants, Olive Garden. The manifesto contains gems like this:
Shockingly, Olive Garden no longer salts the water it uses to boil the pasta, merely to get a longer warranty on its pots. This appalling decision shows just how little regard management has for delivering a quality experience to guests. We believe this results in a mushy, unappealing product that is well below competitors’ quality despite similar cost. How can management of the world’s largest Italian restaurant chain think it is okay to serve poorly prepared pasta?”
Over and over again, the document takes Olive Garden to task. However, I’ve recently made an only-semi-willing visit to Olive Garden, and I can confidently state that the table of contents of what’s needed to fix Olive Garden alone should easily top 300 pages.