ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — THE NEWS: Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent Darden Restaurants Inc. predicted a third-quarter profit below Wall Street's expectations and cut its outlook for the year.
THE CONTEXT: The Orlando, Fla.-based chain has tried to revamp menus and marketing for its flagship chains. But so far these changes have not sparked a turnaround. The company expects revenue at Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants open at least one year will fall 4.5 percent in the third quarter.
WHAT HAPPENED: The company said higher payroll taxes and rising gas prices, along with severe winter weather, drove down sales in February.