SHORT PUMP, Va. — An exhaustive two-year cost-benefit analysis by Darden Restaurants, Inc. has determined that the Short Pump market is strong enough for a second Olive Garden location, sources confirmed today.
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Olive Garden, a favorite of people whose most authentic Italian experience is visiting Rome, Georgia, opened its first Short Pump location in 2012 to much fanfare. It provided relief to residents who were tired of driving to Glenside to indulge in unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks, and has since thrived.
Darden Restaurants, Inc. began exploring options for its increased presence in the high end shopping district after a thorough analysis of the local casual dining market and focus group data, which highlighted the popularity of food that Americans consider “quality Italian.”
While critics argue that more than 30 similar banal eateries serving high-end airplane food are crowding the area, Darden spokesperson Brad Bevan said the addition of a second Olive Garden will have a positive impact on the community.
“More than 25,000 people call Short Pump home,” Bevan explained, detailing the benefits that a second restaurant could bring to fans of the casual Italian chain. “A second location will mean shorter wait times, potential new menu items, and of course, job opportunities for people who can’t afford to live in Short Pump.”
“We’re pasta-tively ecstatic about this new report’s findings,” he added.
Bevan also cited the seven Starbucks within a one and a half mile radius in Short Pump as proof the area welcomes multiple locations of the same establishment.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, our assumptions about the taste buds of Short Pump residents aren’t exactly misplaced,” Bevan continued. “People love breadsticks. People love pasta. People love sitting down to eat breadsticks and pasta. If the data says the demand for more places to sit down and eat breadsticks and pasta is there, then we plan to fully satisfy it.”
During its research, Darden also uncovered that Short Pump’s famed traffic snarls drastically impact local dining choices. Darden said it is looking for locations on the north side of Broad Street so that diners will never have to make a left hand turn to visit an Olive Garden.
“Residents hate having to cross Broad Street. Ideally, we would like something in the mall to directly compete with Maggiano’s Little Italy for faux Italian supremacy.”
Bevan said that Darden is actively negotiating with the owners of Short Pump Town Center to take over locations currently occupied by either Casa Del Barco or The Boathouse when one of the restaurants decides it’s too cool for suburbia.
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