Olive Garden, Red Lobster to Raise Prices.

17 09 2008

Shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.  The Olive Garden and Red Lobster are having to raise prices to stay profitable.

The company said its menu prices at Olive Garden and Red Lobster have typically gone up between 2 percent and 3 percent each year, with price increases usually falling in the middle of that range. But for 2009, Darden said it will have to raise prices by a percentage closer to the high end of that range.

“It’s not a dramatic increase,” said Chief Operating Officer Drew Madsen. “But it’s a little more pricing than we have taken in the past.”

Darden said the economy — specifically higher costs for food, energy and labor — is to blame. Most restaurants have been pressed by significantly higher costs in the past year with prices for grain and meat rising to record levels and state and federal governments boosting the minimum wage for workers.

 I don’t eat at either.  My mom looooooves Olive Garden though.  It just one of those unfortunate trends.  Not even the chains are immune from the higher prices that cause the mom ‘n pop shops to struggle.

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Traverse City Eats

17 09 2008

J and I are making up for not having weekends off together this summer.  After spending the afternoon in Ann Arbor last weekend, we’re going to take a mini vacation to Traverse City this weekend, so once again, I’m looking for food suggestions.  I’ve got a pretty good list going of places that look good. 

Cook’s House
North Peak Brewing (which I believe is the same as Grizzly Peak Brewing in Ann Arbor)
Don’s Drive In
Hanna’s Bistro
Trattoria Stella
Moomer’s
Folgarelli’s Market

Any opinions on any of those or anything else that we have to try?