Casual Dining (Long the Bread Stick)

The dominant narrative lately is that Quick Service Restaurants (formerly known as, cough, "fast food"), fast casual restaurants and fine dining establishments are, for the most part, doing well. Millennials love experiences and, judging from the volume of Instas featuring Avo Toast, food = experiences. Unless, that is, we're talking about "casual dining" establishments likeRuby TuesdayJoe's Crab Shack, and others. Why eat subpar food and sit staring at your phone when you can subscribe to Blue Apron, make food at home, and sit staring at your phone? Well, throw in some bread sticks and you just may combat that narrative. So is the story with Olive Garden (owned by Darden Restaurants Inc. ($DRI)), apparently, as the chain reported same store sales growth of 4.4% and 4th straight quarter beat. Note, however, that profits fell on higher costs. With food prices lower, we wonder whether CACs have increased...?