Restaurant Reopening Messages


To understand what messages Longhorn, Texas Roadhouse, Red Lobster, Chili's, and Olive Garden are using to inform customers that they are open for dine-in, how customers are responding and what their perception is surrounding the message, and what common themes are arising. This information will be used to design a "We're Open" message for a chain of restaurants.

Early Findings

Olive Garden

  • On its website, a bar is displayed at the top of the website stating "Some of our dining rooms are re-opening. We will continue to offer Carside Pickup and next-day delivery in all locations. For same day delivery, please call your local restaurant for availability. Click here to see what we're doing to keep each other safe."
  • The website also mentions in a green box near the bottom of its website: "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update. Learn more about the steps we are taking to help protect the health and well-being of our family of guests and team members."
  • Olive Garden provides a link to a PDF document for both messages showing what the customer can expect from Olive Garden and what Olive Garden expects of its customers.
  • On the slide bar on the page a cute little girl is shown opening her arms in a welcoming gesture. The picture states: "Welcome Back. We're beginning to reopen dining rooms." Clicking on this picture leads to a page with a welcoming message, information on what guests can expect from the restaurant chain and what the restaurant chain expects from them, guidance to find a restaurant and join the waiting list as well as the option to join its eClub.
  • While it is not possible to note from the website what clients' perspectives are on its reopening, Google trends show there is an increase in the number of people searching the web with the keywords "Olive Garden reopening." Most of these people come from North Carolina, followed by Florida, Ohio, and California.

Social Media

  • On its social media accounts there are no dine-in reopening messages, therefore, it is not possible to gauge how people are reacting to the restaurant chain reopening.
  • What is of interest is that on its Twitter account, the restaurant has a poll asking the customer what they miss the most about Olive Garden. 1,792 people voted and mentioned that they missed the breadsticks the most (46.7%). This post had 109 likes, 25 retweets, and 67 comments.
  • In some comments people mention what aspects of the restaurant they miss. Several comments regard complaints on to-go orders.
  • On Instagram, as a response to an image of breadsticks, several people are asking when certain Olive Garden locations are opening.

Summary of Findings

  • During the initial hour of research, we focused on Olive Garden.
  • We found that Olive Garden's reopening message is only displayed on its website. The restaurant chain welcomes its visitors back and communicates clearly how it will protect its customers and what its expectations are from its customers.
  • From the website it was not possible to determine customer's responses to the message.
  • Olive Garden has not posted its reopening message on its social media account, however, from several comments on these accounts we can see that a portion of its customers is eagerly awaiting for the restaurant to reopen.

Proposed next steps:

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