Olive Garden Will Start Serving Burgers And Fries Because Why Not

italiano burgerWould you buy a plate of ravioli from McDonald’s? How about the complete reverse of that: a burger from Olive Garden? The freshest idea from the chain eatery is a “Burger Italiano” intended to compete with quick-serve rivals like Chili’s. Will it work? Um, probably not.

The idea came from market research that Olive Garden performed to figure out where its customers were going. Turns out that some potential diners looked deep inside their hearts and decided that they’d rather have a burger. Instead of choosing Olive Garden, they go to another casual chain restaurant oasis in the vast strip mall wasteland.

Of course, serving burgers isn’t necessarily the solution to this problem. Sometimes customers just want a burger, and they’re not going to think of Olive Garden when that craving hits. “It would be the same as McDonald’s trying to do some sort of pasta meal. I’m not seeing it,” one analyst told Bloomberg.

The burger does have an Italian spin: toppings include mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, pesto, tomatoes, and garlic aioli spread.

We do find one thing about this plan intriguing: Olive Garden plans to offer parmesan-garlic fries with the new burger, and they’ll go with the rest of the chain’s sandwiches as well. In other news, Olive Garden serves sandwiches.

Olive Garden Challenges Chili’s Burgers With Six-Ouncer [Bloomberg] (Thanks, Wayne!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.