Where is the bread?

Where is the bread?

Kristin DiPede, Writer

As you sit down at a restaurant and look over the menu the waiter brings you a bread basket. The warm aroma of the bread makes your mouth water. You go to take another piece, but it is empty. Luckily, the waiter comes back with more. This luxury of having endless bread baskets free of charge may soon come to an end at various restaurants.

One particular restaurant that has been rumored to be eliminating their endless breadsticks is Olive Garden. According to ABC News, Olive Garden claimed, “Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks have been an icon of brand equity since 1982.” Justin Sikora, spokesman of Olive Garden, told ABC News that they “will continue to serve breadsticks with each meal.”

Starboard Value, Olive Garden’s investor, believes that Darden (Olive Garden’s parent company) is serving too many of the unlimited breadsticks and salad. As stated by the Washington Post, Starboard Value requires the waiters to bring out more bread only if customers ask for it.

The idea of removing the free bread at restaurants began in order to reduce waste. Restaurants have calculated that they are losing a great deal of money specifically when it is left on the table uneaten. These days, people are going on diets that eliminate carbohydrates, which bread contains much of. Others simply do not even want the bread. Numerous restaurants are losing money due to this discarded bread. It is said that the bread in the beginning causes guests to fill up and not have room for appetizers or even dessert, decreasing the amount of money patrons spend.

Restaurants are indeed trying to rectify this bread problem. Those that have brought out the bread without request, now are only bringing it out upon request. With this request for bread may also bring a price. To make money and ensure people are going to eat it and not let it go to waste, a couple of restaurants are deciding to charge money for the bread.