Olive Garden is adding catering delivery at all of its restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, the operator said Monday, enabling customers to have larger orders delivered to their door.

Catering delivery is available for orders of $125 or more, with a 15-percent delivery fee for orders of up to $500, and a 5-percent delivery fee for every dollar thereafter.

“Our Olive Garden team members are always striving to make any occasion effortless for our guests so they can focus on quality time with their family and friends,” Dan Kiernan, executive vice president of operations for Olive Garden, said in a statement.

“Our guests have long been utilizing our To-Go experience for their large-party dining needs, so we’re excited to offer another convenient option with delivery,” he said.

Numerous restaurant chains cater, but fast-casual operators and some casual-dining chains have been targeting large orders as a growth vehicle for some time.

Olive Garden's Chicken Piadina

Olive Garden already offers catering, but only for customers to pick up. Delivering those orders could provide another avenue for sales growth for the Orlando, Fla.-based chain, which is owned by Darden Restaurants Inc.

The service is designed to make special events easier. Olive Garden delivery specialists will help with menu planning and will deliver food to the door.

Olive Garden’s catering menu has meal combinations that include bundles of items. Each delivery comes with grated cheese, serving and eating utensils, table covers, plates, napkins and Olive Garden mints. Chafing dishes, racks and fuel are available for purchase.

Olive Garden's national catering delivery spread

Olive Garden has more than 800 restaurants and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Same-store sales at the chain rose 1 percent in the second quarter ended Nov. 23.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com.
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