New Technology Enables Olive Garden to Continue Enhancing the Guest Dining Experience
Olive Garden today announced it has entered into an agreement with Ziosk, makers of the world’s first ordering, entertainment and pay-at-the-table tablet, to begin the introduction of tabletop tablets in all of its restaurants nationwide.
Olive Garden has been testing Ziosk in a select number of its restaurants since last year, and the feedback from guests and servers has been positive. These restaurants are experiencing higher guest satisfaction scores, faster dining times and increased tip percentages for servers.
Starting in May, Olive Garden will begin a phased rollout of Ziosk tablets into additional restaurants. The program will be supported by robust in-restaurant training to ensure this implementation reaches its full potential of enhancing the overall experience for guests and team members. Olive Garden expects Ziosk tablets to be in all of its 800-plus U.S. locations before the end of the calendar year.
“We’ve been focused on improving the dining experience at every touch point, and we’re excited to give our guests the ability to customize their visit by leveraging the technology of Ziosk’s tabletop tablets,” said Dave George, Olive Garden president. “This additional resource benefits both our guests and our servers, enabling our team members to make more meaningful connections and provide more personalized service.”
Using Ziosk’s 7-inch touchscreen tablets that run on the Android OS, Olive Garden guests will be able to browse the menu, order drinks, appetizers and desserts, and quickly pay their checks with ease. Ziosk tablets also feature news from USA Today and interactive activities such as zTrivia, a Ziosk-developed game updated bi-weekly with questions from current news and events, designed to bring family and friends together as they share a meal.
“Olive Garden provides guests a warm, family atmosphere that promotes the same kind of togetherness the communal entertainment on Ziosk tablets is designed to foster,” said Austen Mulinder, Ziosk CEO. “We are thrilled to partner with a restaurant that shares our vision for using technology to encourage fun and interaction over a great shared meal.”
The Ziosk tablets help team members serve guests more quickly and efficiently. In addition, guests can set the pace of their meals and share feedback right from their table. Guests who use a Ziosk tablet are 10 times more likely to enroll in a restaurant’s loyalty club and 30 times more likely to participate in a guest satisfaction survey, giving restaurants like Olive Garden even more insights into their guests’ experiences.
Commanding 95 percent market share in the deployed tabletop tablet space, Ziosk tablets serve more than 30 million guests each month in more than 1,500 restaurants across all 50 states. When the Olive Garden deployment is complete, 135,000 Ziosk tablets will be interacting with more than 50 million guests per month, demonstrating Ziosk’s continued momentum in the restaurant industry.
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.3 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 31 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com.
Based in Dallas, Ziosk is the first entertainment, ordering and pay-at-the-table tablet for the restaurant market. The technology, featuring a 7-inch tablet and encrypted credit card reader, resides on each table and enables guests to see menu items, play games, view news and entertainment, order food and beverages and ‘pay on demand;’ all of which gives guests control over their dining experience. With its interactive capabilities, Ziosk and its footprint have created the Ziosk Media Network, a digital media platform for partners to create engaging experiences at the point of purchase. Ziosk is revolutionizing the experience and economics of dining. For more information, please visit www.ziosk.com.