If You’re Opening a Restaurant, Open an Olive Garden

If you’re smart and want to get into the restaurant business you should open an Olive Garden. But that’s not what is happening in Philadelphia. Instead, Matt Levin, Marcie Turney, Valerie Safran and Jason Cichonski are aiming to open good restaurants that are about more than just the bottom line.

But why? »

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  • Anonymous

    Too often we tend to slam Philly Mag for pointless articles but this one takes the cake. It is very odd that you guys are making a case that creativity should take a backseat to safety and Philly needs more Olive Garden type restaurants. So much for promoting the city to be a better place.
    It is even more ridiculous that a restaurant PR rep like Peter Breslow concludes that it is due to “EGO”. I am sure his clients who don’t own Olive Gardens must be really thrilled today. With publicists like that who needs enemies.
    By the way a casual stir fry or salad concept is new to you guys when there are about 20 in center city alone and about 200 in manhattan?
    Matt Levin is an extreme example because everyone new Adsum was a disaster waiting to happen. Really a restaurant that opens in the summer with no vegetables on the menu closed. Surprise surprise.

  • hmm

    is this article really likening the product produced by percy street and federal donuts to an Olive Garden??

  • barryg

    The article’s style is stupid, but the message is right: opening a restaurant is a really bad investment. It is all about ego. I don’ think an Olive Garden would succeed in QV but it is obvious that Tapestry is making a lot more money than Cochon.

  • barryg

    Also the stir fry example makes no sense, high volume lunch businesses in the CBD make a lot of money, it is a much better investment than a dinner-only chef-driven restaurant.

  • no

    You can’t just “open” an Olive Garden – they don’t franchise. My girlfriend actually looked into it, she wanted to open one out in King of Prussia.

  • Nightman

    Poor research. Olive Garden, part of the Darden Group is struggling and some locations are remodeling and altering menu to try to pick up business.

  • Dan

    Yea, I kept looking for the facts. I thought they were going to break down Olive Garden’s business model. Low marginal Cost, high turnover, etc. But instead it was the old, well their parking lot is full, must be making money. That’s some research there…

  • Anonymous

    Your response to the article is just as stupid as your characterization of the article. Ostensibly a cursory google search of the word “ego” will inform you that it is a much more complex component of human behavior than a term just to be used casually without making sense. People go to medical school for ego, people become trial lawyers for ego, people even run for president for ego so you saying people going into the restaurant business who aren’t opening olive gardens is……. profoundly meaningless and stupid.
    You also factually have no accurate knowledge of either the check averages or number of covers at Cochon or Tapestry and have no basis to declare your statements as anything but your opinion which is severey flawed.

  • Anonymous

    Correction…”Severely ” flawed.

  • Buckethead

    You may also want to “correct” your use of “Ostensibly”.

  • Amiles

    My only issue is why Matt Levin is mentioned in the same breath as Marcie Turney and Jason Cichonski.

  • Don’t Quote Publicists

    Peter Breslow actually SAID there weren’t sections in the newspaper for hedge-fund management or medical news? I guess the Finance and Health editors are pretty pissed.

  • FattyFatMan

    Yes. Let’s get angry about a light magazine article that celebrates Philadelphia’s general culinary ambitiousness.