The casual dining chains Olive Garden and Red Lobster saw sales drop despite upticks in the economy, an indication that consumers are still wary of spending their money.
The casual dining industry as a whole faced its lowest quarterly sales in more than three years, Brad Richmond, the chief financial officer of Darden Restaurants, which owns both chains, said in a conference call with investors, according to Reuters.
Darden’s middle-income consumers still face economic pressures that push them toward lower-cost meals, the company said.
Sales at most Olive Garden restaurants fell 4% in the second quarter of the year. Darden said it will cut $50 million in annual operating costs beginning in 2015.