Metro Detroit-based Italian restaurant chain Andiamo Restaurant Group is trying to re-brand itself and has unveiled a dramatically different menu offering this month, according to a Free Press article. Among the changes aimed at modernizing the company's image are sweeping menu updates, dramatic presentations, streamlined logos and other details. Says founder and CEO Joe Vicari to the Free Press's Sylvia Rector in a story published last week: "I would say this is the one that's going to be the game-changer."
The dramatic changes comes during a crossroads for the chain restaurant industry. Last week, Darden Restaurants' flagship, Olive Garden, was blasted by activist investor Starboard, which said the company was hurting its reputation by giving away too many breadsticks. The national Italian eatery has suffered from changes in consumers' tastes and a fledgling menu offering, including, soggy pasta, cold breadsticks and salads drenched in too much dressing.
According to the Freep article, business has not declined at Andiamo, but it has become flat. Vicari, who brought in former Bistro Joe chef Jacques Van Staden to consult with Andiamo corporate chef Jim Oppat, says he wants to bring the name back into Detroiters' conversations, who are now growing accustomed to more exciting culinary options. The Freep says the new menu was introduced quietly in West Bloomfield in June with an invitation-only dinner for 200 guests. Andiamo opened its doors in the region 25 years ago and has locations in Detroit, Oakland and Macomb counties. Click on the Free Press story to get the details on the new menu.
-By Serena Maria Daniels
· Andiamo Celebrates 25 Years [-ED-]
· Olive Garden's Breadsticks Are Under Attack [-Eater National-]
· Andiamo Restaurant Group [-Andiamo-]