Darden Eating places CEO Rick Cardenas acquired a query on a latest earnings name that even the trade analyst asking it thought was odd.
The analyst needed to learn about what impact diabetes and urge for food suppressant medicine equivalent to Ozempic would have on restaurant demand. Cardenas heads the corporate that owns Olive Backyard, residence to “unending” soup, salad and breadsticks.
“Full-service eating events are pushed by a need to attach with household and mates,” Cardenas answered on the earnings name final month, noting he didn’t count on a “significant influence” for his Orlando-based firm.
Regardless of all these breadsticks at Olive Backyard, Cardenas mentioned Darden has spent plenty of time over time creating menus to offer visitors a variety of decisions.
“If it suppresses urge for food just a little bit, they’re nonetheless going to eat,” Cardenas mentioned. “So we’re going to be there for them after they do.”
Darden has 1,998 eating places together with Olive Backyard, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and Ruth’s Chris Steak Home.
However it’s not simply at Darden the place these sorts of questions are developing. Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner informed Bloomberg that the corporate has seen a “slight pullback” from consumers taking these drugs.
GLP-1 medicine equivalent to Ozempic are Kind 2 diabetes medicines that assist with blood sugar and may additionally assist with weight reduction. In line with the Mayo Clinic, the medicine seem to help in subduing starvation.
Nonetheless, restaurant and retail consultants say it’s too quickly to know for certain what’s going to occur.
“It’s extra of a Wall Avenue story versus a client story as a result of if it turns into a giant client story it could take so lengthy to work its means by way of all of the totally different shoppers,” San Diego-based restaurant analyst John Gordon informed the Orlando Sentinel. “I feel it could take years to succeed in mainstream protection and adaptation.”
One unknown for eating places, Gordon mentioned, is that if the prescription might imply various things for various sorts of eateries, equivalent to Denny’s versus Darden’s The Capital Grille, a tremendous eating chain.
“It’s a problem that people who observe shares day in and time out … may discover to be a catalyst, and a catalyst is one thing that’s new information that may drive shares both up or down,” Gordon mentioned.
However conventional grocers equivalent to Lakeland-based Publix might be extra uncovered than retailers equivalent to Walmart or Goal that provide greater than meals, mentioned Amanda Lai, a director at Chicago-based retail consulting agency McMillanDoolittle.
“Retailers like grocers which can be extra food-centric would seemingly be extra impacted if the pattern of pulling again on purchasing for meals on account of urge for food suppressant medicine continues to develop,” Lai mentioned.
Lai additionally famous consumers have been tightening their wallets for a completely totally different cause: excessive inflation in recent times.
“Since we’re simply listening to among the preliminary findings from retailers, it’s nonetheless pretty early to attract definitive conclusions,” Lai mentioned.
When requested concerning the feedback from Walmart and what, if any, results Publix had seen or expects to see from consumers who is likely to be on these drugs, spokeswoman Maria Brous mentioned in an e-mail the corporate didn’t have “direct information that may correlate or help this idea.”
Publix has greater than 1,350 shops within the Southeast and 859 shops in Florida.
Lai mentioned the problem might put “the onus on meals firms to proceed to innovate their choices.”