ORLANDO, FL: Olive Garden is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its relationship with the Culinary Institute of Tuscany (CIT) with a marketing campaign that highlights the restaurant's Italian roots.
The company sends 100 managers to the CIT each year to further study Italian cooking and heritage.
To launch the campaign, Olive Garden executive chef Paolo Lafate appeared on The Tony Danza Show today to unveil a special dish for the promotion, Tuscan garlic chicken, available only from April 11 to May 29.
"The CIT anniversary is a great way for us to elevate that celebration of our Italian inspiration," said Steve Coe, director of media relations for Olive Garden.
Coe said the restaurant, working with AOR Pierson Grant, is targeting local, trade, and national general-interest media.
Agency CEO Maria Pierson said the agency would try and place returning managers on local television programs for cooking demonstrations.
The chain will also provide recipe booklets to customers during the promotion,
and CIT graduates will wear special chef coats in the dining area. An extensive internal communications campaign is providing relevant marketing information to all 556 restaurants.