RSS feeds allow Web site content to be gathered via feed reader software. Click the subscribe link to obtain the feed URL for this page. The feed will update when new content appears on this page.

Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants is considered the world's largest casual dining restaurant company in terms of market share and annual sales. Restaurant entrepreneur Bill Darden, who opened the first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland in 1968, founded the company. Darden is considered one of the pioneers in the development of full-service chain restaurants in the United States.

Since its founding, it has grown to operate more than 1,700 restaurants in North America with about 170,000 employees. Darden was a subsidiary of General Mills from 1970 until 1995, when it was spun off as a separately held publicly traded company. The company's headquarters was moved to Orlando when it beca...
Show more »
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants is considered the world's largest casual dining restaurant company in terms of market share and annual sales. Restaurant entrepreneur Bill Darden, who opened the first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland in 1968, founded the company. Darden is considered one of the pioneers in the development of full-service chain restaurants in the United States.

Since its founding, it has grown to operate more than 1,700 restaurants in North America with about 170,000 employees. Darden was a subsidiary of General Mills from 1970 until 1995, when it was spun off as a separately held publicly traded company. The company's headquarters was moved to Orlando when it became a division of General Mills.

Darden is most closely associated with its two largest restaurant brands: Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Both of those chains now have more than 600 locations. The company's attempt to diversify its restaurant holdings has had mixed results. In 1995, Darden shut down an internally developed Chinese restaurant chain called China Coast. Since its spin-off, Darden has also created a barbecue and sports bar-themed restaurant group called Smokey Bones, a Caribbean-themed chain called Bahama Breeze, and a higher-end group of restaurants called Seasons 52. The company announced its intention to sell its Smokey Bones restaurants in May 2007, admitting that the brand did not have the potential to become a national chain. In August, Darden agreed to purchase Rare Hospitality International, which operates the LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille restaurant chains, for an estimated value of $1.4 billion.

Clarence Otis, who took over the company from long-time chief Joe Lee in 2005, serves as chairman and chief executive officer. Darden posted $5.6 billion in annual sales in fiscal year 2007. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DRI.
« Show less

Top Darden Restaurants, Inc. Articles see all

Displaying items 1-5
  • Your guide to Howard County's new dining hot spots

    Binda and Keir Singh nostalgically recall their childhood raised on a farm in eastern Punjab, India, at the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Darden brings former Walmart exec back to board

     Darden brings former Walmart exec back to board
    Darden Restaurants is bringing back one of its former board directors by adding former Walmart executive Bill Simon as a 13th member, the company said Thursday. Simon decided not to run for re-election as a board director at last week's annual...

    New Darden board picks Gene Lee for interim CEO

    New Darden board picks Gene Lee for interim CEO
    Darden Restaurants' new board of directors went inside the company Tuesday for a temporary leader by choosing Chief Operating Officer Gene Lee for interim CEO. Starboard Value CEO Jeff Smith, who orchestrated the ouster of all 12 of Darden's former board...

    Norwegian Cruise Line appoints president and COO

    Norwegian Cruise Line appoints president and COO
    Norwegian Cruise Line has appointed hospitality veteran Drew Madsen as its president and chief operating officer, the Miami-based cruise company announced. He brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the hospitality and consumer products...

    Former Darden exec lands with Norweigan Cruise Line

    Former Darden exec lands with Norweigan Cruise Line
    Former Darden Restaurants president and chief operating officer Drew Madsen was hired for the same job at Miami-based Norweigan Cruise Line. Madsen retired at the end of 2013 during a period of turmoil at Darden Restaurants. "Having delivered...