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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...
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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.
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Top Darden Restaurants, Inc. Articles

Displaying items 34-44
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    Obamacare: Rhetoric vs. reality
    WASHINGTON -- Just recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued an 18-page, single-spaced notice explaining how to distinguish between full-time and part-time workers under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). The difference matters, because the ACA...
  • Darden's Olive Garden, Red Lobster sales disappoint

    Darden Restaurants Inc.’s efforts to spruce up Olive Garden’s lagging sales, including national promotions and cost cuts, were “less effective than anticipated,” the company said while announcing its fiscal fourth-quarter...
  • UVA rector Dragas reappointed to Board of Visitors by Governor McDonnell

    UVA rector Dragas reappointed to Board of Visitors by Governor McDonnell
    Virginia's governor has reappointed the University of Virginia board member who led the failed effort to oust school president Teresa Sullivan. Gov. Bob McDonnell reappointed university Rector Helen Dragas of Virginia Beach on Friday. Dragas was the...
  • Olive Garden parent Darden's earnings slip 28%

     
    low sales at Olive Garden push Darden's earnings down 28%...
  • Michelle Obama, Olive Garden, Red Lobster vow healthier kids' meals

     
    Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign enlists Red Lobster and Olive Garden...
  • Red Lobster debuts new ads featuring brand’s real people

     
    Red Lobster has launched of a new national advertising campaign featuring the real people of Red Lobster – a first for the brand and the latest step in a multi-year brand refresh designed to broaden its appeal. The new ads feature Red Lobster...
  • Darden will get help with tax bill — eventually

     
    Darden Restaurants will get an extra tax break — in about 20 years, under a bill headed to Gov. Rick Scott's desk. The Florida Senate this week signed off an economic-development bill that includes a provision sought by Darden Restaurants. It...
  • Darden Restaurants pays rent to itself and saves on taxes

     
    Orlando-based Darden Restaurants  has cut its corporate taxes in some states by renting restaurants from itself, using a strategy that has led to challenges and millions of dollars in back taxes for some other big companies. The owner of chains...
  • House approves delayed version of Darden tax break

     
    Without any debate, the Florida House of Representatives late this afternoon unanimously approved a bill that would expand a tax break for Darden Restaurants. The measure is designed to help Darden, which hasn’t been able to claim the full value...
  • Lawmaker withdraws Darden tax amendment — for a day

     
    An expected vote today on a plan to help Darden Restaurants with its tax bill has been pushed back until tomorrow. The tax break had been included in an amendment to an unrelated corporate-income tax bill (HB 7185) that was taken up this afternoon in...
  • With lawmakers poised to make big budget cuts, tax-break for Darden Restaurants quietly advances

     
    By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel   TALLAHASSEE — Darden Restaurants is lobbying the Florida Legislature for a tax break that would save the company as much as $5 million a year in sales taxes even as lawmakers weigh deep spending cuts to public...