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

Displaying items 45-55
  • Lawmakers try new approach to help Darden with taxes

     
    Darden Restaurants would still get help with its tax bill, but not for about 20 years, under a new proposal that surfaced in the Florida Legislature on Wednesday. The measure would help companies such as Darden that are currently receiving tax credits...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Blood donations needed: Blood centers offering $20 gift card to donors

     
    Here's some incentive to give blood before Jan. 9 — a $20 gift card to Darden Restaurants. Because blood is historically in short supply in January, Florida’s Blood Centers is  asking donors to go to the center's branch loc...
  • Retiree health costs: More businesses, governments sign up for federal help

     
     Thirty more businesses and local government agencies in Florida have signed up for help paying medical costs of their early retirees — people who aren't yet eligible for Medicare. Created by the Affordable Care Act,  the Early Re...
  • Darden CEO Clarence Otis Jr. honored for supporting the arts

     
    Clarence Otis Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, has received a prestigious national award for his company’s support of the performing arts, including a $5 million commitment to the Dr. Phillips Performing...
  • United Arts names officers, committee chairs and board members

     
    United Arts, Central Florida’s community-based fundraising and advocacy organization for local arts and culture, announced its officers, committee chairs and board members for 2010-2011 at its annual meeting on Thursday, June 17. Elected Chair, Board...
  • Let’s take a look at pay of local CEOs

    Let’s take a look at pay of local CEOs
    Rounding out our coverage of this year's proxy pageant, today we'll take a look at which local executives fattened their wallets the most last year — and who took the biggest cuts — in a list that ranks local CEOs by the size of their...
  • Trying to outrun the food police

    There was the assault on trans-fats. A new law requiring calorie counts on menus. A county in California that banned toys in too-fatty kids' meals. And now there's a war on sodium. It's no wonder the food industry is hurrying to outrun the increasingly...
  • Talking With ... Ian Baines: Firing up Smokey Bones

    Talking With ... Ian Baines: Firing up Smokey Bones
    Ian Baines is president and CEO of Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill. The chain broke off from Darden Restaurants a year and a half ago and has been remaking its image. Baines, 52, talked with Sentinel staff writer Sandra Pedicini. CFB: Tell me a little...