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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 78-88
  • Darden earnings slump amid continued Red Lobster, Olive Garden slide

    Darden Restaurants Inc., the largest full-service restaurant company in the world, suffered a 19.6% plunge in profit as its two largest brands – Red Lobster and Olive Garden – continued to struggle with depressed sales and foot traffic....
  • Darden Restaurants to sell Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion

    Darden Restaurants to sell Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion
    Darden Restaurants Inc. has agreed to sell its Red Lobster seafood chain to San Francisco private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion, flouting the warnings of some of its shareholders. The all-cash deal will allow Darden to focus more on...
  • Darden Restaurants shareholder dispute boils over

    Darden Restaurants shareholder dispute boils over
    This morning’s news release from Darden Restaurants is a unique example of a corporation wading hip deep into a shareholder dispute. The statement by Orlando-based Darden (NYSE: DRI) praises its own current board of directors and charaterizes a...
  • Darden will spin off or sell Red Lobster, stop expanding Olive Garden

    Darden will spin off or sell Red Lobster, stop expanding Olive Garden
    Darden Restaurants Inc. said it would separate itself from its Red Lobster business while halting expansion at Olive Garden and stopping acquisitions “for the foreseeable future.” Orlando, Fla.-based Darden has struggled recently along...
  • Darden Restaurants faces $13M lawsuit from Xerox

    Darden Restaurants faces $13M lawsuit from Xerox
    Xerox Corp. and Orlando-based Darden Restaurants are engaged in a $13 million disagreement over a canceled, six-year human resources services contract. Darden is trying to work out the disagreement, according to a statement from Rich Jeffers, Darden...
  • Darden announces more debt repurchasing

    Darden announces more debt repurchasing
    Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) announced Monday that it began a program to buy down $600 million of its debt. The debt repurchase is subject to Darden completing sale of its Red Lobster business to Golden Gate Capital, which the company announced in May...
  • Steakhouse coming to Easton area

     
    The Lehigh Valley has added several new steakhouses in recent years. Now, activity shifts to Lower Nazareth Township where a LongHorn Steakhouse is being constructed at Lower Nazareth Commons shopping center off Route 248, according to the restaurant's...
  • Darden missteps, 'Obamacare' flap dent Olive Garden owner's profit

    Darden missteps, 'Obamacare' flap dent Olive Garden owner's profit
    Darden Restaurants Inc.’s second quarter was far from appetizing, as the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster watched its net income plunge 37%. The Orlando, Fla., restaurant company saw the sour numbers coming. Earlier in December, citing a...
  • Darden steers LongHorn toward major growth with eye on overtaking Outback

    Darden steers LongHorn toward major growth with eye on overtaking Outback
    Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has found its next big thing inLongHorn Steakhouse. After a couple of years of slow growth during the economic downturn and adjustment to a new corporate owner, the Western-themed chain is taking off, with annual sales...
  • Darden Restaurants to build solar panels

    Darden Restaurants to build solar panels
    Darden Restaurants will soon begin installing solar panel roofing at its Orlando headquarters, the company announced today. The project will generate enough power to subsidize 15 to 20 percent of the building's annual usage – equal to the average...
  • Hurricane Irene brings earnings dip, Darden says

    Hurricane Irene brings earnings dip, Darden says
    Orlando-based Darden Restaurants said Tuesday that Hurricane Irene will hurt its first-quarter earnings slightly. The owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other chains said the storm, which forced some restaurants across the Eastern U.S. to close, will...