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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 89-99
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Michelle Obama, Olive Garden, Red Lobster vow healthier kids' meals

     
    Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign enlists Red Lobster and Olive Garden...
  • Olive Garden parent Darden's earnings slip 28%

     
    low sales at Olive Garden push Darden's earnings down 28%...
  • Darden’s donations spotlighted by Chelsea Clinton, ‘Rock Center’

     
    "Chelsea Clinton was in town three weeks ago to report on our Darden Harvest program -- we donate surplus food from each of our 1,900-plus restaurants to local food banks on a weekly basis -- and the impact it has on local communities across the country,"...
  • The 25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida

     
    Over two days, we revealed this year's list of “The 25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida” — as chosen by a panel of leaders from the business, nonprofit and political communities. Below is the full list of 25 - with nutshell...
  • Appetite for condo eateries has vanished

    The restaurant industry is rough enough. It's even rougher when your primary business is real estate during a monster recession. Steve Kodsi found out the hard way last week when he closed two restaurants he operated in the bottom of one of his...