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Darden Restaurants

Operates Olive Garden and Longhouse Steakhouse chains.

1000 Darden Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32837
Employees: 185,000
CEO: Eugene Lee
Stock Symbol: DRI

Website: http://www.darden.com

Career Site

Darden Restaurants operates some of the best known restaurant chains in the country including Olive Garden, Longhouse Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie Vs and Yard House. Olive Garden is the nation's largest casual restaurant serving Italian food.

Darden has 1,793 restaurants in the USA and Canada. These include 867 Olive Garden restaurants, 514 Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants, 165 Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen restaurants, 79 Yard House restaurants, 42 Bahama Breeze restaurants, 59 Capital Grille restaurants, 22 Eddie V's restaurants and 45 Seasons 52 locations.

For fiscal 2019, Darden had total sales of $8.51 billion, a 5.1% increase from the previous year, and net earnings of $713.4 million.

The company added 39 net new restaurants in fiscal 2019. It expects to open 50 new restaurants in fiscal 2020.


The first Red Lobster opened in 1968 in Lakeland, FL as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers" and was founded by Bill Darden who preached great service and quality seafood. A 19-year old Joe Lee would help Darden run the restaurants and would become President of Red Lobster as the company expanded in the Southeast. Red Lobster would become the nation's leading restaurant chain.

Darden Restaurants was spun off from General Mills in 1995 and included Olive Garden, which opened its first restaurant in Orlando on Dec. 13, 1982. Olive Garden was developed by General Mills Restaurants.

In 2011, Darden purchased Eddie V's Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille restaurant brands for $59 million.

In August 2012, Darden purchased Yard House USA for $585 million, a chain with 40 restaurants in 13 states.

In 2014, Darden sold the Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion to Golden Gate Capital.

In 2017, Darden purchased the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen chain of restaurants for $780 million.


Here are some of the benefits provided to restaurant workers by Darden.

Health Insurance: Day one medical coverage with just a $100 deductible and a dental plan with a $50 deductible and you can use any Doctor, Dentist or Hospital you want. For a little extra money you can purchase short-term disability insurance, which provides weekly benefits for up to 6 months. You can also sign up for $20,000 in term life insurance and $20,000 in Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage.

Discounts: The Dining Discount program lets you and up to seven friends enjoy a discount of 25% at any Darden Restaurant. And when you're working, eat in the restaurant before or after your shift or during your break at 50 percent off.

Eye Care: You can see for yourself with discounts on eye exams, lenses, frames and contact lenses, which are available through our vision plan.

Education: Get low interest educational loans for you and your family through our ConSern Student Loan Program.

Vacation: One week of paid vacation; two weeks after 3 years and three weeks after 7 years.

Retirement: You can start saving for tomorrow immediately with the Day One Darden 401k savings plan. After one year of employment and 1,000 work hours, the company will match up to 6% of your contributions.

Updated December 6, 2019