🠈 Darden Restaurants 🠊
Darden Restaurants is a leading group of casual style restaurants that includes The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Smokey Bones and Bahama Breeze, LongHorn Steakhouse and more. In 2007, the group included over 1700 restaurants.
- In 1968, Bill Darden [1918 - 1994] established the first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland, Florida. The chain grew to 5 restaurants when it was purchased by General Mills in 1970.
- General Mills created the Olive Garden restaurant in 1982. The Olive Garden emphasizes hospitaliano as it serves a fun selection Italian cuisine.
- In 1990, General Mills created a chain called China Coast serving Chinese American cuisine. This chain lost money and was closed.
- In 1995, General Mills spun off its restaurant division as Darden Restaurants. The spin off trades on the NYSE as DRI.
- Darden Restaurant group created a variety of chains including Seasons 52 and Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill (which Darden later sold to a group finance by Sun Capital Partners).
- The Bahama Breeze chain emphasizes the tastes, colors and sounds of the Carribbean islands.
- In 2007 Darden acquired Rare Hospitality for $1.4B adding The Capital Grille and LongHorn Steakhouse to its portfolio.
- Other acquisitions include Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille and The Yard.
- Darden attempted an expensive upgrade of Red Lobster that lost money and decided to sell the Red Lobster chain to Golden Gate Capital in 2013.
- Darden acquired the Texas base chain Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen for $780 million.
Darden Restaurants tend to be fully owned (as opposed to franchises which are locally owned but follow corporate guidelines.) Darden Restaurants has over 200,000 employees. They trade on the NYSE with the symbol DRI.
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- Wikipedia - Darden Restaurants (Drawn 10/11/2017)
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