🠈 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. The group was organized as part of General Mills which spun off the chain in 1995. In 2007, the group included over 1700 restaurant
- In 1968, Bill Darden (1918-1994) established the first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland, Florida.
- 1970: General Mills acquired Red Lobster when the chain had just 5 restaurants. They made Mr. Darden the head of the Restaurant Group.
- 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 that served Chinese American cuisine. This chain lost money and shuttered its doors.
- 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 which opened in 2003, and Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill (which Darden later sold to a group finance by Sun Capital Partners).
- 1997: Darden started a chain called Bahama Breeze. They listed 43 restaurants when I visited the site in 2019. The web site is BahamaBreeze.com.
- 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.
- 2017: Darden acquired the Texas base chain Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen for $780 million from a partnership between Oak Investment Partners and L Catterton. Darden's moved Cheddar's headquarters to Orlando, Fl.
Darden Restaurants tend to be fully owned (as opposed to franchises which are locally owned.) 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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