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BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Maybe it's Marilyn Hagerty working her magic: Olive Garden  is reversing out of a long slump with more visitors and better sales. A few weeks after the elderly North Dakota reviewer's piece on a new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks went viral, the chain's parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc., said its fiscal third-quarter profit soared more than 8% to $164.1 million, or $1.25 a share, from $151.7 million, or $1.08, in the same period...
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BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
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 with the rest of the casual dining sector as price-conscious consumers moved into the cheaper fast-casual tier that includes chains such as Smashburger and Panera. Darden said the Red Lobster move may take the form of a tax-free spinoff to shareholders or an outright sale.
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BUSINESS
December 17, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Poor sales at the Olive Garden chain are weighing on Darden Restaurants Inc., which saw earnings slide 28% in its second quarter on the Italian eatery's poor performance. Net income fell to $53.7 million, or 40 cents a share, from $74.5 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter, which ended Nov. 27, was up 6.1% to $1.83 billion. Olive Garden's shaky footing has been throwing Orlando, Fla.-based Darden off balance for a while and the chain needs to get "back on track," executives said.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
As President Obama's healthcare law rolls out in the coming years, business owners are figuring out how they will comply with coverage mandates.  One popular restaurant chain, White Castle, may in the future hire only part-time workers once the law is fully implemented, according to Vice President Jamie Richardson. Richardson told NPR in an interview that the company is trying to figure out how to keep costs down.  Quiz: How well do you know fast food? "If you're full-time at White Castle, you're going to stay full-time at White Castle," he said.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2007 | From Reuters
Darden Restaurants Inc. reported a 29% drop in quarterly earnings Tuesday as a decline in customers hurt sales and food and acquisition costs rose. The Orlando, Fla.-based parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant chains also scaled back its profit growth target for the year because a weak U.S. dollar made imported products more expensive. "We were unable to meet our expectations for earnings growth," Chief Executive Clarence Otis said in a statement.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
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 with the rest of the casual dining sector as price-conscious consumers moved into the cheaper fast-casual tier that includes chains such as Smashburger and Panera. Darden said the Red Lobster move may take the form of a tax-free spinoff to shareholders or an outright sale.
BUSINESS
August 23, 1995 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Darden Closes China Coast Chain: The Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant company, which runs the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, said the 51-branch operation was expensive, unprofitable and unable to match the service and food of independent local competitors. China Coast's $71 million in sales represented only 2% of Darden Restaurants Inc.'s $3.2 billion in total sales in fiscal 1995.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc. won't be looking as good as expected next week when the restaurant company is set to release its second-quarter earnings, it said Tuesday. The Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse parent lowered its profit and revenue projections for the quarter ended Nov. 25, blaming sour promotions in its eateries, Superstorm Sandy, its purchase of the Yard House USA chain and even its efforts to mitigate the coming costs of healthcare reform, also known as "Obamacare.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc., the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, will buy Irvine-based restaurant chain Yard House USA Inc. for $585 million in cash. The deal with Yard House owner TSG Consumer Partners will place the chain -- known for its vast selection of draft beers -- in Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie Vs. The more upscale restaurants help appeal to younger and higher-income guests than Darden's more widespread brands.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
McDonald's Corp. can keep selling Happy Meals with toys to California children after a San Francisco judge threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking to ban the practice in the state. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it will discuss with its co-plaintiff - a California mother - whether to appeal. The group did not seek damages for its fellow plaintiff, though it alleged that she “suffered a monetary loss” because of McDonald's toy-marketing ways.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The same day that Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc. said it will not bump down existing full-time workers to part-time status to skirt healthcare costs, a petition calling on the company's chief executive to clarify his position is gaining steam. Dan Haney, an unemployed pharmaceutical customer service representative from Philadelphia, started the SignOn.org petition urging Darden CEO Clarence Otis to be even more specific about how the company will react when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent of eateries such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, said it will not bump any of its full-time employees down to part-time status to save on healthcare costs once President Obama's reforms go into effect. Come 2014, when the healthcare law is set to go into effect, Darden said its 45,000 full-time workers will keep their status. All full-timers, whether hourly or salaried, will have access to the same insurance coverage, the company said. Video chat: Join us at 2:30 p.m. The Orlando, Fla., business has 185,000 employees in total, three quarters of them part-time.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc. won't be looking as good as expected next week when the restaurant company is set to release its second-quarter earnings, it said Tuesday. The Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse parent lowered its profit and revenue projections for the quarter ended Nov. 25, blaming sour promotions in its eateries, Superstorm Sandy, its purchase of the Yard House USA chain and even its efforts to mitigate the coming costs of healthcare reform, also known as "Obamacare.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc., the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, will buy Irvine-based restaurant chain Yard House USA Inc. for $585 million in cash. The deal with Yard House owner TSG Consumer Partners will place the chain -- known for its vast selection of draft beers -- in Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie Vs. The more upscale restaurants help appeal to younger and higher-income guests than Darden's more widespread brands.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc.'s efforts to spruce up Olive Garden's lagging sales, including national promotions and cost cuts, were “less effective than anticipated,” the company said while announcing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Friday. Similar tactics were also uninspiring at Darden's seafood chain, Red Lobster. After a brief respite during the spring, Italian brand Olive Garden returned to its pattern of poor same-store sales, which tumbled 1.8% over the quarter ended May 27 compared with a year earlier, while customer traffic fell 7.5% in May. Red Lobster's same-store sales slid 3.9% over the quarter and customer traffic in May slumped 7.8% With sales of $904 million, Olive Garden is Darden's largest chain.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Asian-themed restauranteur P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. will go private for $1.1 billion in a deal with private equity firm Centerbridge Partners after attempting to refresh its image and offerings. The Scottsdale, Ariz., company, which operates its namesake upscale casual dining spots as well as fast-casual Pei Wei Asian Diners, has struggled to catch up to competitors who are now enjoying post-recession sales and traffic highs . Last month, it introduced a new lunch menu.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent of eateries such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, said it will not bump any of its full-time employees down to part-time status to save on healthcare costs once President Obama's reforms go into effect. Come 2014, when the healthcare law is set to go into effect, Darden said its 45,000 full-time workers will keep their status. All full-timers, whether hourly or salaried, will have access to the same insurance coverage, the company said. Video chat: Join us at 2:30 p.m. The Orlando, Fla., business has 185,000 employees in total, three quarters of them part-time.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Restaurateurs are in a chipper mood these days, with the majority reporting customer and revenue gains; they also plan expansion, remodeling or equipment purchases. The Restaurant Performance Index from the National Restaurant Assn. hit the same post-recession high in March that it did in December. The 102.2 level - a 0.3% increase from February - signals expansion in the industry, as the index has done for the last five months. Eateries had to make many adjustments during and after the downturn.
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