Darden Restaurants

Darden for Life - Ricardo Rosales of Olive Garden

Ricardo Rosales, a line cook at the Olive Garden in North McAllen, Texas, has been with Darden for 34 years and loves being a team leader and keeping order in his kitchen. #DardenLife
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Team members are the backbone of our restaurants. For some of them, creating great dining experiences for our guests is so fulfilling that it becomes their life’s work. They represent years of achievement and become inspiring and familiar fixtures who have much to teach us. Today we hear from one of our longtime employees.

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Team members are the backbone of our restaurants. For some of them, creating great dining experiences for our guests is so fulfilling that it becomes their life’s work. They represent years of achievement and become inspiring and familiar fixtures who have much to teach us. Today we hear from one of our longtime employees.

Darden’s Orlando Campus — Where the Wild Things Are

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Alligators. Sandhill cranes. Bald eagles. Sounds like a list of Florida Everglades wildlife, right? Well, in a way it is. Darden’s Restaurant Support Center campus sits at the headwaters of the Everglades alongside Shingle Creek in Orlando — a naturalist’s dream.

#DardenDigest: Career Advice from our Chefs

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In recognition of National Culinary Arts Month in July, we asked our corporate chefs to share career advice for individuals looking to pursue culinary careers. Below are some of the tips they shared.

“Find the best chef in town and work for her or him. It will likely be very hard work, but it will be in this environment that you will learn the most. Spend the extra money you have on cookbooks that are written by chefs that interest you as well as going out to eat. Also, it is not always about you, but it is always about the guest.” -Chef Jim Neutzi, Olive Garden

#DardenDigest: Just Another Day at the Ranch

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Over the past four years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Olive Garden and Red Lobster, each providing me the opportunity to work with great people and learn new skills. I recently transitioned to the LongHorn Steakhouse team and the learning on my Darden journey continues. I was familiar with LongHorn’s vision to become America’s favorite steakhouse, the great taste of the Peak Season and Chef’s Showcase items, and of course, our legendary steaks.

#DardenDigest: A Shared Industry

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July is National Culinary Arts month and a great opportunity to celebrate our industry. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are more than 13.5 million restaurant industry employees, which is about 10% of the overall U.S. workforce. Eight in 10 restaurant owners started their industry careers in entry-level positions, and nine in 10 salaried restaurant employees started as hourly employees.

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#DardenDigest: Straight from the Garden

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In the spring, the Darden Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announced fifteen communities that were awarded a Grow Your Park grant. The primary goal of these grants is to benefit low-income families through the donation of locally grown fruits and vegetables. One of the grant recipients, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP), recently held an event to celebrate and debut one of its community gardens that is having meaningful impact on the community.

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#DardenDigest: All Aboard!

Commuter rail has come to Central Florida and a group of Darden “pioneers” is among the first adopters of the green option for commuting to and from work.
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In May, a brand new 32-mile, 17-station commuter rail system through the Orlando metropolitan area premiered, giving residents and commuters another option for greener travel. Although commuter rail may be commonplace in some cities, it’s new to Central Florida and we’ve been anxiously anticipating its debut after months of planning and testing. That includes many commuters to Darden’s Restaurant Support Center, located just south of downtown Orlando, who welcomed the new way to get to and from work.

#DardenDigest: A Prom Night Not to Be Missed

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Prom season is an exciting time for high school students across the country, many of them who celebrate at Olive Garden prior to the dance. We love being part of these celebrations and creating special moments for our guests. At my restaurant, we have one annual prom tradition that is especially meaningful to our team at the Onalaska, Wisconsin, Olive Garden.

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#DardenDigest: Congratulations to the 2014 State of Florida Youth of the Year!

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The Darden family wishes to extend our warmest congratulations to 18-year-old Maryah Sullivan, the 2014 State of Florida Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Maryah is a member of the Joe R. Lee Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, which is named after Darden’s first CEO. The BGCA Youth of the Year process started locally with Maryah winning the Central Florida Youth of the Year title. Then she was selected as the Youth of the Year representative for the entire state of Florida.

#DardenDigest: A Ride for Recovery

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Four years ago, when I was a Managing Partner with LongHorn Steakhouse, a friend of mine was in treatment for substance abuse. He was completing his program at a halfway house and introduced me to a college student who was completing the treatment program with him. I believed in his journey and hired him, and he turned out to be a great team member. This young man was Steve Pulley, who is now taking his recovery a step further to help others.

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