Darden Restaurants

Darden Digest: Newest Red Lobster Inspired by the Heritage of Harlem

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When you first enter the new Red Lobster situated in the heart of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City, you’ll immediately notice it’s not like your typical Red Lobster. Having lived in the Queens, New York, area for more than 50 years, I know that incoming businesses need to respect the surrounding community and I’m excited for how we’ve integrated Harlem’s rich and cultural heritage into all our restaurant details.

Darden Digest: Serving those Who Served

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For many, Veteran’s Day is a reminder of those who have served and who currently are serving our nation in the military. But, for me, as both a combat veteran myself and due to the location of my LongHorn Steakhouse, every day is a reminder of these brave men and women. My LongHorn Steakhouse is located in a military community in Fort Walton Beach in Florida’s panhandle. Within just a few miles are numerous Air Force bases, including Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall Air Force Base.

Darden Digest: Peer Leaders Workshops Change Lives and Inspire Students to Set Ambitious Goals

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As the Executive Director of College Summit-Florida, I often feel that it’s my job to set a high bar and then do whatever is necessary to hurdle myself and others over it. In Miami-Dade County, College Summit partners with 11 of the most challenging schools in the poorest communities. This is intentional. Only 10 percent of low-income students are currently getting college degrees, versus 70 percent of their higher income peers, and getting that degree results in breaking the cycle of poverty forever.

Darden Digest: Striving for High School Diplomas and Bright Futures

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This year 1 million high school students, one in four, are projected to fail to graduate with their classes. However, one organization is working tirelessly to reduce these statistics. The Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) works to create “bright futures” for our youth across the nation. Twenty-eight percent of BGCA alumni say they would have dropped out of high school if not for their involvement with a local Boys & Girls Club. And more than half of BGCA alumni say BGCA saved their lives.

Darden Digest: Under One Roof

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Just over four years ago, the 1,300 men and women who support all our North American restaurants were located in 12 separate buildings spread over a two-mile radius in Orlando, Fla. Collaboration had to occur over the phone, or employees needed to walk or drive from building to building. In 2009, after a three-year planning process, all of Darden’s Restaurant Support Center (RSC) employees moved to a new corporate campus in Orlando, sparking a new era that would lead to greater support for our restaurants and increased face-to-face collaboration.

Darden Digest: Tapping into Our Limitless Opportunities

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What an appropriate way to cap off the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Alumni Hall of Fame Gala in New York City. This was my second time attending the event, and I wanted to bring some of my team from our area restaurants so they could see the real-life impact that HSF is having on individuals and families across the country. I also wanted them to see how Darden is supporting this work through scholarships that will enable students to pursue their academic and professional goals.

Darden Digest: World Food Day Brings Attention to the Need to End Hunger

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As a restaurant company, it's impossible to ignore the reality of the need for food. Nearly 49 million Americans — including 16 million children — are at risk of hunger.  And, each year in America, more than 33 million tons of food -- $165 billion worth -- is sent to landfills. Darden Restaurants recognizes our unique opportunity to be able to do something to help with these staggering numbers.

Creating Shared Value

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This week I have the honor to speak to diverse audiences – The National Recreation & Parks Association, SXSW Eco Forum and The Sustainability Consortium. Each conversation carries with it a consistent thread, “How do we create shared value for society and for the planet?” As a company, we can give back or make a host of commitments to reduce our impact on the planet. But to create shared value means we move beyond traditional “social responsibility” and create partnerships that change the future for our business and society.

Darden Digest: Darden Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

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As part of our company's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, today's Darden Digest post comes from Valerie Insignares, President of LongHorn Steakhouse. Val has been with Darden since 1997 and President of LongHorn since January 2013. Previously, Val served as Chief Restaurant Operations Officer for Darden.

Darden Digest: Culinary Training Feeds People & Futures

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It's unnatural for me to envision not packing my child a healthy, colorful lunch every day. I find it unnatural not to grab a quick snack most days - and some days two...or three - between lunch and dinner at the first pang of "hunger." I don't feel guilty for having this access, but I try mightily not to take this luxury for granted. Ever.

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