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Olive Garden

Workforce

Olive Garden's owner lays off 11% of support staff

Included were 225 Darden employees who opted for early retirement and former COO Dave George, whose departure was described as an “involuntary separation.”

Operations

Six questions the pandemic has yet to answer for restaurants

As the crisis enters its fifth month, operators are still looking for insight on these matters keeping them up at night.

The crisis has provided a unique opportunity to review some practices and approaches, according to Gene Lee, the CEO of Darden Restaurants. Here are some of the insights he says the company has gleaned.

Gene Lee went from zero dollars, the pay level he set for himself to help Darden Restaurants and its employees, to $1 million a year.

Takeout and delivery have helped many of the segment's big brands weather the lockdown of dining rooms. Will that momentum continue?

Olive Garden became the nation's largest casual-dining chain, growing sales 5% in 2019. The Italian

The Darden Restaurants chain is now generating takeout and delivery sales at an annualized rate of $2.8 million per store.

The parent of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse detailed how it has changed operations to temper the wallop, and warned of the potential damage if the situation worsens.

Customers who spend a certain amount in-restaurant can pick off a special $6 menu of heat-and-eat take-home dishes.

Blum also resigned his post as chairman, but remains a co-owner of the polished-casual chains.

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