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Darden may ditch Red Lobster, nix Olive Garden expansion plans

(Business News) In an effort to save millions of dollars a year, Darden could be selling off or spinning off Red Lobster and halting expansion of other brands.

red lobster

red lobster

Darden changing pace with two of their restaurant chains

Darden Restaurant is making some changes, according to the L.A. Times, with the current expansion plans for Olive Gardens getting the axe for the “foreseeable future,” and rumors that Red Lobster could be up for sale soon, or spun off to shareholders.

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While Olive Gardens in existence will remain in tact, the mega-chain is reportedly trying to figure out their Red Lobsters’ futures. The company says it will be splitting off its 705 U.S. and Canada Red Lobster locations either as a tax-free spinoff to shareholders, or sold outright.

Also on the chopping block? LongHorn Stakehouse restaurants, which will also see a decline in expansion plans.

No clear timeline in place

Darden has told news outlets that “there can be no assurance that any transaction will ultimately occur,” which appears from the outside as an attempt to calm fanatics’ panic.

Competition for the chain restaurants has heated up and Darden is looking at their future strategy. “Our industry is in a period of significant change, with relatively low levels of consumer demand in each of the past several years for restaurants generally, and for casual dining in particular,” Darden Chief Executive Clarence Otis said in a statement.

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The Darden board of directors has approved the plans, which would cut $100 million off of the company’s annual spending.

Times are changing

As always, times are changing, but coming off of a long, difficult recession, our nation has learned how to conserve cash, which has not only given rise to less expensive restaurants, but to more eating at home than prior to the economic crash.

Simultaneously, our nation is becoming more health conscious, slowly but surely, and as more people seek the healthiest options possible, fast food or sit-down alike, big box chains struggle to offer higher quality foods at the price consumers are still accustomed to.

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Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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