News Release Details

Olive Garden Names Valerie Insignares Vice President of Operations Improvement

April 27, 2000

ORLANDO, FL (April 27, 2000) -- Valerie Insignares has been named Vice President of Operations Improvement for Olive Garden it was announced today by Dave Pickens, Executive Vice President, Operations, to whom she will report.

In her position, Insignares will be responsible for the creation and implementation of new systems as well as the innovation of existing systems designed to improve operational excellence in each of our 466 restaurants. Additionally, she will serve as a liaison between the restaurants and other Support Center departments.

"Valerie's background, initiative and creative thinking make her ideally suited to take over these responsibilities," said Pickens. "She and I will work closely to improve upon our already highly effective operations which are geared to delighting each and every guest with a genuine Italian dining experience."

Most recently, Insignares served as Vice President, Distribution, a position she had held since September 1998. She joined the company in January 1997 as Director of Food & Smallwares, Commodities Purchasing Department.

Previously, Insignares was with the Burger King Corporation where she held positions of increasing responsibility including senior buyer of food and packaging and manager of purchasing, minority vendors and suppliers.

Olive Garden is far outpacing the casual dining industry with 22 consecutive quarters of same restaurant sales increases and is consistently delivering record profits. With more than 50,000 employees and $1.5 billion in annual sales, it is part of the Darden Family of Restaurants. Darden Restaurants, a $3.5 billion publicly traded company also owns Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones Restaurants.