News Release Details

New Red Lobster, Olive Garden & Longhorn Steakhouse Restaurants Open In Hanover, Md.

May 23, 2011

New Restaurants Create More than 350 Local Jobs, Feature Sustainable Design Elements

ORLANDO, Fla., May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. today announced the grand openings of three of America's favorite restaurants — Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse — in the Arundel Mills shopping center in Hanover, Md. Red Lobster and Olive Garden open today, and LongHorn Steakhouse opened on May 16. The three restaurants combined bring more than 350 new jobs to the area.

The new Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants are part of Darden's Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative, which incorporates sustainable design elements for all new restaurants and, when possible, restaurant remodels. The initiative's goal is to limit business impact on the environment while also enhancing operational efficiency. Sustainable design elements featured in all three new restaurants include recycled building materials, increased use of natural light and energy-efficient equipment and fixtures. Darden plans to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all three restaurants. Administered by the United States Green Building Council, LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

"We're proud to bring Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse to Arundel Mills and to create a significant number of new local jobs for the Hanover community," said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer for Darden Restaurants, Inc. "The sustainable design elements featured in all three restaurants continue Darden's commitment to conserving natural resources and learning more about how sustainable design practices and materials can increase operational efficiency in our restaurants."

Red Lobster is proud of its 43-year heritage as the place America goes for seafood. Since first opening its doors in 1968 in Lakeland, Fla., the world's largest casual dining seafood restaurant has served its guests a variety of the highest-quality seafood, including dishes from the Today's Fresh Fish menu, a selection of five to eight fresh fish species, and items from Red Lobster's signature Wood Fire Grill. Guests at Red Lobster can now enjoy their meal in the warm, inviting atmosphere of one of Red Lobster's recently remodeled restaurants, inspired by the New England coast and coming to all Red Lobster locations by the end of 2014. Red Lobster operates nearly 700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada that employ more than 63,000 employees. For more information or to find a remodeled restaurant location, visit www.redlobster.com.

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 730 locations in North America. The new Arundel Mills restaurant features the company's Tuscan Farmhouse design which offers a comfortable and inviting setting that is inspired by Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany which is located in the 11th century village of Riserva di Fizzano in Tuscany, Italy. Olive Garden's Arundel Mills restaurant is committed to delighting guests with fresh, delicious Italian food, such as its Venetian Apricot Chicken and signature soup, salad and breadsticks, enjoyed with family and friends. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com.

LongHorn opened its first restaurant in Atlanta 29 years ago and has grown steadily — becoming known for its passion for grilling fresh, never frozen, steaks served in a relaxed, comfortable steakhouse atmosphere. LongHorn is known for more than its signature hand-seasoned Flo's Filet and the bone-in Outlaw Ribeye. LongHorn chefs love to grill fresh fish and chicken in addition to steak. Items such as LongHorn Salmon, a fresh, hand-cut salmon fillet seasoned with a bourbon marinade; fall-off-the-bone tender Baby Back Ribs; and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, two juicy chicken breasts grilled and topped with a parmesan cheese and garlic crust, are just some of the other specialties guests will find on the menu. LongHorn operates more than 350 restaurants in 33 states. For more information, visit www.longhornsteakhouse.com.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 1,800 restaurants that generate more than $7 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing approximately 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2011, Darden became the first full-service restaurant company ever to be named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. Our restaurant brands — Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 — reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.

NEW RESTAURANTS AT A GLANCE

Red Lobster




Opening Date:

May 23

Address:

7063 Arundel Mills Circle

General Manager:

Jim Wiklund

Employees:

140

Square Footage:

7,040

Number of Seats:

250

Hours of Operation:

Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.



Olive Garden




Opening Date:

May 23

Address:

7061 Arundel Mills Circle

General Manager:

Elie Challouk

Employees:

165

Square Footage:

7,441

Number of Seats:

246

Hours of Operation:

From Monday, May 23 — Friday, May 27, the restaurant will serve dinner only:


-- Monday through Thursday: 4 to 10 p.m.


-- Friday: 4 to 11 p.m.


The restaurant will be open for lunch beginning Saturday, May 28. Lunch will be served starting at 11 a.m. every day.



LongHorn Steakhouse




Opening Date:

May 16

Address:

7059 Arundel Mills Circle

Managing Partner:

Rob Poling

Employees:

85

Square Footage:

5,695

Number of Seats:

204

Hours of Operation:

Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.



SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General

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