News Release Details

Darden Restaurants Reaffirms Plans to Enhance Shareholder Value

January 21, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) today released the following statement reaffirming the steps it is taking to enhance shareholder value:

"Darden's Board of Directors and management team are focused on creating value for all Darden shareholders. While we appreciate the views of our shareholders, we have completed a comprehensive evaluation of alternatives available to enhance shareholder value, including those suggested by Starboard and others. That review included advice from financial and legal advisors that are knowledgeable on these matters, as well as input from Darden shareholders.

"Based on this review, we believe the comprehensive plan we announced in December is in the best interest of all Darden shareholders, and we are moving forward with that plan. Our plan addresses changing industry dynamics and leverages the benefits of the Company's position as the premier casual dining restaurant company. It includes separating Red Lobster, reducing new unit growth, suspending acquisitions, increasing operating support cost savings, increasing return of capital to shareholders, and refining our compensation and incentive programs.

"We are confident that these steps, together with actions we are taking to enhance guest experiences and reinvigorate demand, will lead to improved performance in our restaurants and substantially increase value for all Darden shareholders."

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the fourth year in a row. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House – 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


SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: Financial

(Analysts) Matthew Stroud, (407) 245-5288, or (Media) Bob McAdam, (407) 245-5366