Darden Restaurants, Inc., is a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Orlando. The firm owns several casual dining restaurant brands: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, The Capital Grille and Yard House. Since opening their first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland, Fla., in 1968, Darden has grown to become the world’s largest full-service restaurant company. Today, more than 200,000 people are working together to make Darden a global leader in hospitality. Darden owns and operate over 2,100 restaurants and serve more than 425 million meals a year that create many lasting memories for the guests.
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It is turning into a world of service with all the heavy culinary competition out there. With that said, a positive attitude is definitely expected. It’s hard when you’re having a bad day or get stiffed on a tip, but you have to remember that each guest is someone new to impress and in order to thrive in this competitive market, excellent service with a smile is expected!
2- What is Darden's culture?
Darden is currently in the top 100 companies to work for. They pride themselves in the cultured work environment they create. Diversity has been one of the most important aspects since day one of The Green Frog. They allow you to be who you are without compromise and give everyone an opportunity to succeed. There are bus boys who are VPs and immigrants who are GMs....you can go as far as you aim to succeed in this company. If you believe in yourself, they will believe in you....
3- What does Darden see as a good candidate?
The best candidates are experience driven. What better way to learn than on the job through experiences and that is why experience is required in most positions. They also value education and training, especially continued training such as reading or taking classes to expand your knowledge such as a second language. You need a Masters to get to the top and Bachelors to get to Director Level. Although a Bachelors isn’t required at GM level, it definitely helps.
4- Are there any job tasks that are required for men and not for women and vice versa? No. We are treated equally in all aspects. As a woman, I have pride myself in getting promoted several times because I was the best person for the job, not based on sex. Each sex does all jobs within the restaurant and corporation.
5- You started as a greeter and now a general manager. Can you tell me what does career progression look like from within the business?
You can take your career as far as you dream with Darden. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it, write down your goals, and continuously learn as much as you can. I started as a greeter/server and took the chance immediately to go to a neighboring restaurant in N. Carolina so I could excel fast. When I came back, I was a trainer after only a month and key after 4 months, then getting promoted to management after 8 months. Through this time I also went to help other Breezes for two week intervals to get as much experience and knowledge from as many people as possible. I knew what I wanted, asked for it, and went for it! If you really want to grow, you have to go after it. After getting promoted and being service manager for 8 years, I knew I had to...