Darden Provides Update on its Restaurant Staffing Plans Under Healthcare Reform; Company Announces Commitments to its Current

   Darden Provides Update on its Restaurant Staffing Plans Under Healthcare
    Reform; Company Announces Commitments to its Current Full-Time, Hourly
                                  Employees

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Dec. 6, 2012

ORLANDO, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI)
today provided an update on its full-time staffing plans for 2014 following
thorough testing of potential changes in the composition of its workforce in
connection with healthcare reform. The company has determined that:

1.None of Darden's current full-time employees, hourly or salaried, will
    have their full-time status changed as a result of healthcare reform.
2.Each of Darden's new and existing restaurants will have full-time hourly
    employees because that is what it takes to fully deliver the experiences
    guests expect.
3.In 2014, all of Darden's full-time employees, including hourly, salaried
    and executive employees, will have access to the same insurance plan
    coverage.

Darden's current full-time population includes approximately 45,000 employees.

Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis commented: "Although our workforce
historically has been heavily part-time, we have always had a significant
number of full-time employees and they are integral to our success.The data
we have collected during our test around guest satisfaction and employee
engagement has only reinforced this. As we think about healthcare reform,
while many of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's rules and
regulations have yet to be finalized, we are pleased we know enough at this
point to make firm and hopefully reassuring commitments to our full-time
employees."

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service
restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants that
generate over $8.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla.,
and employing 185,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards
caring for and responding to people. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE
"100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the second year in a row and is the
only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. 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
www.darden.com.

DRI: G

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General

Website: http://www.darden.com
Contact: Rich Jeffers, +1-407-245-4189
 
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