Olive Garden and Red Lobster shut down in Thomasville - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Olive Garden and Red Lobster shut down in Thomasville

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

The Red Lobster and Olive Garden in Thomasville are no longer serving patrons.

The two restaurants that are housed within the same building announced that Friday May 2nd was their last day of business and that they were closing.

A representative of Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns the two restaurants, confirmed the closing and said the company is interested in selling Red Lobster, or may choose to separate it through what's called a "spin-off."

The managers of the restaurants were said to be working on inventory this weekend. As for employees, the representative said they will have the opportunity to transfer to other restaurants the company owns in Thomasville, including Longhorn Steakhouse. They could also go to work at other locations in Thomasville, Valdosta, and Tallahassee.

The location for both of the restaurants is unique in Thomasville, in that both restaurants occupy the same building, and on top of that, operated out of the same shared kitchen. The company said Thomasville was one of just six locations company-wide to operate in shared spaces.

Meanwhile, Darden remains on track to execute its previously announced plan to separate the Red Lobster business through either a tax-free spin-off to Darden shareholders or a sale of the Red Lobster business.

The move, company officials said is centered in 'enhancing' their focus and improving performance.

 

Darden Restaurants released this statement:

Darden remains on track to execute its previously announced plan to separate the Red Lobster business through either a tax-free spin-off to Darden shareholders or a sale of the Red Lobster business. The sale process is well underway. The Company has also begun the process of establishing separate financials and associated infrastructure for the Red Lobster business should the Board determine that the spin-off alternative creates more value for shareholders.

As consumer demand dynamics have changed, Red Lobster's priorities and operating support requirements have come to differ meaningfully from those of Darden's other brands, which are having greater success increasing appeal among consumers outside their core guest profiles. By establishing two independent companies, a separation will better enable the management teams of each company to focus their exclusive attention on their distinct value creation opportunities. To elevate focus on consumers who have its core guest profile, Red Lobster has developed a clearly defined vision and plan that includes:

  • Greater focus on seafood quality, craveability and variety which its guests have long looked to Red Lobster for.
  • Streamlining restaurant operations to drive efficiencythat will support the affordability many of Red Lobster's core guests need and want.
  • More tailored marketing and promotional strategy that leverages brand equity with core guests.

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