Darden Announces Sale Of Red Lobster For $2.1B

NEW YORK (AP) — Darden Restaurants says it will sell its Red Lobster chain to investment firm Golden Gate Capital in a $2.1 billion cash deal.

The company, which also owns Olive Garden, had announced late last year that it planned to either spin off or sell Red Lobster to improve its financial performance.

Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster have been losing customers in recent years, and the company has tried various menu changes and differentmarketing campaigns in hopes of winning back business.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140516/darden-announces-sale-of-red-lobster-for-21b

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Automatic Tips May Be Off The Table

If you’ve dined out in a big group, chances are you had an automatic tip tacked on to your bill.

That practice might soon go away.

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants may drop automatic gratuities for tables of eight or more at its chains including Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.

Experts predict others will follow suit.  An Internal Revenue Service ruling will treat automatic gratuities as wages. That could lead to higher payroll taxes for restaurants and make record-keeping more complicated.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/consumer_news/Automatic_tips_may_be_off_the_table.html#0ZM1lP8QkvHAEumM.99

Discounts Back After Summer Restaurant Slump

Bigmac mcdonald's japan

Bigmac mcdonald’s japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Restaurant discounts and special offers have returned after a recent sales cool-down at some of the nation’s hottest chains, a trend that threatens to squeeze industry profits at a time when food costs are set to rise.

U.S. consumers ate fewer Big Macs at McDonald’s Corp., skipped some caffeine runs to Starbucks Corp. and passed on the occasional burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. — sending a shiver through the investment community that has grown used to those chains posting strong growth in the face of the nation’s lackluster economic recovery.

McDonald’s on Wednesday vowed to focus more on value after reporting flat sales at established restaurants around the world in July — its worst showing in more than nine years.

Starbucks and Chipotle’s industry-leading same-restaurant sales growth decelerated last quarter, forcing both chains to make adjustments to reinforce their positions.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/chi-discounts-back-after-summer-restaurant-slump-20120810,0,212577.story