Working At Darden

At Darden, we're committed to building and maintaining a strong, people-focused culture. Our 40-plus years of success have come largely as a result of our team members, who create great dining experiences for our guests. That’s why we work so hard to provide a nurturing and sustaining environment for the 150,000 men and women who make Darden a great place to work.

Our Culture

We understand that in order to encourage superior performance from our team members, we must create and maintain a compelling place to work – a place where people can grow and learn enduring life skills.  Our goal is to make working at Darden more than just a job.  Developing our people is a cornerstone of our business model, and we’re proud of the fact that:

We promote nearly 1,000 team members a year into management;

More than half of all our restaurant managers come from our hourly ranks; and

Ninety-nine percent of all our restaurant General Managers/Managing Partners – the most important position in our company – are promoted from within. 

Supporting One Another in Times of Need

The Darden Dimes program is just one example of our people-focused culture in action. Established in 1999, Darden Dimes enables Darden employees to provide financial assistance to their co-workers facing emergency and catastrophic situations.

Funded through weekly payroll contributions - more than 50% of our employees participate, contributing an average of 45 cents per week - the program has provided more than $16.5 million in grant assistance to more than 42,000 employees since its inception.

In FY2015, more than 3,500 grants were issued for emergency assistance totaling $1.9 million.

Our Strength Comes From Strong Values

We believe our strong corporate values and culture help our employees learn, thrive and grow.  In fact, we believe our vibrant culture gives our company a competitive advantage.  Our core values have been forged over a 70-plus-year history, starting with our founder, Bill Darden, who opened his first restaurant in 1938.  We look to these values as we endeavor to deliver on Darden's core purpose – To nourish and delight everyone we serve.

Our Diversity

Even though we have a common vision, we embrace and celebrate our individual differences.  We are strengthened by a diversity of cultures, perspectives, attitudes, and ideas.  We honor each other's heritage and uniqueness.  Our power of diversity makes a world of difference.

Respect And Caring

We reach out with respect and caring. We have a genuine interest in the well-being of others. We know the importance of listening, the power of understanding and the immeasurable value of support.

Always Learning, Always Teaching

We learn from others as they learn from us. We learn. We teach. We grow.

Integrity and Fairness

It all starts with integrity and fairness.  We trust in the integrity and fairness of each other to always do the right thing, to be open, honest and forthright with ourselves and others, to demonstrate courage, to solve without blame and to follow through on all our commitments.


Teamwork works. By trusting one another, we bring together the best in all of us and go beyond the boundaries of ordinary success.


We have a passion to set and to pursue, with innovation, courage and humility, ever higher standards.

Being of Service

Being of service is our pleasure.  We treat people as special and appreciated by giving of ourselves, doing more than expected, anticipating needs, and making a difference.

We Listen. We Protect. We Thank.

Listening To Team Members

At Darden, we care about what our team members have to say. Our leaders regularly visit all of our restaurants and meet with team members and managers to hear their thoughts, concerns and ideas.

We also have an open-door policy that encourages team members to talk to their managers or direct supervisors to discuss any issue they have, without fear of retaliation. Team members can also call our employee relations hotline to raise any issues, including concerns about their managers.

Commitment To Sustainability

We also believe in doing our part to limit our impact on the environment. Our business relies on a number of natural resources, and we want to be the best stewards of those resources that we can be.

Thanking Team Members

We believe it’s critical to recognize team members for a job well done. We expect all our managers to be on the lookout for performance they can praise and encourage. We know positive reinforcement leads us to success.

We have both informal and formal recognition programs that reward individual and team performance. Our “Diamond Club,” for example, recognizes nearly 100 General Managers/Managing Partners and their restaurant teams per year.

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