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Something to think about when you visit a Darden Restaurant

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  1. Because you previously believed them to be treated like respected employees? Endless breadsticks have a price.....

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. I agree it is pretty lame, but.. As noted in the article, businesses, particularly retail and fast food, have been doing this sort of thing for years. Some of the things noted are not limited to these two industries. For example, from the article:

        >>>
        Starting next year, the company will change the way it offers health insurance to full-time employees, to keep costs more predictable. Instead of offering one insurance plan for all 45,000 employees, it will give workers a contribution toward buying coverage and then send them to an online health insurance exchange where they can chose from five medical, four dental and three vision plans.
        <<<

        This is nothing new. The (large) company I work for been doing this for as long as I have worked there (over 20 years). We get a "healthcare offset" as part of our pay package and then get our choice of several health plans, which we pay for pay for ourselves through payroll deduction. In my case, the "offset" pays less than two months of the annual premium.

        I do agree, however, that some of the other practices they've implemented border on criminal, IMHO. Requiring "shared tips" just so you can pay the bus boy over five dollars an hour less is pretty cheesy. It's not like these guys are exactly "raking it in." I'm sure their portion of the shared tips nowhere near offsets to the cut in salary... Not to mention the "pay cut" to the servers who are now getting less of the tip money.

        Though I can't remember the last time I've been to a Darden restaurant, I will certainly think twice before choosing them in the future.

        1. I read the same basic story on Gawker yesterday: http://gawker.com/5950331/olive-garde... I already refuse to eat at these restaurants, but this is reinforcing (I'm not one of those 'hounds who subscribes to the "sometimes you have no choice" rationalization school).

          It's time more people put thought into the way they consume and the impact of the dollars they spend. I mean, is it really worth tolerating bad food to support a corporate structure designed to suck as much profit out of the company as possible? I'm sure poorly treated employees make wonderful servers too.

          Then again, I suppose we can solve the entire issue by simply fast-forwarding to the inevitable and begin to nationalize the healthcare system.

          7 Replies
          1. re: MGZ

            Then I hope you start being choosy about the other retailers you buy from

            1. re: C. Hamster

              I've doing that for a long time. An example discussed here:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/872479

            2. re: MGZ

              I agree i principle, but given the number of people that own Apple products (and yes, I'm guilty as well) and the well documented factory worker issues there, I just don't think it's all that top of mind and nor do people really care.

              1. re: FattyDumplin

                True, but I don't rely on The Olive Garden to run my entire life like I do my iPhone.

                1. re: nsenada

                  So whether you care about worker welfare depends on whether it impacts your daily life? Just playing devil's advocate here... I'm certainly the worst offender here - I don't really care about the machinations of corporations. Just get me the best damn product at the lowest price possible and I'm pretty satisfied. Geez, I feel like a bad person even as I type this.

                  1. re: FattyDumplin

                    Sadly, yes - not much I can offer for justification. In some categories, I hold my nose and buy, but I don't feel good about it.

              2. The original comment has been removed