The the 2000s when it was largely adopted into

The casual dining segment of the restaurant industry refers
to a restaurant experience that provides the user with table service and diners
are guaranteed of high quality food than other casual restaurants. They offer
less frozen and processed ingredients, thus the customer is guaranteed of fresh
and healthy meals. The casual dining industry serves moderately priced food in
a casual atmosphere. The concept of casual dining traces its roots to the
united states within the 1990s, although it was not until the 2000s when it was
largely adopted into the mainstream restaurants and dining industry (Young,
Clark and McIntyre 87). The restaurant service providers wanted to offer a
table service dining to the clients at the same time ensuring reasonably priced
meals that resonated with the tastes and economic ability of different consumer
segments. The casual dining experience targets the average American who is
seeking good foot at a reasonable cost and within friendly setting.

At the time of the economic recession that began in the
2000s, the casual dining segment recorded increased growth, especially among
the young individuals. The recession was characterized will less consumer
spending and has the financial reality bit hard, consumers were prompted to
regulate their spending and this is when the idea of casual dining became very
rampant. Customers who have discretionary sending ted to choose the casual
dining experience and since the inception of the idea, it has become very
popular and widely adopted across the United States and other places across the

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Restaurants Subsidiary Companies

The Darden Restaurants is composed
of subsidiary companies. The parent company of the Darden Restaurants is
General Mills and its key divisions include Longhorn steak house, Olive Garden,
Yard house, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Season 52, Bahamas Breeze, The Capital
Grille and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. Longhorn steakhouse is an American Casual
dining restaurant chain under the ownership and operated by Darden Restaurants
and it is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and it operates in over 481
locations. Olive Garden is also a casual dining restaurant that specializes in
Italian cuisine and is headquartered in Orange County, Florida and Orlando and
operates in over 844 locations (Darden Restaurants n.p).  On the other hand, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
offers steaks and seafood and its services include fine dining. It is
headquartered in Texas. Another subsidiary, the Capital Grille offers fine
dining restaurant and is headquartered in Orlando Florida and has over 50

            The Bahamas Breeze capitalizes on
Caribbean-inspired seafood, tropical drinks, steaks and chicken and it is also
headquartered in Orland and its outlets as the present is at 38. Most of its
outlets are in suburban retail districts and tourists areas. Further, Season 52
is an American fresh grill and wine bar that was established in 2003. The brand
concept is based on the delivery of a casually sophisticated setting, seasonal
menu and fresh ingredients to deliver menus that are ordinarily lighter. Season
52 has over 4 outlets spread across different state in the U.S. and it is
headquartered at Orlando, Florida (Darden Restaurants n.p).

            Yard House, another subsidiary of Darden
Restaurants, Inc.  is an American sports
bar chain that has over 66 locations spread across the United State, whereby
most of the outlets are located in the West of Mississippi river, the
restaurant offers casual dining experience and it is headquartered in Irvine,
in California (Darden Restaurants n.p). The final Subsidiary of the Darden
Restaurants is the Cheddar’s Scratch kitchen, which had been formally known as
Cheddar’s Casual Café. It is based in Irving Texas. The restaurant serves a
blend of made-from scratch dishes and the dining establishment combines
traditional modern American settings.

strategy currently being pursued by Darden Restaurants

The corporate-level strategy
currently being pursued by Darden Restaurants is focused on band building
through related diversification and concentration the company has numerous
subsidiaries that operate independently, offering a wide range of dining
experiences and models. Related diversification refers to a corporate level
strategy whereby a company leverages on its brand name to expand the business
across different regions. In this regard, Darden restaurants have used its
shared market, skills and knowledge to launch the retail chain under different
subsidiaries across the globe. Darden restaurant strong cash flow has enabled
the company to expand to different regions. Basically, the Darden restaurant
experience includes a common diversification along wide range of dining experiences.
With regard to concentration, Darden Restaurants has been dedicated to
launching its operations across different markets in the United States and this
explains the huge network of the retail chain that operates under the network.
The company’s network has been growing and through its subsidiaries, thy have a
huge presence in the United States and elsewhere across the globe.

Level Structure

“As companies grow and expand, they
diversify their business to multiple businesses.” The corporate level-structure
of Darden Restaurants Inc. is Multidivisional. Out of the three most common
structures; multidivisional, strategic business unit and corporate matrix, it
fit best within the multidivisional structure. According to the PowerPoint in chapter
8, a multidivisional structure includes few businesses compared to the other
corporate structures. It has moderate/low relatedness across divisions. There
is a moderate/low need for coordination across divisions. Lastly, financial
synergy may be available across divisions and some operational synergy
(although limited) only to the extent that the divisions are related to each
other. According to an online dictionary, a multidivisional firm is “a parent
company that has divided the company into smaller operating divisions, allowing
for some decisions to be made at the divisional level and some decisions to be
made by the parent companies’ management” 

            Darden Restaurant Inc. has nine diversified
brands. The nine are: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch
Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie
V’s. There is moderate/low relatedness across divisions. Yes, they are all
restaurants but they differ in things such as cuisine, price range and target market.
Moderate/low need for coordination is seen at Darden Restaurant Inc. because of
the different markets described previously. The restaurants are not competing
with the same businesses so it is import for the brands to advertise
accordingly to their primary customers. Operational synergy may be seen in
things such as a POS system or technology of sorts. Company culture that Darden
is well known for is also included in the operational synergy. Darden
Restaurant Inc. provides financial synergy to their restaurants such as Olive
Garden or Seasons 52. This comes in the form of advertising, PR, etc. The
company’s executive leadership includes a president and CEO (Gene Lee) and also
has a president of each restaurant such as Ian Baines, president of Cheddar’s
Scratch Kitchen. This allows for some decisions to be made by the divisional
level (Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen), or Darden’s management led by Gene Lee. By
using this corporate level structure, it enables Darden Restaurant Inc. to be
successful, meaning multidivisional was the most appropriate choice. There is
quicker decision making in the company because of divisions being able to make
decisions by their leading management. The restaurants are too different o have
one leader making decisions for all.


Level Organizational Structure

The restaurant brand chosen of
Darden Restaurant Inc. was Seasons 52. This restaurant’s business-level
organizational structure is the geographic/customer structure. According to the
chapter 8 PowerPoint, geographic organizational structure is used for
organizations that have offices or business units in different geographic
locations. A geographic organizational structure defines a reporting and
functional system across multiple locations. This type of structure defines a
reporting and functional system across multiple locations. This type of
structure allows an organization’s offices to operate individually while
adhering to company policies and values. Office locations can be local,
national or international. Also stated in the PowerPoint, this form of
organizing is common to the hospitality industry because companies in the
industry tend to expand/grow by adding more units and into multiple locations.
This structure groups employees and managers from different functional areas
together to serve a specific customer market or region.

            Seasons 52 is located across 19 states.
There are corporate executives for the overall company of Darden Restaurants
Inc. and then there are district and regional managers, franchise owners, and
restaurant managers. All of the locations have regional managers that are
responsible for the geographic duties of the company. Whether that is regional
advertising, regional specials, different budgeting and accounting, etc. these
managers are responsible for all doings. This allows the restaurants to have an
easier access to authority. The offices are operated individually while keeping
the Darden Restaurant Inc. policies and values.


Threats and

            There are
numerous opportunities facing Darden Restaurants Inc. Olive Garden, a brand
owned by Darden has been increasing market share with the focus on value and
take-out. According to a MarketWatch article in June, they were focusing on
large-party delivery, large-party takeout and delivery are areas of
“competitive advantage”. Also from the article, it states that Olive Garden is
benefitting from its strong everyday value, simplified menus, and takeout
sales. Another opportunity Darden faces is the acquirement of Cheddar’s Scratch
kitchen which happened in April. Since there is a similar target demographic
with Olive Garden, the company and experts believe it will grow strongly with
the help of the operations from Olive Garden.

            Many restaurants are experiencing threats to
their business. One threat is the push for higher minimum wages. With this in
place, the corporation will have to get rid of employees to make sure that they
can keep up with the pay. It will be very difficult for the restaurants to keep
all their employees, because they won’t be able to afford them. With that in
sight, employees will have to pick up the slack and work harder due to less
laborers. This will make employees unhappy and stray away from the
business/culture. Government labor laws are also becoming a threat. Deportation
and immigration policies have effected the restaurant industry as a whole not
excluding Darden.  Another threat Darden
faces is the changing trends in the industry. The Top 10 Trends of 2018
according to the NRA includes healthy, sustainable, and simple choices. They
emphasize a lot about locality. Many of the brands products do not include
such. The shift in

dining cultures could really threaten the organization if
not examined properly.