Friday, February 10, 2006

Darden January Sales

Darden Restaurants Reports January Same-Restaurant Sales Results

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb 02, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) today reported U.S. same-restaurant sales results for the four- week January fiscal month ended January 29, 2006. This period is the second month of Darden's fiscal 2006 third quarter.

Same-restaurant sales at Red Lobster increased 11% to 12% for fiscal January, which reflected an 8% to 9% increase in guest counts and a 2% to 3% increase in check average. The check average increase was a result of an approximate 2% increase in pricing and a 0% to 1% increase from menu mix changes. Last year, Red Lobster had an 8% to 9% decrease in same-restaurant sales.

Same-restaurant sales at Olive Garden increased approximately 8% for fiscal January, which reflected a 6% to 7% increase in guest counts and a 1% to 2% increase in check average. The check average increase was primarily due to pricing. Last year, Olive Garden had a 4% to 5% increase in same- restaurant sales.

Fiscal January's sales results at both Olive Garden and Red Lobster were positively affected by approximately 4 percentage points due to favorable weather this fiscal January compared to last year.

Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, FL, owns and operates over 1,390 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones, and Seasons 52 restaurants with annual sales of approximately $5.3 billion.

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Certain important factors could cause results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements including the impact of intense competition, changing economic or business conditions, the price and availability of food, ingredients and utilities, labor and insurance costs, increased advertising and marketing costs, higher-than-anticipated costs to open or close restaurants, litigation, unfavorable publicity, a lack of suitable locations, government regulations, a failure to achieve growth objectives, weather and other factors discussed from time to time in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Analysts, Matthew Stroud, +1-407-245-6458, or Media, Jim DeSimone, +1-407-245-4567,
both of Darden Restaurants, Inc.

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Anonymous said...

hey, I came across your page. As a career server, I just want to say that I would die if I could only take 3 tables at a time. Who thought of that? That is the worst idea ever. I do better the more tables I have. No one can live on a three table section. Is it in testing phase or is the three table section a permanent thing?

Anonymous said...

12% increase in sales is pretty good - I bet their labor cost numbers aren't so rosy...

Lobster Boy said...

Their labor costs have undoubtedly skyrocketed since early December and the advent of this moronic system. Management is constantly trying to get people off the clock, complaining when people have to wait for their tables to leave. I'm privy to that more than others because I have a closer relationship with my management team than do most other employees, so when they vent, likely it is to me. This new system is killing them, and they are getting chewed on regularly from above. I remind them every store is in this same boat, and it's the area director's job to push that agenda whenever possible (plus it builds up the value of the area manager's stock options and bonuses from corporate).

Lobster Boy