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Red Lobster, Olive Garden eyeing Providence
Mar 25, 2005 12:00 am
Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants – the world's largest casual dining restaurant company – is keeping a close eye on Mt. Juliet or, more specifically, Providence Marketplace.
In fact, a pair of Darden-owned casual dining chains, Red Lobster and Olive Garden, could represent the first appreciable restaurant development within Providence Marketplace, according to economic development sources.
And though spokespersons with both chains declined to comment on any specific plans, Red Lobster spokesperson Denise Wilson confirmed the seafood restaurant is looking at Providence.
"We are evaluating that location, but nothing has been set yet," Wilson said. "We look at different facts when we go into a market. We look at the demographics, and we look at the population for employee availability. We're in that process now."
Echoing comments made by Providence Marketplace spokesperson Elizabeth Bennett, Olive Garden spokesperson Mara Frazier said she could not discuss the chain's plans for Mt. Juliet until a contract is signed.
"We do have real estate teams that look all over the country at different locations, but at this point, there is not a contract in place for us to build there," Frazier said.
Based on market share, sales and the number of company-owned and operated restaurants, Darden Restaurant's website describes the company as the largest casual dining restaurant company in the world.
The company operates over 1,300 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants in North America and employs over 140,000 people.
On the Net:
Darden Restaurants: http://www.dardenrestaurants.com
Staff Writer Brian Harville can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at email@example.com.