Olive Garden, Red Lobster Move Back on Anti-Obamacare Policies

After much backlash, Darden decides to stick with full-time employees

After much backlash over their initial plan of cutting workers' hours in test markets, Darden restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster) has announced that they are still commited to full-time employees.

Back in October, Darden announced plans to transfer workers to part-time status, in hopes of keeping down employee health care costs after Obamacare starts in 2014, requiring large companies to give insurance to full-time workers.

Darden announced today that the restaurants, including Capital Grille and Longhorn Steakhouse, will not be bumping full-time workers to part-time, and restaurants will still have full-time employees, even after health care regulations go into effect.

According to a spokesperson, internal surveys showed that employee and customer satisfaction went down at restaurants where more part-time workers were hired. "What that taught us is that our restaurants perform better when we have full-time hourly employees involved," a representative told AP.


By 2014, all of Darden's full-time employees will have the option of signing onto a Darden insurance plan, which will have the same benefits across the board.