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

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

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

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.

Darden Restaurants Cut Hours to Save on Obamacare

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.