Our Culture
Text Size
Retention Rates at Darden
Lead the Industry
Employees tend to spend their careers at Darden. Here are a few statistics from a recent employee engagement survey:
  • 31% of our culinary team intend to make a career with us versus just an 11% industry benchmark for similar staff.
  • 63% of Darden restaurant managers and 73% of General Managers/Managing Partners plan to make a lifelong career with Darden versus the industry benchmark of just 19%.

At Darden, we're committed to building and maintaining a strong, people-focused culture. Our 40-plus years of success have come largely as a result of our employees, who create great dining experiences for our guests. That is why we work so hard to provide a nurturing and sustaining environment for our 150,000 employees.

We understand that in order to encourage superior performance from our employees, we must create and maintain a compelling place to work – a place where people can grow and learn enduring life skills. Our goal is to make working at Darden more than just a job, but a place where people can realize their personal and professional dreams.

Developing our people is a cornerstone of our business model. We are constantly striving to foster a team of exceptional leaders at all levels of our company, so we can create a positive workplace for all of our employees. Our company’s vibrant culture impacts everything we do, from how we treat our employees and what we value, to how we recognize and reward a job well done.

Our Strength Comes from our Strong Values
We Support Our Own
In 1999, we established a program called Darden Dimes to help fellow colleagues in need. Darden Dimes has helped employees weather the after-effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters, severe medical problems and other personal difficulties. Participating employees donate at least 10 cents from each paycheck to the Darden Dimes fund, which raises more than $1.5 million annually.

We believe our strong corporate values and culture help our employees learn, thrive and grow. In fact, we believe our vibrant culture gives our company a competitive advantage. Our core values have been forged over a 70-plus-year history, starting with our founder, Bill Darden, who opened his first restaurant in 1938. We look to these values as we endeavor to deliver on Darden's core purpose – To nourish and delight everyone we serve.
  • Integrity and Fairness – It all starts with integrity and fairness. We trust in the integrity and fairness of each other to always do the right thing, to be open, honest and forthright with ourselves and others, to demonstrate courage, to solve without blame and to follow through on all our commitments.
  • Respect and Caring – We reach out with respect and caring. We have a genuine interest in the well-being of others. We know the importance of listening, the power of understanding and the immeasurable value of support.
  • Diversity - Even though we have a common vision, we embrace and celebrate our individual differences. We are strengthened by a diversity of cultures, perspectives, attitudes, and ideas. We honor each other's heritage and uniqueness. Our power of diversity makes a world of difference.
  • Always Learning, Always Teaching - We learn from others as they learn from us. We learn. We teach. We grow.
  • Being of Service – Being of service is our pleasure. We treat people as special and appreciated by giving of ourselves, doing more than expected, anticipating needs, and making a difference.
  • Teamwork – Teamwork works. By trusting one another, we bring together the best in all of us and go beyond the boundaries of ordinary success.
  • Excellence - We have a passion to set and to pursue, with innovation, courage and humility, ever higher standards.