Darden Restaurants Reports March Same-Restaurant Sales Results

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Darden Restaurants, Inc.

    ORLANDO, Fla., April 3 /PRNewswire/ --
 Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:   DRI) today reported same-restaurant sales for
 the five-week March fiscal month ended April 1, 2001.  This period is the
 first month of Darden's fiscal 2001 fourth quarter.
     Same-restaurant sales at Olive Garden were up 12% to 13% for the month.
 The sales growth reflected an 8% to 9% increase in guest counts, a 3% increase
 in pricing and a 1% increase in check average due to menu mix changes.  Olive
 Garden featured its "Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks" promotion from February 5
 to March 11, and it ran a "Seafood Alfredo" and "Chicken Alfredo" promotion
 from February 19 to April 1, 2001.  In fiscal March of last year, Olive Garden
 had a 5% to 6% same-restaurant sales increase.
     Same-restaurant sales at Red Lobster were up 4% to 5% for the March fiscal
 month, driven by a 2% to 3% increase in pricing and a 2% increase in check
 average due to menu mix changes.  Same-restaurant guest counts were unchanged.
 Red Lobster's "Lobsterfest" promotion began February 26 and continues through
 May 20, 2001.  In fiscal March of last year, Red Lobster recorded a 12% to 13%
 same-restaurant sales increase.
     Darden Restaurants, Inc., in Orlando, FL, owns and operates Red Lobster,
 Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones BBQ Sports Bar restaurants.
 
     Forward-looking statements in this news release, if any, 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
 changing economic or business conditions, the impact of competition, the
 availability of favorable credit and trade terms, the impact of changes in the
 cost or availability of food and real estate, government regulation,
 construction costs, weather conditions and other factors discussed from time
 to time in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
 

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.
    ORLANDO, Fla., April 3 /PRNewswire/ --
 Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:   DRI) today reported same-restaurant sales for
 the five-week March fiscal month ended April 1, 2001.  This period is the
 first month of Darden's fiscal 2001 fourth quarter.
     Same-restaurant sales at Olive Garden were up 12% to 13% for the month.
 The sales growth reflected an 8% to 9% increase in guest counts, a 3% increase
 in pricing and a 1% increase in check average due to menu mix changes.  Olive
 Garden featured its "Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks" promotion from February 5
 to March 11, and it ran a "Seafood Alfredo" and "Chicken Alfredo" promotion
 from February 19 to April 1, 2001.  In fiscal March of last year, Olive Garden
 had a 5% to 6% same-restaurant sales increase.
     Same-restaurant sales at Red Lobster were up 4% to 5% for the March fiscal
 month, driven by a 2% to 3% increase in pricing and a 2% increase in check
 average due to menu mix changes.  Same-restaurant guest counts were unchanged.
 Red Lobster's "Lobsterfest" promotion began February 26 and continues through
 May 20, 2001.  In fiscal March of last year, Red Lobster recorded a 12% to 13%
 same-restaurant sales increase.
     Darden Restaurants, Inc., in Orlando, FL, owns and operates Red Lobster,
 Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones BBQ Sports Bar restaurants.
 
     Forward-looking statements in this news release, if any, 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
 changing economic or business conditions, the impact of competition, the
 availability of favorable credit and trade terms, the impact of changes in the
 cost or availability of food and real estate, government regulation,
 construction costs, weather conditions and other factors discussed from time
 to time in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
 SOURCE  Darden Restaurants, Inc.