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Inside the Most Successful Restaurant Chain in the World

Darden Restaurants is the world's biggest casual-dining operation and is still growing, despite the tough times. Here's a look at the restaurants that comprise the food behemoth.

  • <p>Darden Restaurants is the world's biggest casual-dining operation and is still growing, despite the tough times. Here's a look at the restaurants that comprise the food behemoth.</p>
<p><em>Revenue numbers are for fiscal 2008, except when stated otherwise.</em></p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch:</strong> "Service with a hop"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> A 10-stool lunch counter in Waycross, Georgia -- Bill Darden's first restaurant, opened in 1938</p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch: </strong>"When you're here, you're family"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 689 restaurants<br /><strong>Annual revenue:</strong> $3.08 billion<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $15</p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch:</strong> "The taste of wood-grilled seafood"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 690 restaurants<br /><strong>Revenue:</strong> $2.63 billion<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $19</p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch:</strong> "The flavor of the west"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 322 restaurants<br /><strong>Revenue:</strong> $885 million*<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $18</p>
<p><em>* Revenue is a 12-month estimate based on 8-month numbers reported for fiscal '08. </em></p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch:</strong> "Feed your island spirit"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 24 restaurants<br /><strong>Revenue:</strong> $135 million<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $23</p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch: </strong>"Seasonally inspired healthier dining"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 8 restaurants<br /><strong>Revenue:</strong> $45 million<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $42</p>
  • <p><strong>The pitch:</strong> "Be wined, dined, and dazzled"<br /><strong>Size:</strong> 37 restaurants<br /><strong>Revenue:</strong> $235 million*<br /><strong>Average check, per person:</strong> $72</p>
<p><em>* Revenue is a 12-month estimate based on 8-month numbers reported for fiscal '08. </em></p>
  • 01 /09

    Darden Restaurants is the world's biggest casual-dining operation and is still growing, despite the tough times. Here's a look at the restaurants that comprise the food behemoth.

    Revenue numbers are for fiscal 2008, except when stated otherwise.

  • 02 /09

    The pitch: "Service with a hop"
    Size: A 10-stool lunch counter in Waycross, Georgia -- Bill Darden's first restaurant, opened in 1938

  • 03 /09

    The pitch: "When you're here, you're family"
    Size: 689 restaurants
    Annual revenue: $3.08 billion
    Average check, per person: $15

  • 04 /09

    The pitch: "The taste of wood-grilled seafood"
    Size: 690 restaurants
    Revenue: $2.63 billion
    Average check, per person: $19

  • 05 /09

    The pitch: "The flavor of the west"
    Size: 322 restaurants
    Revenue: $885 million*
    Average check, per person: $18

    * Revenue is a 12-month estimate based on 8-month numbers reported for fiscal '08.

  • 06 /09

    The pitch: "Feed your island spirit"
    Size: 24 restaurants
    Revenue: $135 million
    Average check, per person: $23

  • 07 /09

    The pitch: "Seasonally inspired healthier dining"
    Size: 8 restaurants
    Revenue: $45 million
    Average check, per person: $42

  • 08 /09

    The pitch: "Be wined, dined, and dazzled"
    Size: 37 restaurants
    Revenue: $235 million*
    Average check, per person: $72

    * Revenue is a 12-month estimate based on 8-month numbers reported for fiscal '08.

  • 09 /09

Darden Restaurants is the world's biggest casual-dining operation and is still growing, despite the tough times. Here's a look at the restaurants that comprise the food behemoth.

Revenue numbers are for fiscal 2008, except when stated otherwise.