Darden Restaurants: Diversity and Sustainability Boost Company Bottom Line

by: Lynn Wooten

Publication Date: July 11, 2014
Length: 12 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-363

Core Disciplines: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Darden Restaurants is an $8.6-billion company with eight brands, more than 2,100 restaurants, and over 200,000 workers, serving more than 400 million meals a year. The company has a solid diversity and sustainability track record. Still, in this case, the protagonist is seeking ways to improve upon Darden’s practices in these areas to cement the company’s place in the public’s collective mind as a diversity and sustainability leader while bolstering its bottom line. Students are asked to place themselves in Darden President and COO Andrew Madsen’s shoes and develop strategies for executing and improving on existing practices that will allow the company to save money, ensure a steady flow of resources, improve financial performance, and create shareholder value.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Explain why Darden invests in diversity management and sustainability practices
  • Identify how Darden has executed its strategies around diversity and sustainability.
  • Analyze how CSR is not just an add-on for Darden, but is integrated into its core business practices.
  • Explore how Darden’s practices in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability can be applied across industry.