Darden Restaurants: Serving Up the Future

by: Lynn Wooten

Publication Date: July 11, 2014
Length: 24 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-348

Core Disciplines: Information - Technology & Management, International Business, 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. In this case, the reader finds the protagonist at a crossroads. For the first time since Andrew Madsen has been president and COO of Darden Restaurants, the company has fallen behind the competition in terms of same restaurant sales, a key measurement of growth in the restaurant industry. Students are tasked with identifying the resources and strategies that give Darden competitive advantage and create shareholder value. They are also asked to examine the macro-environment and the nature of competition using five forces and value chain analyses, and craft strategies that will allow Darden to draw in new customers without alienating existing ones.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify and analyze the macro-environmental conditions that impact Darden’s competitive position.
  • Explain how Porter’s five forces shape the competitive landscape of the restaurant industry.
  • Explore the competencies Darden uses to create value.
  • Identify the resources that give Darden competitive advantage.
  • Explore Darden strategies that create shareholder value.