, the parent company of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster said it was not going ahead with its plan to reduce the hours of its full-time workers, in effect making them part-time. The plan was to reduce the hours of its full-time workers to reduce benefits such as healthcare, and therefore reducing the companies overall costs. Currently 75 percent of the company's workforce is already part-time and the company said it may increase that number as the healthcare changes come into effect in 2014.
The company had posted lower figures last week, with same-restaurant sales expected to be down 3.2 percent at Olive Garden, off 2.7 percent at Red Lobster and down 0.8 percent at LongHorn Steakhouse. Darden said that the drop could be because of the negative media coverage about the proposed cuts in employee hours, but it has been reported that the demand for meals at full-service restaurants, such the Olive Garden, has deteriorated.
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