2ACheck Rating: “B” – Darden Restaurants are gun friendly.
Darden Restaurants is a major American restaurant chain that includes well known brands such as Red Lobster and The Olive Garden. In fact, it is the world’s largest full-service restaurant company according to wikipedia. Below is a list of Darden brands:
- Seasons 52
- Red Lobster
- Olive Garden
- Bahama Breeze
- LongHorn Steakhouse
- The Capital Grille
- Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
- Yard House
Status as of June 18, 2013:
The entire family of Darden Restaurants respects the customers’ right to bear arms. We received confirmation from their very responsive and helpful Guest Relations people that their policies are applied uniformly from corporate across their entire portfolio of companies (listed above.) In addition, no manager may post a “no guns” sign in a location where it is legal to carry a firearm. We have been given a phone number to call if we see an inappropriately posted sign. (1-800-562-7837)
On the down side, they do prohibit employees from carrying a firearm while on the job, so their 2ACheck rating is limited to a “B.” Employees are allowed to keep firearms in their vehicle, if legal, which is decent. That means employees may travel to and from work with their firearm and be protected while on the road and leaving/arriving at home. They may also have access to their firearm in the vehicle if needed in an emergency, it’s just going to take them that time to run out to the parking lot to retrieve it.
We acknowledge that most large companies prohibit employees from carrying firearms on the job, probably for liability reasons, so this policy is not a surprise and we do not see it as a major offense to our rights as customers. In fact, many companies we rate “A” would most likely be rated a “B” if they were to disclose their employee policy to us. The bottom line is that our recommendation is the same for companies rated “A+” through “B” and that is to support them because they support us.
Below is one of several emails we received confirming their policy:
Our guests’ safety is our number one priority and we are committed to delighting all of our guests with an outstanding dining experience.
If a state or local government allows or does not specifically ban weapons (concealed and/or open) in restaurants that serve alcohol, we don’t ban them either. Even if businesses are allowed to “opt out” by posting signage indicating weapons are not allowed, we don’t believe in implementing procedures that conflict with what the state or local government intends. Our company has faced this situation in several cities and there haven’t been any issues from not posting an “opt out” sign.
We do not allow employees to carry weapons while working. However, if state or local laws allow employees to keep a weapon in their personal vehicle while on the job, we follow the law as written.
These policies are the same for all the brands in Darden Restaurants’ portfolio, and as with all of our company policies they are not subject to an individual manager’s discretion. If you were to see a “no guns” sign in a Darden restaurant where concealed and/or open-carry weapons are legally allowed, please contact our Guest Relations Department at 1-800-562-7837 and we will follow up with that restaurant management team.
I hope this answers your questions, (2ACheck), and we hope to see you in one of our restaurants soon!
We appreciate the time you took to contact us.
Red Lobster Guest Relations
This is one of the most gun friendly company policies we have seen, especially for such a large, publicly traded company that serves alcohol. Contrast this with companies like Bloomin’ Brands, T.G.I.Friday’s, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings, which all believe you are too irresponsible and dangerous to possess a firearm in their establishments.
We believe Darden is as supportive of our right to keep and bear arms as we can hope for and we are proud to support them.
If you would like to contact them to thank them for respecting our rights and tell them you will be rewarding them with your business here is their contact info: