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Olive Garden, Red Lobster to Cut Hours Instead of Giving Health Insurance

Photo: Blake Handley / Flickr

Darden Restaurants, Inc., which owns omnipresent suburban chains Red Lobster and Olive Garden, is gearing up to deal with new federal health care requirements. According to the AP, the restaurant group — which employs 180,000 people at over 2,000 restaurants — is running an experiment in four markets that increases the number of part time employees. (Darden isn't giving out specific numbers at this time.) This is an effort to curb full time employees, as the federal government — because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) — will begin fining employers for not providing basic health coverage to full time employees starting January 1, 2014. It also means servers at Red Lobster now manage four tables at a time instead of three, in case you're wondering why your endless popcorn shrimp refills were taking so long.

· Health Changes Spur Test of More Part-Time Workers [AP]
· All Red Lobster Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Olive Garden Coverage on Eater [-E-]