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Olive Garden Parent Company Darden Ditches Private Jets

No more corporate planes for Darden execs.

Darden execs have been grounded.
Darden execs have been grounded.

Clearly these are dark times for restaurant conglomerate Darden Restaurants: Investors tried to take away Olive Garden's unlimited breadsticks, and when that failed they took away the private jets instead. According to aviation news site AIN Online, Darden "closed its corporate aviation flight department on Tuesday" as part of "strategic actions intended to reduce operating costs." (Perhaps the $36 million of severance Darden is paying its most recent CEO could have been put to better use?) The company is planning to sell off its last remaining plane soon; at one time, its flight department included three jets and 12 employees.

Darden sold Cheddar Bay biscuit haven Red Lobster for $2 billion earlier this year and has been funneling money into revamping Olive Garden restaurants to appeal to those oh-so-elusive millennials. The company also owns pseudo-Caribbean chain Bahama Breeze and upscale calorie-counters Seasons 52, amongst others.

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