"Darden Restaurants" is the parent company of 4 major restaurant chains across the U.S. and Canada. These restaurants include Smokey Bones and Bahama Breeze, which are restaurants based mostly in the southern U.S. Locally known Darden Restaurants include Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
2 months ago Darden Restaurants made all of it's employees sign a contract at the end of a 10 page booklet. This booklet was all about Darden's new policies on lawsuits. After signing the contract no Darden employee could take the individual restaurants or the parent company to court. Any problems would be settled by:
1. A group of peer jurors (other darden employees).
2. Local and national management staff.
3. Outside mediation (as chosen by the corporation).
If we refused to sign the contract we were "agreeing to voluntarily resign."
Now, 2 months later Darden restaurants is employing new policies for kitchen staff. These policies include, but are not limited to:
New uniforms-white long sleeved button up shirt, black pants, black non-slip shoes, chef hat. These uniforms must be purchased with our own money. The uniforms also can only be purchased from Darden restaurants. We cannot go to a uniform store to purchase the uniforms.
No body piercings. This includes earrings, tongue rings, lip rings, eyebrow rings, nose rings, etc...
No visible tattoos.
No facial hair.
No long hair.
The rest of the list will be explained at a meeting on Monday.
If we refuse to pay Darden restaurants for the uniforms we are agreeing to voluntarily resign. According to the talk around the kitchen, the uniforms are priced at roughly 200% of the cost of any other store.
If we refuse to take out all body percings, including those that cannot be seen while fully clothed, we are agreeing to voluntarily resign.
If we refuse to have visible tattoos removed or covered up at all times, we are agreeing to voluntarily resign.
If we refuse to keep a clean shaven face, we are agreeing to voluntarily resign.
If we refuse to keep a short hair style, we are agreeing to voluntarily resign.
I have been with Red Lobster for over four years now, I will be given no special treatment. Thanks to the contract that I signed two months ago, I cannot do anything except for throw up my middle fingers as I walk out of the meeting on monday. I will not be recieving my 3 weeks worth of paid vacation that I have earned, due to the fact that I am not supposed to get it until the second week of September.
Darden Restaurants has roughly 150,000 employees, roughly 40-50% of which do not fall within the new criteria, so a fairly large chunk of Darden's employees across the U.S. and Canada will be quitting this week.
What is the moral of the story? Don't eat at Red Lobster or Olive Garden for a while. Both restaurants are going to be hiring on basically a whole new kitchen staff that won't be worth a shit, and those that decide to follow all the new rules will probably be holding a grudge and spitting in the food for a while.
I'll probably update this again after my meeting on monday.