Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

May 3, 2014

OUT OF BUSINESS

THOMASVILLE — Red Lobster/Olive Garden’s 17-month-old Thomasville stint ended Saturday.

The closing, which was announced to employees Saturday, is a result of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants’ December 2013 decision to sell Red Lobster or spin it off as a publicly traded company, said Rich Jeffers, Darden Restaurants spokesman.

“There’s a lot of work that’s going into that,” Jeffers told the Times-Enterprise Saturday.

The Thomasville Red Lobster/Olive Garden, 254 Liberty St., is one of two Darden synergy restaurants that will close. The dual-restaurants arrangement cannot continue once Red Lobster is no longer part of Darden.

Synergy restaurants at Palm Coast, Fla., Wilkesboro, N.C., Brunswick and Waycross will be converted into Olive Gardens.

“In Thomasville, the company, unfortunately, does not think we can operate successfully there today,” Jeffers explained.

The other synergy restaurant that will close is in Beaufort, S.C.

About 100 employees worked at the Thomasville business. They will be offered jobs at other Darden restaurants, including Longhorn in Thomasville and Longhorns, Red Lobsters and Olive Gardens in Valdosta and Tallahassee, Fla.

Those who do not choose to go to local or area Darden restaurants will receive severance pay.

Jeffers said stand-alone Red Lobsters  — 705 in North America — will continue to operate as in the past, but under new ownership or as an all-new company.

Olive Garden will be retained by Darden. Only Olive Gardens in synergy restaurants are affected.

Jeffers said the decision to close the Thomasville restaurants did not come easily and after much careful consideration.

Darden might look at the Thomasville market again later, he said.

Jeffers does not know what will be done with the restaurant building, which fronts on U.S. 19 South.

The Thomasville Red Lobster/Olive Garden opened in December 2012.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

 

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Do you believe Israel's invasion of Gaza is justified?

Yes
No
     View Results
Video
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read