Type: Labor Communications


Darden’s family of restaurants features some of the most recognizable and successful brands in full-service dining— Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.

Key Highlights:

  • Conducted a detailed assessment of labor and alternative labor groups that were / might have been targeting the company, including prioritization of such groups based on influence and impact
  • Completed an analysis of the company’s strengths and vulnerabilities relating to employment and HR practices
  • Recommended preemptive strategies and tactics to limit workplace vulnerability/unionizing risk, as well as recommended reactive strategies for if/when organizing activities occur


One of the nation’s largest and most well-known restaurant companies engaged Reputation Partners to assess its labor-related risks and to identify pre-emptive strategies to minimize these risks. The company was union-free across all restaurant locations but had increasingly become the focus of labor unions and alternative labor groups due to its size and make-up of its hourly workforce (many “low wage” and minority employees), as well as escalating debate around minimum wage, healthcare benefits and paid sick time.


Our team conducted a detailed assessment of labor and alternative labor groups that were (and could potentially) target the company, and completed analysis of the strengths, vulnerabilities and areas for improvement relating to union avoidance and employee engagement.


The report was shared with the company’s executive leadership team to inform a full employee relations plan for the company.