Abruptly, Darden Restaurant’s Olive Garden and Red Lobster have permanently closed their doors at it’s location on Boundary Street on Saturday morning and are physically moving out of the location today.
Restaurant manager Claren Crutcher told us that “The experiment is over. We just didn’t do enough volume at this location and we have to move out. The restaurants are permanently closed at this location as of today, and we are in the process of loading up and moving our restaurants out.”
When asked about the restaurant’s employees, we were told “our employees were informed on Friday night, and many of them have been offered employment at our other area locations.”
We sure didn’t see this coming. Did we, Beaufort?
Management and staff are outside of the restaurant today informing folks coming in to dine that they are closed, offering a poster explaining the situation and even a few free gift cards to those who come by, expecting to enjoy lunch or dinner.
A concern of many in the area is the effect this may have on the employees at the restaurants which had a staff of around 100. Jeff Feus, owner of Moe’s Southwest Grill at Beaufort Town Center has announced that if there are any displaced employees as a result of this, they can feel free to come over to his restaurant and fill out an employment application. “We’re all in this community together”, said Jeff. Also, Bethany Hewitt owner of the Burlap Cafe, also in Beaufort Town Center, told us, “we welcome applications at our restaurant from anybody who worked at the Red Lobster and Olive Garden and is now out of employment.”
The restaurants opened in early 2012.
See what folks are saying about it over on our Facebook page: