Food Principles

Darden has a rich culinary history of serving delicious meals to our guests every day. We know great food starts with quality ingredients that are sustainably sourced.

Every day we work hard to carefully prepare and serve meals our guests enjoy eating. And the food we serve will continue to evolve to address guest preferences and needs. We use quality ingredients in our recipes to prepare hand-crafted dishes in our restaurants that appeal to a range of taste preferences and dietary needs. Our ingredients are carefully sourced from suppliers who share Darden’s commitment to maintaining best-in-class food safety, quality, sustainability and ethical business conduct.

Great food starts with quality ingredients...

As a restaurant company, Darden acknowledges that where our ingredients come from and how they are grown are integral to preparing great food for our guests.

Food safety has always been our top priority, and we promise to use ingredients that meet our high standards for safe, wholesome food. To do that, we continue to implement best-in-class food safety and total quality programs, both in our restaurants and with our suppliers, every day. We are also mindful of the sustainability of ingredients, including the social and environmental benefits of the food we buy for generations to come.

We are committed to empowering our guests to make informed decisions about the food they eat by providing information about nutritional content and allergens.

...that are sustainably sourced.

We support a broad community of farmers and other suppliers who work hard to help us bring great food to our tables. Given our mutual interests, we expect our suppliers to share our commitment to doing business the right way.

As we source our ingredients, Darden maintains our Supplier Code of Conduct, which outlines our expectations for our suppliers in areas such as ethical business practices; anti-corruption; human rights and labor laws; environmental, health and safety practices; and legal compliance.

Darden takes animal welfare very seriously. We have a responsibility to ensure that animals are treated with respect and care in the process of providing nutritious food that is served in our restaurants. Our approach to animal welfare and auditing our suppliers is to ultimately ensure the ‘Five Freedoms’ of care throughout the life of farm animals. This guidance on humane animal treatment directs our practices as well as our selection of, and relationship with, sourcing partners.

Darden is a family of leading restaurants with talented teams who are passionate about serving great food and creating memorable experiences for our guests, and giving back to local communities by donating surplus food to those in need through our Harvest program. Everything we do is focused on preparing hand-crafted meals through culinary excellence, food safety, and stewardship of natural resources. And we do this every day, beginning with quality ingredients and ending with great meals.

Our Food Principles Commitments

We continue to engage with our suppliers regarding our Food Principles and commitments to our Guests, and have reviewed these important values with them. As we make progress in these areas, we will continue to share updates.

Antibiotics: Darden requires its suppliers to comply with the FDA guidelines which recommend that antibiotics that are important in human medicine no longer be used with farm animals for growth purposes, and shared-class antibiotics (i.e., those used both humans and animals) only be used to treat, prevent and control disease in farm animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. We will continue to monitor compliance that all of our land-based protein supply meets these guidelines.

In addition, Darden is committed to purchasing chicken raised without the use of medically important antibiotics by 2023 and will continue to work with suppliers on monitoring responsible antibiotic usage.

Animal Welfare: Our goal is that Darden’s suppliers will contribute to measurable, continuous improvements in animal welfare outcomes by 2025 as outlined in our Animal Welfare policy.

Pork: Since 2016, Darden has committed to work with pork suppliers to limit the use of gestation crates for housing pregnant sows, with a goal to source only gestation-crate free pork by 2025. The majority of our suppliers today have made a commitment to housing improvements.

Eggs: 100% of all egg products purchased by Darden are sourced from cage-free housing systems.

PHOs: We successfully worked with our suppliers to ensure all partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) have been removed from our ingredients.

(NOTE: This update is reflective of Darden’s portfolio as of January 2017. Any new restaurant brands will be integrated into our Food Principles commitments within five years from acquisition.)