Executive Leadership

Darden is led by one of the most experienced leadership teams in the industry.

John Martin

President, Specialty Restaurant Group

John Martin is President of Darden Restaurants’ Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes two fine dining brands – The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s – as well as Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Yard House. A member of Darden’s Executive Team, John has served as President of The Capital Grille since 2004, President of Eddie V’s since 2014 and President of Seasons 52 since 2018. He was named President of the Specialty Restaurant Group in August 2020.

Together, the brands that make up the Specialty Restaurant Group have more than 250 locations and annual sales of nearly $1.5 billion.

John joined The Capital Grille in 1990 as a manager at the first restaurant in Providence, RI, and held several positions of increasing responsibility before being promoted to Vice President of Operations in 2001. He was named President of the company three years later.

John started his restaurant career in 1986 at Hemenway’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar, which was founded by Ned Grace, who also started The Capital Grille and several other restaurants.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, as well as an honorary doctorate in Business Administration and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, where he is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Darden owns and operates more than 1,800 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s restaurants in North America, employing more than 175,000 people and serving 360 million guests annually.

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