Darden Announces Distinguished Supplier Awards

Darden Restaurants recently announced the recipients of its annual William B. Darden Distinguished Supplier Awards. 

The award, named for the company's late founder, recognizes suppliers who continuously exceed expectations by providing innovative products and services that contribute to the success of the company. This year, awards were presented at a dinner in Orlando on March 4.

The following companies were acknowledged:

  • Custom Foods of America (Knoxville, Tennessee) – for the development of two ready-to-use culinary products that allow LongHorn Steakhouse to create differentiated menu items for its guests, plus its all-around culinary support and speed to market.
  • Palm Bay International (Boca Raton, Florida) – for the development of Olive Garden’s highly successful proprietary wine brands and their work to help reinvigorate the wine culture at Olive Garden.
  • Red Chamber (Vernon, California) – for exhibiting a long-term strategy for partnership, as well as for its ability to offer an extensive array of seafood to each of the company’s seven restaurant brands.
  • Save On Seafood (St. Petersburg, Florida) – for its support in consistently helping gain access to a wide variety of fresh fish across Darden’s brands, and for continuing to drive innovation and cost savings, providing Darden with a competitive advantage.
  • Simmons Foods (Siloam Springs, Arkansas) – for its dedication to quality and consistency and for its partnership in helping develop the new chicken breast product being used by Olive Garden.
  • Sysco Specialty Meat Companies/Buckhead Beef (Auburndale, Florida) – for high levels of quality and consistency for many of the beef products served across Darden’s brands.

“We are thankful for a strong, dedicated network of suppliers, and pleased to be able to recognize them in this way,” says Jim Lawrence, chief supply chain officer for Darden Restaurants. “Together, each of these honorees makes it possible for us to support our more than 1,500 restaurants nationwide on a daily basis, while continually providing innovative products and results-driven initiatives.

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