Restaurant jobs appealing to more than 1,000 applicants

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
More than 1,000 people applied for 250 jobs at the new LongHorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden restaurants.
Rich Jeffers, spokesman for Darden Restaurants in Orlando, Fla., which owns and operates the two restaurant chains, said that number could actually be less as some people may have applied to work at both places.
“It’s always good to have a high number of applications,” he said, “so you can find the best and brightest out of the bunch for hiring purposes. It’s a good problem to have.”
Jeffers said Darden Restaurants is excited to be able to bring 250 new jobs to Salisbury during a time when other jobs are being lost. Olive Garden, which is scheduled to open Feb. 16, is the larger of the two restaurants and will employ more people than LongHorn Steakhouse, which opened Jan. 19.
Both restaurants are located in Wallace Commons, the new retail center being developed along Klumac Road near Interstate 85.
The Salisbury LongHorn is one of 16 or 17 of the steakhouses scheduled to open before the end of Darden Restaurants’ fiscal year May 30, Jeffers said. The Salisbury Olive Garden is one of 36 to 38 that either have or will be opening by May 30.
“We’re continuing to open restaurants at a somewhat slower pace than we have historically,” he said.
Nationwide, Darden Restaurants has more than 300 LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants. “We’re highly concentrated in the eastern third,” Jeffers said, “but we do have restaurants further west.”
There are 17 LongHorn Steakhouses in North Carolina.
As for Olive Garden, he said there are 670 restaurants throughout the country with 17 of those in North Carolina.
Darden Restaurants also owns three other restaurant chains: Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. There is a Capital Grille in Charlotte and a Bahama Breeze in Raleigh.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.