The chain operator of Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants has never experienced layoffs, even during the darkest days of the recession. Hours and shifts were adjusted; the company cut down on business travel and increased the use of phone and video conferencing. Facilities maintenance was centralized, and supply chain functions were automated, which allowed for more sustainable (and less costly) energy, water and cleaning supply usage in restaurants.
"We believe those are the places to find savings, not at the front lines where service has to be generous and noticeable. Because when you reduce staffing, not only do you break a bond with employees, the guest experience suffers as well," said a spokesperson.