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RED LOBSTER ANNOUNCES MANAGEMENT TEAM FOR NEW RESTAURANT IN MYRTLE BEACH
Four-Person Team Has More Than 31 Years of Combined Experience

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (January 16, 2006) — Ronnie Burgess, director of operations for Red Lobster restaurants in the area, has announced that Jim Lawson, Lynae Ruttle, Joe Whittaker and Dan Bowen have joined the management team at the company’s newest Red Lobster in Myrtle Beach.  The four-person management team has more than 31 years of combined restaurant experience working with Red Lobster at its restaurants in South Carolina and throughout the country.

Jim Lawson is joining the new Myrtle Beach Red Lobster as the restaurant’s general manager.  A 17-year Red Lobster veteran, Lawson previously was general manager at one of the company’s restaurants in Fayetteville, N.C. 

Lynae Ruttle, who has been with Red Lobster for 13 years, was named the restaurant’s new culinary manager.  Previously, Ruttle was the culinary manager at the Red Lobster on Highway 17 North. 

The restaurant’s new service manager is Joe Whittaker.  Whittaker, who has been with the company for one year, was previously a service manager at a Red Lobster in Richmond, Va.

Dan Bowen, the restaurant’s beverage and hospitality manager, has been with Red Lobster for nearly one year, and recently completed the management-in-training program at the Sumter Red Lobster.

The new Myrtle Beach Red Lobster is located at 1230 North Retail Court in the Coastal Grand Mall (at the intersection of Highway 17 Bypass and Highway 501) and will employ approximately 165 crewmembers.

Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for 17 years in a row in nationwide polls by Restaurants & Institutions magazine.  The company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc.  Red Lobster has over 670 restaurants in North America and more than 63,000 employees.  The company served more than 141 million guests in fiscal 2005 (ending May 29, 2005) and enjoyed total sales of $2.4 billion.  (NYSE: DRI).  Darden also owns and operates Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants.  For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit www.redlobster.com.

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