* Yep, it’s true. The press release…
Governor Quinn Announces the Wait is Over for Chicago’s First Olive Garden Restaurant
New Restaurant Bringing 170 Jobs, Never-Ending Pasta Bowl and Unlimited Breadsticks to Help Feed Illinois’ Growing Workforce
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by local officials and employees for the opening of a new Olive Garden restaurant on West Addison Street in Chicago. The new restaurant employs 170 people, who join the 13,800 new private sector jobs created throughout Illinois during August. Today’s event is part of the Governor’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“Illinois’ restaurant industry is thriving and establishments like Olive Garden are helping drive our economic comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “While we have more work to do, more people are working today than at any time in the past six years. This is good news for people across the state and it is thanks in part to companies like Olive Garden who are employing hardworking residents and growing our workforce.”
The new Chicago restaurant brings 170 new jobs to the community. Olive Garden, owned by Darden Restaurants, Inc., was created in 1982 and has more than 800 restaurants in the United States and Canada. Darden Restaurants has worked to open up an additional 200 restaurant locations across their brands since 2011.
“Olive Garden would like to thank Governor Quinn and the City of Chicago for their outstanding support in helping us open our first restaurant here,” Remoun Abraham, general manager of the Addison Street Olive Garden said. “We’re excited to join this vibrant community and help create local jobs, and look forward to welcoming and serving our guests.”
I’ve asked the governor’s office if any state incentives were used here. I’ll let you know what they say.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Some commenters are making some interesting points about the restaurant chain’s parent company, so I did a little Googling. From February of this year..
Several big restaurant companies — including YUM! Brands, (YUM) which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut; Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster; and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL) — directly lobbied against a bill to raise the minimum wage last year, according to Senate lobbying reports.
Darden Restaurants Inc, best known for its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, was hit with a lawsuit in federal court in Miami on Thursday accusing one of the largest U.S. restaurant operators of violating federal labor laws by underpaying workers at its popular eateries across the country.
The lawsuit accuses the Orlando, Florida-based company of failing to pay federally mandated minimum wages and forcing its waiters and waitresses to work “off-the-clock” before or after their shifts.
Filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, it also claims many Darden employees have failed to receive appropriate overtime wages for work in excess of 40 hours per week.
Seems like an odd company to be promoting, no?
*** UPDATE 2 *** The governor’s press office says there were no state incentives.
*** UPDATE 3 *** Greg Hinz…
Uber Technologies Inc., is keeping an informal political deal it had struck with Gov. Pat Quinn and, as a result, Chicago will be getting hundreds of new Midwest headquarters jobs.
The big ride-sharing firm today announced that it will add 420 jobs to its Central Region headquarters in Chicago by the end of 2016, more than quadrupling the number of non-driving staffers it has here now.
Uber had dangled the possibility of such jobs while Mr. Quinn was considering signing a bill that Yellow, Checker and other conventional cab companies had been pushing to impose tighter rules on companies that dispatch vehicles via cell phone apps. And now that Mr. Quinn has done so, the company says it’s moving ahead.
“When policy makers do their homework, they soon learn that we offer access to a safer ride for everyone and bring a number of benefits to cities including higher incomes for drivers, service to neighborhoods and taxi companies ignore and fewer drunk driving incidents,” Uber Central Regional Andrew MacDonald said in a joint press conference with a beaming Mr. Quinn.