POLITICO Olive Garden: Obamacare press hurt us By KATIE GLUECK | 12/5/12 6:21 AM EST Harsh press coverage of how the Olive Garden and Red Lobster are implementing Obamacare depressed earnings, the restaurants’ owner says. The company offered a lower earnings estimate for fiscal year 2013 on Tuesday, citing in part the media’s reporting on the company’s handling of the new health care law. The chains’ owner, Darden, has in the past been outspoken about what it viewed as adverse effects of the new health care law, taking steps like moving some employees to part-time status to reduce costs. “Our outlook for the year also reflects the potential impact, though difficult to measure, of recent negative media coverage that focused on Darden within the full-service segment and how we might accommodate healthcare reform,” said Darden CEO and Chairman Clarence Otis in a statement. “We are also committed to accommodating healthcare reform in ways that work for our employees and guests. Darden is a strong business which continues to generate solid cash flows that will support appropriate reinvestment in our brands, effective debt management and consistent dividend growth,” the statement continued.
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