Industry News | November 18, 2009

Darden Restaurants Rewards Best Distribution Center

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Maines’ distribution center in Conklin, New York, is the recipient of the William B. Darden 2009 Distribution Center of the Year Award. Named for the Darden Restaurants’ late founder, the William B. Darden awards recognize a select number of suppliers and one distribution center that "go above and beyond" to contribute to the success of the company. Selected by Darden's purchasing and total quality departments and restaurant managers, recipients are recognized and presented the award at a dinner and awards ceremony.

“Having won the award in 2005 and 2007, Maines is very proud to receive this prestigious award again in 2009 for our outstanding service levels,” says Maines general manager Jeff Warren. “Receiving the award means a great deal to our performance-driven associates at the distribution center; it means we’re meeting and exceeding our customers’ high service level expectations. Our Maines’ Chicago distribution center won this award in 2006, so we have a serious competition between the two distribution centers to see who will win the award in 2010.”

“Congratulations to our award-winning associates,” says president and CEO Chris Mellon. “Over the years, our relationship with Darden Restaurants has evolved from a foodservice distribution agreement into a collaborative partnership with a distribution model achieving both Darden and Maines’ business goals and objectives. Proof of this success includes Maines’ associates attaining the highest restaurant satisfaction survey scores in the history of Darden Restaurants. From our Darden Direct distribution center, we deliver fresh product and exceptional service to 175 Darden restaurants, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. Our operational excellence through innovation and execution is achieving real results for our customers and for Maines this year. We are proud of this award and proud to be associated with a brand that continues to grow in a challenging economy.”