Case Study

Creating a state-of-the-art headquarters for a national leader


Darden Restaurants is a national leader in casual dining and also a well-known name in upscale dining. They’re one of the largest companies in the U.S. and the owners of Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, Yard House, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. When they set out to build their new, Orlando headquarters, Darden wanted to create an exceptional environment. As part of a bold, innovative design for their campus and facility, they brought Spectra Contract Flooring on board to provide eye-catching, premium-quality corporate floors.

Corporate Floors: The demands of the project

Flooring installation for Darden’s headquarters was a big job to say the least. The facility involved upwards of 2 million square feet of flooring in a broad variety of finishes for the building’s many functions. Darden incorporated state-of-the-art employee amenities on site, including:

  • Premium cafeteria that has the quality of an upscale dining facility
  • Robust data center
  • Top secret, guarded test kitchens for their brands
  • Fitness center
  • Outdoor areas, such as walking trails, a lake, outdoor dining and patios
  • Large garage
  • On-site nursing facilities
  • Dry cleaners
  • And even a Starbucks

Given the project’s unique functions, versatility and aesthetics, it required careful planning and installation to accommodate the many types of flooring involved. Even more challenging, this project had an aggressive delivery schedule, particularly for the flooring — one of the last trades on any job site.

Our flooring solutions and results

We’ve built a lasting relationship with Darden and served as not only a flooring installer but also as a trusted advisor throughout the flooring process. With our specialized commercial flooring expertise, technological capabilities and value-added services, we were able to complete this aggressive, large-scale project on time — despite non-flooring delays reducing the allotted schedule. Our work covered $1.2 million and a range of flooring finishes, from carpet tile to specialty linoleum, resilient and more. We helped the project achieve LEED Gold certification, providing the owner assistance with compliance and submittals throughout the process. Even more importantly, we proudly helped Darden create a beautiful headquarters they can call home — one that’s a joy to work in.

A buyer’s guide to commercial flooring

How to get the greatest-value floor and select the right contractor for your project.