Olive Garden Owner's Profits Fall After Attempt to Dodge Obamacare Backfires

Times aren't so good at Darden Restaurants, which announced this morning its net income fell 37 percent this quarter.

Turns out, treating your employees like shit isn't such a good business move. Darden, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and other "full-service" restaurants found just off the highway, drew some criticism earlier this year when it announced it was cutting back employees' hours. The move was in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act, which requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide those working more than 30 hours a week health insurance, starting in January 2014. Basically, if all your employees are part-time, you don't need to provide health insurance; it's not your problem if they get sick.

Darden says it anticipated a sales drop due to the "publicity backlash," as well as failed promotions: was "we sea food differently" really enticing anyone?

Revenue at Darden's U.S. locations fell across the board, compared to last year: 3.2 percent at Olive Garden, 2.7 percent at Red Lobster and 0.8 percent at LongHorn Steakhouse.

For the fiscal period ending Nov. 25 of this year, Darden made $33.6 million. That's down from $53.7 million last year.

Perhaps what it needs now is more rave reviews from America's Nana, Marilyn Hagerty.

[Image via AP]