Marriott International
Jan 18, 2000



WASHINGTON - Jan. 18, 2000 - Marriott Distribution Services (MDS), a division of Marriott International, Inc. (MAR / NYSE), today announced that it has been awarded a food services distribution contract for Darden Restaurants, Inc., and will provide food service distribution to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in 25 states.

"We are very pleased to be named a food service distributor for Darden Restaurants' Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants," said Robert Pras, president of Marriott Distribution Services. "We look forward to working with both restaurant operations to ensure a smooth transition, and to provide quality products and services to their restaurants."

Marriott Distribution Services, based in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest limited-line distributors in the United States. It provides food and related supplies to both external customers and Marriott facilities, and carries an average of 3,000 product items at each of its 13 distribution centers.

MDS currently operates distribution centers in Los Alamitos and Milpitas, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Groveland and Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Hanover Park, Ill.; Savage, Md.; Warren, Mich.; Westborough, Mass.; Edison, N.J.; Salem, Ore.; Fort Mill, S.C.; and Fort Worth, Texas.

Darden Restaurants, Inc., based in Orlando, Fla., is the largest casual dining restaurant company in the world. It operates more than 1,120 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones restaurants in 49 states and Canada, and employs over 115,000 people.


MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. is a leading worldwide hospitality company with over 1,900 operating units in the United States and 56 other countries and territories. Marriott Lodging operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership (timeshare) resorts under the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Horizons brands; operates executive apartments and conference centers; and provides furnished corporate housing through its ExecuStay by Marriott division. Other Marriott businesses include senior living communities and services, wholesale food distribution, and procurement services. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has approximately 140,000 employees. In fiscal year 1998, Marriott International reported total sales of $8.0 billion.