It used to be that the two words no Darden executive wanted to hear were “China Coast.” That was the company’s casual dining take on Chinese food that grew to 51 units before its plug was pulled in 1995. Few remember the chain now, but its memory is still vivid within Darden. No one likes to fail that big, this publicly. China Coast absorbed a lot of money and a lot of management attention before it met its demise. So much of it, in fact, that investors saw the end of China Coast as a good ...

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