WARE COUNTY GA  Green Frog Restaurant Contributed by Barbara Walker Winge

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 Green Frog Restaurant

Contributed by Barbara Walker Winge.


Waycross, Ware County, Georgia
April 22, 1974

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    This was the most popular place to eat and visit in Waycross, Georgia, for many years. Teens especially enjoyed the curb service. The Green Frog is the oldest restaurant in Waycross to have been under the management of the same family.

    Now under management of a second generation of Dardens, the Green Frog was opened by Bill Darden, Sr., and Denham Darden in 1938. Launched as a small cafe with 10 stools and two booths inside and a drive-up window for curb service, the Green Frog has expanded and modernized over the years to the present seating capacity for 200 persons.

    The restaurant is now managed by Bill Darden, Jr., and Jet Darden, sons of Bill Darden, Sr. DURING WORLD War II, when Bill Darden and Denham Darden were in military service, another brother, John Darden, managed the restaurant for them. "Our father and now we have attempted to have the Green Frog grow with Waycross, keeping abreast of what was happening in the restaurant business and the economic level in the South," says Bill Darden, Jr. "We will continue to keep ahead of what is happening so we can remain the best full service restaurant in Waycross," he adds. He points out his father and uncle always kept up with every aspect of the restaurant.

    Stressing the family-type restaurant operation, Darden says, "This has been the criteria since the start of Green Frog, it has been pleasing and we have been proud to serve. This attitude led to the quality of food and service we have today."

    From a small beginning, the restaurant grew to its present staff of about 30 employees, four of whom have been on the payroll close to 30 years, about three others, 20-25 years, a couple 10 years and Darden says 75 per cent of the staff has five or more years service.

    RED LOBSTER: Bill Darden, the founder of Red Lobster, 
was 19 years old when he opened his first restaurant in Waycross, Ga. It was a 25 foot by 30 foot lunch counter he named "The Green Frog." It featured "Service With A Hop." So right from the start, Bill focused on service as the key to his success.


By the late 1970s and early 1980s, RED LOBSTER was 350 restaurants strong. And in 1995, after decades of success and growth, Red Lobster (along with the OLIVE GARDEN and later BAHAMA BREEZE) was spun into Darden Restaurants.



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