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China Coast

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Title: China Coast  
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Subject: American Chinese cuisine, General Mills, Darden Restaurants, List of defunct retailers of the United States
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China Coast

China Coast
Former type Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Genre Casual dining
Founded 1990
Defunct 1995
Headquarters Orlando, Florida, United States
Products Chinese-American cuisine
Parent Darden Restaurants Inc.

China Coast was a casual dining American restaurant chain specializing in Chinese food. Founded in 1990 in Orlando, Florida, the company began a rapid and ill-fated national expansion in 1993, ultimately resulting in its demise. At the time of its closing in 1995, it operated 51 locations in the United States.

Target markets

Restaurants were typically located in mall outparcels. Unfortunately for the chain, it attempted to enter markets that were saturated with well-established family-owned Chinese restaurants that offered comparable food and service at lower prices. Operational issues stemming from the rapid expansion attempt ultimately made it difficult for it to compete with the market incumbents.

Food

Its restaurants served moderately-priced American Chinese cuisine. Dishes included moo goo gai pan, pork lo mein, beef & broccoli, and sweet and sour pork. A lunch buffet was eventually dropped in favor of complimentary appetizers that included egg rolls, its proprietary China Coast bread, marinated vegetables, and crispy noodles. The appetizers accompanied all entrees in a similar fashion to the signature appetizers at sister chains Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

Ownership

It was founded by General Mills, which ultimately spun the chain and sisters Red Lobster and Olive Garden to Darden Restaurants Inc. in 1995 under the name Darden Restaurants.


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