Darden Restaurants Inc. today announced that it plans to spin off its flagship Red Lobster restaurant chain as part of a comprehensive strategy to address a soft market for casual dining. "As a separate company, Red Lobster will have greater freedom to pursue marketing and operating strategies that are more tailored to the needs of those consumers who fit its core guest profile," the Florida-based company said in a press release. Darden said it also plans to suspend expansions of its Olive Garden restaurants and limit new-unit growth of its LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants in a move to lower capital spending by at least $100 million annually. The company said it also plans to forgo acquisitions of additional brands for the foreseeable future.