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Business Overview of Darden Restaurants

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Overview of Darden Restaurants

Incorporated in Florida in March 1995, Darden Restaurants (DRI) operates full-service casual dining restaurants in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, the Middle East, Brazil, and Peru under several brand names:

  • Olive Garden
  • LongHorn Steakhouse
  • The Capital Grille
  • The Yard House
  • Bahama Breeze
  • Seasons 52
  • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  • Wildfish Seafood Grille

As of 2014, Darden Restaurants owned 1,520 restaurants, excluding more than 700 Red Lobster locations. Full-service restaurants offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner table service, and items on the menu are generally more expensive compared to quick-service restaurants such as McDonald’s (MCD), Burger King (BKW), and Wendy’s (WEN).

Many of these restaurants are part of the Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY), which holds about 4% of McDonald’s stock.

The Darden brands compete with restaurants owned by Brinker International (EAT), Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN), Texas Roadhouse (TXRH), The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD).

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Red Lobster sale

In July 2014, Darden Restaurants sold its Red Lobster brand to Golden Gate Capital, resulting in a $816 million gain for Darden. We will discuss the Red Lobster sale in more detail later in this series.

Series overview

In this business overview series, you will learn more about Darden Restaurants’s structure, financial performance, revenue drivers, competition, latest earnings review, and its stock performance over the past five years.

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