How Darden Restaurants Is Expanding Its Business


Sep. 29 2017, Updated 7:42 a.m. ET

Current operations

At the end of fiscal 1Q18, Darden Restaurants (DRI) operated 1,701 restaurants. Below is a breakdown of those restaurants:

  • Olive Garden: 847
  • LongHorn Steakhouse: 491
  • Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen: 141
  • Yard House: 68
  • Capital Grille: 56
  • Seasons 52: 41
  • Bahama Breeze: 38
  • Eddie V’s: 19
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Unit growth

In the last four quarters, Darden has increased its overall unit count by 162 units, which includes 141 restaurants from Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Darden acquired Cheddar’s on April 24, 2017, from L Catterton and Oak Investment Partners for $780.0 million. During that period, the company increased its unit count for Olive Garden by four, while the unit count for LongHorn Steakhouse increased by eight units. Moving to other brands, Darden increased the unit count for Eddie V’s and Yard House by three units each, Bahama Breeze by two units, and Seasons 52 by one unit. The unit count of The Capital Grille remained unchanged. 

Peer comparisons

During the last four quarters, Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) and Brinker International (EAT) increased their unit counts by 33 units and 14 units, respectively. However, the unit count of Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN) fell 13 units during the same period.

Next, let’s look at analysts’ revenue expectations for the next four quarters.


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