How Darden Is Expanding Its Business



Current operations

As of the end of fiscal 2Q18, Darden Restaurants (DRI) operates 1,722 restaurants, which includes 849 Olive Garden, 496 LongHorn Steakhouse, 153 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 68 Yard House, 57 The Capital Grille, 39 Bahama Breeze, 41 Seasons 52, and 19 Eddie V’s brand restaurants.

Unit growth

In the last four quarters, Darden has increased its overall unit count by 181 units, which includes 153 Cheddar’s restaurants. Darden acquired Cheddar’s in April 2017 for $780 million. The company’s management stated that the integration of Cheddar’s—including the recently acquired two largest franchisees—was moving in line with the schedule.

During the same period, the company increased the unit count of its Olive Garden locations by seven units and LongHorn Steakhouse by 11 units. Darden increased the unit count of Yard House by three units, The Capital Grille by one unit, Bahama Breeze by three units, Seasons 52 by one unit, and Eddie V’s by two units.

Peer comparisons

During the same period, Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) and Brinker International (EAT) increased their unit counts by 33 units and 30 units, respectively. However, the unit count for Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN) has declined by 16 units during the same period.

Next, we will look at analysts’ revenue estimates for next four quarters.

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