Darden Restaurants Has a Portfolio of Category-Leading Brands

Based in Orlando, Florida, Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a premier full-service restaurant company that employs 150,000 team members. These team members serve greater than 320 million meals each year. Darden Restaurants has a portfolio of category-leading brands. These include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, and Yard House. Darden is the world’s largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant enterprise.

Darden Restaurants is named after Mr. Bill Darden, the Company’s Founder. He opened the first Red Lobster in 1968, in Lakeland, Florida. Mr. Darden subsequently sold it to General Mills in 1970. Darden became a public company in May of 1995 because of a spin-off from General Mills. As of May 29, 2016, Darden Restaurants owned and operated 1,536 restaurants.

The Company’s “Olive Garden” was founded in Orlando in 1982. Olive Garden features new specials and classic Italian favorites to a full menu of appetizers, desserts, wines, gluten-free and lighter fare selections. For Q1 2017, Olive Garden’s same-restaurant sales increased 2%.

“LongHorn Steakhouse” was purchased by Darden Restaurants in 2007. LongHorn features fresh – never frozen – steak, chicken and seafood. For Q1 2017, LongHorn’s same-restaurant sales increased 0.6%.

In addition, Darden’s “Bahama Breeze” restaurants feature Caribbean inspired food (jicama, plantains, jerk chicken pasta, and more) and handcrafted tropical drinks, within an island atmosphere. Darden’s Bahama Breeze restaurants had Q1 2017 same-restaurant sales growth of 3.9%.

“Seasons 52” is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonal menu. Its menu is teamed up with an always-changing collection of over 100 wines. For Q1 2017, Seasons 52 had same-restaurant sales increase 0.7%.

Moreover, Darden’s “The Capital Grille “is a fine-dining restaurant. It offers dry aged steaks, fresh seafood, as well as an award-winning wine list.

Darden’s “Eddie V’s Prime Seafood” offers a diverse choice of fresh seafood. It also offers USDA prime center cut steaks. Eddie V’s specialty is seafood, and fish arrive daily from around the world. This includes Swordfish from Block Island and Scallops from Georges Banks.

Furthermore, Darden’s “Yard House” caters to food and beer lovers. Yard House features premier food, classic rock, and an array of top American craft beers and imports. Its menu includes internationally inspired flavors, such as Black Truffle Cheeseburger, Spicy Jambalaya and Ahi Poke Stack.

For Q1 2017, Darden Restaurants’ Total Sales from Continuing Operations rose 1.6% to $1.71 billion. Same-restaurant Sales grew 1.3% for Q1. Regarding its updated Fiscal 2017 Financial Outlook, Darden reaffirmed its outlook for same-restaurant sales of roughly 1.0% to 2.0%. The Company also increased the outlook for diluted net earnings per share to $3.87 to $3.97 from $3.80 to $3.90.

In September of this year, Darden’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.56 per share on the Company’s outstanding common stock. The Company’s dividend is $2.24 and its dividend yield is 3.41%. For Q1 2017, Darden paid $70 million in dividends.

Regarding Darden Restaurants’ Fiscal 2017 Annual Outlook, the Company is planning to open 24 to 28 new restaurants. In addition, Darden is anticipating 1.7% to 2.7% Total Sales Growth.