Darden Restaurants Inc. already has quite a few big names in its stable. Red Lobster and the Olive Garden are just a couple of the parent company’s many options that cater to many different tastes – although one facet of the restaurant industry that Darden Restaurants hasn’t represented up until now is the rising beer trend. Not to worry – this week Darden announced plans to acquire Yard House USA from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC in a cash merger for $585 million.
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The 39-restaurant chain Yard House restaurants serve up eclectic modern American cuisine, but what the chain is most famously known for is its wide variety of draft beers, including imports and craft selections, which you can often drink out of a half-yard glass. This holds the promise of bringing a new element to Darden’s offerings, as well as the potential to attract different demographics from the parent group’s core demographic base – Yard House locations have appeal for a younger crowd as well as a more affluent crowd.
In a press release from Darden Restaurants Inc., Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis said:
"[Yard House creator Steele Platt and partners Harald Herrmann and Carlito Jocson] have created one of the most differentiated and exciting restaurant brands in America today, with average unit volumes and returns on capital that are among the highest in the industry. Guests in a number of different markets are responding to Yard House's unique combination of handcrafted food, premium beers and other beverages, thoughtful soundtracks and elegantly designed restaurants. This combination has established Yard House as a great place for a wide range of occasions."
Yard House will be joining Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, in a classification that also includes The Capital Grille and Seasons 52 among others. Darden currently estimates that the merger will be complete by the second quarter of the fiscal year.
[SOURCE: Huffington Post]