Written: September 27, 2017

Darden looks to grow Cheddar’s brand in Georgia

Darden Restaurants Inc. wants to grow one of its newly-acquired brands in Georgia.

Darden (NYSE: DRI) earlier this year acquired Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million.

Now, it sees growth potential in the Southeast.

Darden CEO Gene Lee said in a Sept. 26 call with analysts that the company acquired the 11 franchisee-owned Cheddar’s restaurants in Georgia, along with the development rights in Georgia and Alabama.

“This transaction, which closed on August 28, gives us the opportunity to enhance our presence in two states that we believe will have strong growth opportunities for the Cheddar’s brand,” Lee said.

Cheddar’s was founded in 1979 in Arlington, Texas. Today, it has around 165 locations in 28 states. Its restaurants see average sales volume of $4.4 million, says Darden.

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