July 28, 2021

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Darden Restaurants CEO says speculation is driving up real estate prices – CNBC

A buyer arrives at a Darden Eating places Inc. Olive Backyard location in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., .......

A buyer arrives at a Darden Eating places Inc. Olive Backyard location in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Callaghan O’Hare | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Regardless of the Quantity of everlasting restaurant closures from the pandemic, Darden Eating places Isn’t seeing many provides on exact property proper now.

“There’s super hypothesis Inside the exact property market driving prices,” CEO Gene Lee informed analysts on Thursday By way of The agency’s quarterly earnings name.

Lee Did not elaborate on what the hypothesis means for Darden. However, restaurant chains that survived the downturn have been anticipating to snap up closed places at A discount or acquire extra lodging from landlords, like permission To assemble a drive-through lane.

Enterprise tracker Black Area Intelligence estimates that 12% of full-service restaurants in the U.S. that have been open earlier than the pandemic have closed.

Private equity corporations and completely different buyers have swooped in, betting on Industry exact property. The Wall Road Journal reported in Might that Industry exact property prices have been climbing since July, wiping out virtually half of the pandemic declines.

All through its fiscal fourth quarter, Darden opened 14 new restaurants, bringing its complete restaurant rely to 1,834 throughout its portfolio, Which inagencys Olive Backyard, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille. In fiscal 2022, it expects So as to add about 35 to 40 new places.

Shares of Darden rose 3% in morning buying and promoting after The agency topped Wall Road’s estimates for its fourth-quarter earnings and income. The agency said that diners are returning to its restaurants, bringing similar-retailer gross sales almost again to pre-pandemic ranges.