Financing

Darden's acquisition of Ruth's Chris, by the numbers

The Olive Garden parent closed its deal for the steakhouse chain Wednesday. Here’s a look at what it’s getting.
Ruth's Chris awning
At 155 locations, Ruth's becomes Darden's fourth-largest brand. | Photo: Shutterstock

Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants completed its $715 million acquisition of Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Wednesday, handing over $21.50 per share in an all-cash transaction. 

The deal adds to Darden’s stable of full-service brands and beefs up its fine-dining and steak categories in particular. Here’s a look at some of the key numbers behind the acquisition. 

155 

Ruth’s Chris has 155 locations worldwide, making it Darden’s fourth-largest concept after Olive Garden (893), LongHorn Steakhouse (554) and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen (179). 

Notably, 74 of Ruth’s Chris restaurants are franchised, which is atypical for a Darden brand. When the deal was announced, Darden CEO Rick Cardenas said the company has no plans to buy out those operators, but that Darden expects to remain largely company-owned moving forward.

10

Darden now owns 10 brands: Olive Garden, LongHorn, Cheddar’s, Ruth’s, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s and The Capital Burger. 

Together they account for nearly 2,000 locations, making Darden by far the largest full-service restaurant operator in the U.S. 

3

The addition of Ruth’s quietly makes Darden a steak powerhouse. It now owns three of the five largest steakhouse chains in the U.S., according to Technomic: No. 3 LongHorn, No. 4 Ruth’s and No. 5 The Capital Grille. 

Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse are the other two. 

2x

The deal also doubles the size of Darden’s fine-dining category, which includes Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Seasons 52. They have 133 locations and did $776.2 million in sales last fiscal year, while Ruth’s has 155 restaurants and did $860 million in annual sales.

10%

Darden views Ruth’s as a growth brand, and believes it can expand near the high end of its 10% annual growth framework. 

Darden has successfully grown its other fine-dining concepts, though they started off much smaller. The Capital Grille had 28 locations when Darden bought it in 2007; it now has 61, a 117% increase. Eddie V’s has gone from eight locations when acquired in 2011 to 29 now. 

Ruth’s added three new restaurants last year, while Darden netted one new fine-dining location. 

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