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Yum: Olive Garden Buys Ruth’s Chris Steak House



The (Not So) Skinny:

  • Darden Restaurants has purchased Ruth’s Hospitality Group in an all-cash deal valued at $715 million.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House will join Darden’s fine-dining portfolio, which includes the Capital Grille and Eddie V’s.
  • The acquisition signals a potential shift in the restaurant industry towards deal-making and expansion.

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, announced its acquisition of Ruth’s Hospitality Group for $715 million in an all-cash deal.

The purchase brings Ruth’s Chris Steak House under the Darden umbrella, joining other fine-dining establishments such as the Capital Grille and Eddie V’s. Darden’s fine-dining locations reported an impressive 11.7% sales growth in the most recent quarter.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group operates more than 150 locations, generating $505.9 million in revenue last year.

The acquisition marks Darden’s first purchase in at least six years and is a significant development for the restaurant industry.

In recent years, major companies like Yum Brands and Restaurant Brands International have focused on expanding existing chains, but the Ruth’s acquisition, along with the suspected sale of Subway, may signal a shift towards deal-making.

Darden is set to hold a press conference regarding the acquisition on Thursday. The deal is expected to close in June, with total integration expenses anticipated to cost over $60 million.

Clear Thoughts:

The recent acquisition of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by Darden Restaurants is a clear sign that the restaurant industry is ready to turn the page on a period marked by stagnation in deal-making.

With this $715 million all-cash deal, Darden adds Ruth’s Chris Steak House to its fine-dining portfolio, which already includes the Capital Grille and Eddie V’s.

This acquisition demonstrates the strength and resilience of the restaurant industry, which has faced significant challenges in recent years due to rising interest rates and global uncertainties.


The fact that Darden’s fine-dining establishments reported an 11.7% sales growth in the most recent quarter shows that there is still demand for high-quality dining experiences. It is my hope that this deal will encourage other major players in the industry, such as Yum Brands and Restaurant Brands International, to consider similar strategic moves to expand and diversify their portfolios.

As the economy continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic, I believe that the acquisition of Ruth’s Hospitality Group by Darden Restaurants marks a positive turning point for the industry as a whole.

By focusing on expansion and deal-making, companies can capitalize on new opportunities and foster growth, ultimately benefiting both businesses and consumers.


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