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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Yard House Owner Borrows $270M

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Yard House USA Inc. parent Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) added a $270 million term loan to its cash reserves as it navigates the rocky operating environment brought on by the coronavirus.

Darden, in Orlando, now has more than $1 billion cash on hand.

The restaurant operator’s portfolio includes Yard House, of Irvine, in addition to Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, the Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.

More than 99 percent of Darden’s restaurants continue to offer to-go service; comparable sales have continued to slide since early March.

For the week ended April 5 Olive Garden same-store sales were down 60%, LongHorn down 72%, the fine dining segment down 89% and other businesses off 92%.

Darden said Tuesday to further reduce costs it will furlough some headquarters staff and reduce pay. Senior executives’ pay is being cut in half, while CEO Gene Lee is no longer taking a paycheck.

Darden traded up about 14% midday Tuesday for a market cap of $7.2 billion.

Go here for more updates on OC companies’ responses to the coronavirus.

For ongoing, in-depth coverage of the coronavirus’ effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.

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