Darden pulls plug on Wildfish Seafood Grille brand
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.-based Darden Restaurants is discontinuing the Wildfish Seafood Grille brand in favor of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.
Darden acquired the three Wildfish locations alongside the purchase of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in a USD 59 million (EUR 47.8 million) deal in 2011. Wildfish’s Scottsdale, Arizona, location closed its doors over the weekend of 17 March, and the two other locations in San Antonio, Texas, and Newport Beach, California, will be converted into Eddie V’s.
“After careful deliberation, we made the decision to discontinue our Wildfish brand and focus on Eddie V’s Prime Seafood,” Darden Communications Manager Hunter Robinson said. “With that, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue operations of our Wildfish location in Scottsdale, due to the close proximately to our already existing Eddie V’s restaurant.”
According to Robinson, the Wildfish in Arizona was just a few miles away from the company’s existing Eddie V’s property. That location – which the company leased – previously employed 50 people.
“We offered everyone on the Scottsdale team the opportunity to transfer to Eddie V’s or to join other nearby sister restaurants,” Robinson said. “Closing the Scottsdale restaurant was a difficult business decision, and one we made very carefully and thoughtfully, particularly because it impacts our team members and our guests.”
The remaining two Wildfish locations will be converted over the next few months, Robinson added.
“We are excited to introduce our Wildfish guests to Eddie V’s Prime Seafood,” he said. “Guests enjoy will the same prime seafood menu, and now will be able to experience the vibrant V Lounge, live music trios and extensive wine and beverage offerings at Eddie V’s.”
Darden reported 6.8 percent second-quarter sales growth compared to 2017 for its 19 Eddie V’s locations across the United States, and 14.6 percent total sales growth across its eight brands, which also include Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse – to reach USD 1.88 billion (EUR 1.52 billion).