Darden seeks smooth sailing with Eddie V’s
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants puzzled some analysts when it decided to buy the small Eddie V’s Prime Seafood chain last year.
They had expected the world’s largest casual-dining company to buy something bigger. And seafood restaurants, particularly those selling pricier fish, can be tough to run.
But Darden will likely have an easier time than Winter Park-based Ruth’s Hospitality Group did after buying Mitchell’s Fish Market in 2008.
“Darden is this mega-company with mega-resources and mega-knowledge in the seafood space,” said Craig Weichmann, a former restaurant-industry analyst turned investment banker who advises executives. “In the case of Ruth’s Chris, they really stretched.”
Like Eddie V’s, Mitchell’s was a small, well-regarded chain from outside Central Florida before getting reeled in by a corporate owner.
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