Darden has spent much of the past five years building and edifying a portfolio of brands that can help it remain the largest full-service restaurant brand in the United Sates. While the economy and the consumer struggle and are moving on respectively. Darden finds itself with two brand niche leaders and five regional brands each with synergies yet no chopsticks. Here are my 5 reasons Darden should buy P.F. Chang’s:
- Authenticity, Darden brands strive to have authentic identity and a true consistent brand message. They are and so is P.F. Chang’s.
- Complementary Leadership styles, both teams proven, both with outstanding education and hands on proven ability.
- Small Store format, P.F. Chang’s has a growing small quick service format that could be a template for other Darden legacy brands.
- $300 Million supply chain, Darden farm to fork seafood supply chain would have an additional avenue of product distribution with and edifying home office in Malaysia, authenticity built in.
- $100 Million retail product line, P.F. Chang’s product launch last year into retail grossed $100M the first year. That knowledge skill set could well be worth its weight in gold too Darden.
Darden's existing portfolio of brands include: Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s. P.F.Chang’s is a brand niche leader and would fit well into the Darden portfolio. The opportunity to mix and match branded concepts while selling global regional development agreements can only be enhanced with the inclusion of P.F. Chang’s. Most important P.F. Chang’s has CHOPSTICKS!
Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant