Darden Restaurants CEO Says Speculation is Pushing Real Estate Prices Up

Customers will arrive at the Olive Garden location at Darden Restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, USA on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Despite the number of permanent closures of the restaurant by the pandemic, Darden Restaurant is currently not seeing many real estate deals.

“There is speculation that the real estate market will push prices up,” CEO Jean Lee told analysts at the company’s quarterly earnings briefing Thursday.

Lee didn’t elaborate on what speculation meant for Darden. However, the restaurant chain that survived the recession was hoping to receive more accommodation from the landlord, such as getting a closed place at a discounted price or getting permission to build a drive-through lane.

Industry tracker Black Box Intelligence estimates that 12% of US full-service restaurants that were open before the pandemic were closed.

Private equity funds and other investors stormed and bet on commercial real estate. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that commercial real estate prices have risen since July, clearing almost half of the pandemic’s decline. Click to read more at www.texasnewstoday.com.