Darden Restaurants reported financial results for its fiscal second quarter, which ended November 29. Total sales were up 3.2 percent versus a year ago and same-restaurant sales were up at all of the brands.
Same-store sales rose most dramatically at Seasons 52, up 4.5 percent over second quarter 2015. Seasons 52 is included in the company’s fine-dining portfolio, along with The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s, and for the first half of the 2016 fiscal year the fine-dining segment saw sales grow 5.4 percent over the preceding year.
On the upscale-casual side, LongHorn Steakhouse continues to perform well, with year-over-year sales up 6.6 percent for the first half of fiscal 2016. Olive Garden saw improved sales as well, albeit a more modest 2.3 percent growth in same-restaurant sales during the six months.
The company’s playful Bahama Breeze brand also tapped success in the second quarter, tallying same-store growth for those three months at 5.8 percent.
"We accomplished a great deal in the quarter to further strengthen our company and deliver value for shareholders," says Darden CEO Gene Lee. "Our strong operating performance gives us the confidence to increase our outlook for the year, even with the increased costs associated with our comprehensive real estate strategy.”
As part of that real estate strategy, the company concluded a spin-off of its Four Corners Property Trust that included 424 restaurant properties.