MEXICO CITY – Mexican restaurant group CMR announced Thursday that it has reached a deal with U.S.-based Darden Restaurants to operate 37 Red Lobster, Olive Garden and The Capital Grille establishments in Mexico.
Under the agreement, CMR will open the restaurants throughout Mexico over the next five years, the company said in a regulatory filing.
The chairman of CMR’s board of directors, Joaquin Vargas Guajardo, said in the filing that the operation “complements” the company’s portfolio of in-house and imported brands.
For his part, Darden’s vice president of business development, Kim Lopdrup, said that “with its growing middle class and strong affinity for American brands, Mexico is an attractive growth market” for the Orlando, Florida-based company.
He said CMR was the right partner for the expansion program because of its operations experience and local market knowledge.
CMR operates 116 restaurants in 26 Mexican cities, employs 5,700 people and generates approximately $150 million in annual sales. Its in-house and imported brands include Wings, Destileria, Fonda Mexicana and Chili’s.
Darden, the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, employs approximately 180,000 people and owns and operates more than 1,900 establishments that generate more than $7.5 billion in annual sales. EFE