While Darden owns and operates all of our domestic restaurants, a franchise agreement with IMC allows for international expansion thanks to IMC’s local chain restaurant operators, existing infrastructure, market knowledge and relationships. IMC is a leading, multi-brand restaurant operator in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. IMC has a focus in Brazil, making them an ideal partner for this restaurant.
The São Paulo Olive Garden is located in the International Terminal at the Guarulhos International Airport, which was built to support the anticipated influx of visitors throughout the World Cup games. This is the first airport location for any Olive Garden, and IMC is an expert in airport operations. In advance of the restaurant’s opening, Darden supported IMC’s efforts by sending representatives from operations, human resources, training and culinary. The São Paulo Olive Garden team is excited to bring Olive Garden to Brazil as well as to Brazil’s visitors.
Last year, Darden also signed an agreement with Grupo Piramide and Dosil S.A., two leading multi-brand restaurant operators in Latin America, who are developing multiple restaurants in the area. Darden also has an agreement with Secret Recipe, a leading restaurant operator in Asia, to bring restaurants to Southeast Asia. We currently franchise eleven Olive Garden restaurants, eight LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants and one location of The Capital Grille internationally.