KUALA LUMPUR: Home-grown food and beverage (F&B) group, Secret Recipe Cakes & Café yesterday (24/9) inked a deal with Darden Restaurants Inc USA to develop and operate Darden’s restaurant brands of Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse in Malaysia.
Secret Recipe group chief executive officer Datuk Steven Sim sees the agreement with Darden Restaurants Inc as positive boost for Secret Recipe’s portfolio, in line with its expansion plans.
"Back home in Malaysia, we have just launched a modern vegetarian dining concept named Beyond Veggie with positive off takes from customers.
"With further injection of Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, we will expand and scale up our group portfolio very quickly.
"Darden’s restaurant brands and values fit very well with our operating principles, which include fine-quality food and service," he said in Orlando, Florida after the signing of partnership agreement.
Red Lobster is an iconic American seafood restaurant specialising in fresh lobster and wood-grilled seafood, while Olive Garden specialises in Italian dining offerings. LongHorn Steakhouse is known for its great steaks and feel of the American West.
In a statement, Sim said the area development agreement with Darden Restaurants Inc is in line with Secret Recipe’s expansion plan, which will grow its current F&B portfolio upwards immensely, while leveraging from the economies of scales and success of Secret Recipe group in Asia.
New York Stock Exchange-listed Darden Restaurants Inc is one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant group with more than 2,100 restaurants, generating over US$8.5 billion in annual sales.
Meanwhile, Darden International president Kim Lopdrup describes Secret Recipe as an ideal partner and a local chain restaurant operator with strong infrastructure, market knowledge and ready market penetration in Southeast Asia.
"We are extremely excited to be represented in Asia and to work with a remarkable partner, Secret Recipe group in Malaysia, on our expansion plans for the region," he said in the statement.
Under the deal, Secret Recipe will operate Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse in stages with an initial target of 13 outlets in Malaysia. The first outlet will open its doors in the first half of 2014.
Award-winning Secret Recipe, which to date has over 300 outlets in the region, is teaming up with Darden Restaurants Inc to revolutionise the casual dining scene in Asia to the next level.