NEW YORK (AP) — Darden is exporting its Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants to Malaysia.
The Orlando, Fla.-based company says it signed a deal with restaurant operator Secret Recipe in the region to open 13 units under its two biggest chains and LongHorn Steakhouse. The deal allows Secret Recipe the option to open additional locations in the future.
Darden Restaurants Inc. is primarily based in North America, but says it franchises 44 locations to local operators in seven countries. Unlike many restaurant companies, Darden owns its locations at home.
The company has been struggling to attract customers in the U.S., with people increasingly heading to chains such as Chipotle, where they feel they can get sit-down restaurant-quality food without paying as much. In its latest quarter, Darden's profit fell by 37 percent.