For Darden, Cheddar’s deal is all about growth

Company says its newest concept could be one of its biggest brands

Darden Restaurants Inc. got back in the acquisition game this week with a deal announced Monday to acquire Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million.

The Orlando, Fla.-based casual-dining operator has used several deals, from its $1.4 billion acquisition of RARE Hospitality in 2007, to its 2012 purchase of Yard House, to become a giant in the segment 

That era seemingly ended in 20

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