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Cramer counts Chipotle, Darden among ‘last man standing’ restaurant plays

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday revealed a list of stocks he expects will benefit from the “last man standing scenario.”

“After a year of carnage, big businesses with deep pockets are triumphing over their smaller competitors who didn’t make it,” the “Mad Money” host said.

The scenario will play out vividly in the restaurant industry, Cramer said.

Last year, in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments shut down temporarily or permanently. The impact led to 2.5 million jobs being cut in the industry, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Coronavirus restrictions in New York City also pushed Cramer to shut the doors on his two restaurants in the Brooklyn borough until coronavirus vaccines become widespread and the U.S. health crisis came under control.

“As the owner of a couple restaurants, I can tell you that companies like Darden and Chipotle are now taking share from empty storefronts,” he said.

In addition to Chiptole and Darden, which is the parent company of Olive Garden, Cramer pointed to Cheesecake Factory, Yum Brands, Texas Roadhouse and Starbucks as beneficiaries of the current environment.

“Now that tens of thousands of small businesses have so sadly and unfortunately gone under, their larger rivals are the last men standing, which means they’re going to make a fortune as the country reopens, because there’s no one left to challenge them.”

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