Skip to comments.Here's Why Red Lobster Is Dying
Posted on 05/17/2014 4:37:41 PM PDT by rickmichaels
America's changing eating habits are killing Red Lobster.
The chain's parent company, Darden Restaurants, announced on Friday it was selling Red Lobster to a private-equity firm for $2.1 billion after years of sagging sales. While it may sound strange to call a chain with such a high price tag "dying," much of that $2.1 billion covers Red Lobster's real estate. What's left of the brand's value is "fairly minimal," Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier wrote in a note.
The cheddar-biscuit purveyor's demise is being hastened by a growing American preference for micro-managing meals that can be scarfed down quickly. The era of families sitting down to a meal conceived by food scientists and prepared in a kitchen they cant see is fading. That is bad news for a host of other chains, including Olive Garden, which Darden still owns.
"Even as consumer spending has improved, many consumers have still been less willing to spend on sit-down meals," noted a recent report from market research firm IBISWorld. "Instead, consumers have shown a preference for cheaper fast-casual concepts.
(Excerpt) Read more at huffingtonpost.com ...
I just find it hard to get my money’s worth there..
Sorry HuffPo, but that ain't true.
People can't afford to eat out anymore thanks to Obama and Obamacare.
Even the local taverns and mom-and-pop family diners are suffering.
Both OG and RL are glorified fast food purveyors.
When I worked for a telecom and had to go through both kitchens I saw enough to tell friends.Stay away
Red Lobster and Olive Garden always seem busy, and in my neck of the woods, family groups are the norm.....
Not to mention far cheaper. If we go out, it is for something we do not know how to cook ourselves.
Their food is crappy!
That and the fact that Michelle Obama pronounced she has stock in these chains, I do believe. I vowed never to eat at Longhorn, Red Lobster (particularly on crab leg night) or Olive Garden.
Much better and cheaper to eat at home. When conservatives get back into office, then I might consider eating out more than once or twice a year.
The low information soccer moms feed their children a steady diet of mcdonalds and then cram them full of ADHD and anti-depressant meds.
Come grill time I can shame any place in town.
The reason why Red Lobster is dying is due in large part to HORRIBLE service. Last time we were there, it took over 10 minutes for a waitress to come to our table to tell us someone would later be our waitress. Another ten minutes and I asked if we could at least have menus to look at. Minutes pass and I again ask for menus and am told they are still looking for them. At that point we split, NEVER to return.
Too much salt in frozen food?
Some people who study lobsters say lobsters are as intelligent as octopuses, which I find hard to believe.
We use to love going there, but something changed (food quality), and got more expensive, so don’t go anymore.
Seems like the same is happening with Olive Garden, too.
We have this about once or twice a year, so we just look for more mom and pop type outfits; cheaper and more filling.
I have eaten out 2 times that I can recall in the last 20 years. Once was at Red Lobster for my Brother-in-Law’s retirement meal.
I ordered everything I could think of that I wanted and it was great. About 5 years ago, I was moving and had to eat lunch in town. I tried McDonald’s and it was awful. Nothing like I remember it being when I was young.
Oh yeah, the food is second rate too.
I say: Fire up the Barbie!
I thought posting from this publication was completely banned?
You nailed it, right out of the gate. I miss Crabby Mondays, ‘though.
The article offers Chipotle as the new way diners dine. No thanks!! Chipotle makes everyone in our family have a sick feeling, even when eating super light.
Grilling at home is best ;)
There is a Cheddar's in my town that has an 8 ounce piece of salmon with two sides (the steamed broccoli is fabulous) for $9.99 and it is excellent.
If Red Lobster (two blocks up from Cheddar's)had equivalent entrees I'd go there, but they don't.
The fact that 99% of casino buffets feature unlimited crab and shrimp, along with a huge selection of other foods including desserts and a drink for one price isn’t mentioned for some reason. Almost everyone in North America is now within an hour of a casino.
Darden has been infected and dying since the day they joined arms with Moochelle. I know people who will never go there again because of her meddling with those restaurants.
I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in Tucson RL’s prices are right in line with some of the best restaurants, almost the same as Cafe Poca Cosa, slightly cheaper than Kingfisher. Problem is the food at RL isn’t in that league. If you’re going to charge best restaurant in Tucson prices you need to actually be one of the best restaurants in Tucson. If they dropped their price 25 or 30% they’d be equitable.
I know what you mean about mom and pop type places. I agree.
In my area, there are a number of good local seafood restaurants. So as a result, never go to Red Lobster. The local places have better food, better prices, just a better value.
Ditto with Olive Garden. There a several family owned Italian restaurants in my area, which we go to instead of Olive Garden. Same story, better value and better food for the money.
I could even brag to liberals that I am supporting locally owned small businesses, as opposed to the chain restaurants, LOL.
In Huntsville, Alabama the Red Lobster and Olive Garden are always swamped with business. Prime meal time waits are routinely 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The big reason that these restaurants are suffering is the economy SUCKS! Inflation has run about 8% per year for the things I buy. I have not received anywhere near the raises to keep up with inflation the past 5 years.
I enjoy the occassional “expensive” dinner out as it gives me the rare opportunity to switch out of barnwear for a favorite dress and necklace. Sorry to say at Red Lobster last year, we were the only patrons that bothered to dress for dinner. Shorts and t-shirts seemed the trend of the day; I could just as well have come straight from the barn. I have to admit I felt a pang of resentment, maybe because the casualness of the other patrons had robbed us a bit of that specialness of ‘going out.’ I wonder if sit-down restaurants would have better success if they enforced a dress code to discern themselves from say, McDonalds.
“America’s changing eating habits are killing Red Lobster.”
Yup, I do longer want freshly microwaved fried shrimp with butter like something to dip it in.
RL still has a good double scotch in the bar/S sort of....
You just have to re-create Red Lobster at your house, and make a family gathering of it.
I so miss the old-school Red Lobster, with servers attending every table, not just theirs, and the Captain’s platter from the 80s that had lobster tail, shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, clams if you asked, with salad as the first course instead of cheese biscuits.
Back then the tropical drinks were affordable, and loosened up the atmosphere while everybody waited for their dinners.
So many people look like slobs nowadays. It’s as though they don’t care enough about themselves to make an effort.
They’re declining because there are quite a few regional concept chains that do the same thing better for similar or cheaper prices, with better locations and a better, cooler atmosphere and more personal service. Locally and in the southeast, Bonefish Grill would be one of them, http://www.bonefishgrill.com. I’d go there over Red Lobster any day.
I haven’t been in a Red Lobster in over a decade, and can’t honestly say I even know where the locations in my area are anymore. I recall them as seeming dated even then, from the menu offerings to the atmosphere and the building itself.
I know what you mean. I made paella for my office mates and was told it was restaurant quality. So we went to a restaurant and got some. Mine was much better. And what’s cool is that you can pick anything you want to cook/bake and there will be a plethora of youtube videos telling you how to do it.
They suck. End of story. If you don’t know what’s good by now ya never will!
THIS....plus the quality of their food has deteriorated.
Went to Chipotle once. Like eating in a warehouse. No ambience or atmosphere at all. Stupid seating arrangements, almost everything was highboy barstools.
VERY poor selection of food. Will never go back.
Maybe off topic, but this subject of dressing bugs me about church nowadays.
Years ago, everybody dressed in Sunday best. That’s where that term came from .
Now, you see people in tennis shorts, baggy pants, both male and female, so when they kneel down to pray, you see the great divide (I’m not joking), and t-shirts and ripped jeans.
While it’s nice in a way to see they are in church, I do miss that there are no dress codes in church anymore. It would be okay to have no code if people didn’t dress so sloppy, but, too many don’t give a blank.
The reason it’s failing is because its food sucks.
No one wants portion prepared meals that are so bland they could have well been microwaved.
The food is crap.
Everyone in the south
Same. While it’s been awhile since I’ve been, we would always leave saying something on the lines of “that just wasn’t worth the money.
Darden donates heavily to democRATS. The service they provide is not different from the obommacare service people will get. People won’t go to Darden eateries voluntarily, but obummercare is at gunpoint. How many citizens will pay their politicians back for obummercair and make them bankrupt?
Thanks for the link!
We have a lot of small restaurants and pubs around here with FAR better food and service than chain restaurants. When we eat out (which isn’t often), these are the places we choose to spend our money. The ingredients are fresh and the recipes are unique. The thought of going to a chain just doesn’t appeal to me; it’s a waste of money.
In addition, I occasionally take clients out to eat and I make an effort to learn about the best places (in their respective cities) to take them too. I would never take them to a chain place, even if they’re known to be of “higher” quality. I’m just very picky about these things. Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and similar places are just unappealing to me.
I had to look up fast casual. I never heard that term. Anyway, here’s a list of fast casual restaurants. I never heard of most of them.
I never said those restaurants were real good, but they used to be fairly busy.
I go to a church where the dress is casual, and I would never claim they don’t want to dress up. This economy and the cost of just hanging onto their homes, jobs, and putting food on the table trumps buying new clothes...not that clothes are all that expensive. To some, any new clothes are a cost they cannot afford at this time.
However, single parents without child support, child support payers, mothers paying for sports attire, and even the upward costs of things like un edible necessities put Sunday Clothes on the back burner.
Although I grew up in a church where everyone wore their Sunday best, and spectacular clothes on Easter...the gossipy attitude turned me off, as they criticized those less attired.
So for me, I’ll take the casually dressed lover of Jesus, without fancy clothes anyday! And I won’t complain about any negatives since my reason for going to church is to Worship God. I know you care about people, and the many who haven’t known Jesus will change how they dress.... once they see CHRISTIANS love them no matter how they look.
I agree. I can’t stand Red Lobsters micro wave “baked “ potatos.
I havn’t set foot in a RL in years.
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