Just before Christmas, rumors started swirling that Darden, the parent company of Red Lobster, was going to sell or spin off the seafood restaurant. Darden also operates other restaurants including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Bahama Breeze.
There are 705 Red Lobster restaurants across the United States and Canada, including one in Times Square and another on 125th Street, and all the restaurants reportedly had $2.6 billion in fiscal sales for 2013. Clarence Otis, Darden's chairman and chief executive, stated during a conference call that Red Lobster had “relatively low levels of consumer demand in each of the past several years."
Despite rumors that the chain was closing and taking the Cheddar Bay Biscuits with them, the restaurants are staying open. So what's the plan? To make Red Lobster its own company. Otis stated, “By establishing two independent companies, a separation will better enable the management teams of each company to focus their exclusive attention on their distinct value creation opportunities."
However, if you've been to Red Lobster as of late, there's three things you'll notice: the prices are pretty expensive for a chain restaurant, the food isn't particularly up to par with the prices, and the Cheddar Bay Biscuits are still amazing. You'll hear the same sentiments echoed often throughout the Internet. Best advice? Freshen up the menu, lower the prices, and leave the biscuits as they are.
If you're interested in making the Cheddar Bay Biscuits yourself at home, here's a great recipe to check out.
So let's hear it. What is your opinion on the Red Lobster chain?