Farewell Red Lobster: Owner to Sell or Spin Off Red Lobster


So long crab linguini soaking in alfredo sauce and lobster tails glistening in butter. Darden announced Thursday that it will either sell or spin off Red Lobster, in hopes of bolstering its stock value.

The company, which also runs Olive Garden and other restaurants, stated that it will also suspend the opening of new Olive Garden locations and slow down new locations for LongHorn Steakhouses. “The reduced unit growth will lower capital spending by at least $100 million annually,” Darden released in a statement.

So what led to the Red Lobster’s unfortunate demise? Since the economic downturn, restaurants similar to Red Lobster have suffered as consumers have become more careful about how they spend their money. People are opting to pick chains like Chipotle over Red Lobster or Olive Garden, as the former tends to take less time than a sit-down restaurant and cost less.

Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis explained that the restaurant sector has undergone significant change, ” with relatively low levels of consumer demand in each of the past several years for restaurants generally, and for casual dining in particular.”

Although the planned Red Lobster spin off still awaits final approval from the company’s board, Darden predicts any impending separation to occur in early fiscal 2015. Until then, we can only imagine what a possible Red Lobster spin off would involve. We’re just hoping it involves some form of melty, cheesy lobster and steak burrito. Here’s to the future.

H/T New York Times + Picthx Red Lobster

Charisma has an undying love for gritty literature and drinks coffee like water. She also hails from Toronto, Canada and is a die-hard Maple Leafs fan, sigh.

In this article:
  • Bishop_Eddie_Schlong

    I’ll buy Red Lobster

  • Linda Lovelush

    Nooooooooooooooo! They can’t do this! Screw the melty, cheesy lobster and steak burrito. I want a whole lobster on my PLATE! With crab legs and shrimp cocktail and…

    Okay, truth be told, Red Lobster REALLY can not cook seafood. The scallops are always rubbery and overdone, the fish leaves much to be desired (too salty and barely there with small, thin filets) many of their food items are SWIMMING (no pun intended) in butter and they’re seriously heavy-handed on the sodium. But heck, a lot of their items are good and we love the atmosphere of the place. We were just there last week.

    Well… now I know why they’re not bothering to fix the booth chairs that make you feel like you’ve got a spring popping up your ass.

    • Anonymous

      Tell us more about the spring thing.

      • Linda Lovelush

        LOL, you know, springs in the seats. My boss and I went there last week for our Christmas lunch and he had to move to the other side of his seat because he said it felt like one of the springs was popping up through. I didn’t feel springs, but I still had to move over because my seat was sinking.

  • Kellie Remick

    Good riddance to a restaurant that completely mangles seafood. The only good thing about Red Lobster is its cheesy/garlic rolls.

    • Anonymous

      Though I have had some passable meals there (due to others wanting to go,) the biscuits were the definitive R.L. signature dish.

  • Mathew Turner

    Maybe they can find people who actually know how to cook. That way when people go there they will enjoy their meal.