Red Lobster May Close Its Doors Forever?-Update

Red Lobster

Update: Guardian Liberty Voice received a letter from Red Lobster parent company Darden saying Red Lobster will not be closing. However, their official press release says they expect the chain will be sold or spun off. Due to this fact, there is still wide speculation among consumers that the brand could be in trouble and could end up eventually closing, just as many previous business have done in the past after being sold. The original opinion piece, below, only intended to report on the rampant speculation and not to suggest that Red Lobster would definitely close. The title of this article has been changed to better reflect its intent.

Original Editorial:

Better stock up on the cheddar biscuits and shrimp prepared in an endless variety of ways; upon the news that Red Lobster’s parent company is not doing well financially, many are speculating that the chain may close its doors forever. Parent company Darden also announced that it is nixing the opening of any new Olive Gardens as well as cutting down on new locations of LongHorn Steakhouses. The company has been struggling financially and recently reported a whopping 31 percent drop in earnings for its last quarter.

Darden has been discussing a “spinoff” restaurant, leaving some asking if that’s the same as a television show spinoff like The Jeffersons or Frasier. However, it appears Darden is not going to be “moving on up”; chatter is focused on more casual chains that offer fast food, such as Chipotle, as models for a possible Red Lobster spinoff. In fact, chains like Chipotle, Panera and others that offer very fast, freshly prepared food to diners in a rush are being blamed for Red Lobster’s demise.

Darden says the overall economy has prevented its main demographic from eating out at the price point expected for a restaurant like Red Lobster. Consumers, Darden CEO Clarence Otis seemed to suggest, are increasingly turning to establishments that offer lower prices, and those who can afford a higher price point haven’t been successfully captured by the Red Lobster brand. He said there have been “relatively low levels of consumer demand in each of the past several years for restaurants generally, and for casual dining in particular, as well as additional unexpected softness since June.”

Some consumers are saying that Darden may have underestimated the importance and focus on well-prepared, local, sustainable and “farm to table” type cuisine that the fine dining set craves. “If I’m going to pay $25.95 for an entrée, I could go down the street to the locally owned bistro and dine on locally sourced entrees, enjoy a much nicer and cleaner ambiance and drink imported wines. At the big chains, the whole experience is catered to their corporate office as opposed to the vision and desires of the local diner,” says Rob Green, a Philadelphia native. “There’s a Red Lobster near me, but I would pass it by every time for an independently owned place,” Green says.

Jezebel blogger Lindy West recently wrote a piece entitled People Don’t Want to Eat at Red Lobster or Olive Garden Anymore. In it, she nails what some might say is “the elephant in the room” by explaining:

So here’s ONE idea I had: If you want more people to eat at your restaurant, maybe make the food a tiny bit better? Like…serve people crab legs that actually have crab in them? Because it’s not like Olive Garden or Red Lobster are even that cheap. They’re kind of expensive! Why not just make the food, you know, worth the price?

When corporations ignore quality and the desires of diners in favor of the increasing bottom line of the company, they often find that bottom line shrinking rather than growing; and the real bottom line, and harsh reality for the big corporate execs, is that the food at Red Lobster and Olive Garden is often sub-par. Red Lobster may close its doors forever, but is that really such a bad thing? One thing’s for sure: if Olive Garden follows suit, many Italian foodies will rejoice.

An Editorial by Rebecca Savastio

LA Weekly

New York Times

Huffington Post

75 Responses to "Red Lobster May Close Its Doors Forever?-Update"

  1. Chase Hammock   July 29, 2014 at 12:21 am

    red lobster is good in my opinion, but olive garden has god awful food and should close forever.

    Reply
  2. Mary   February 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I love red lobsters I go there all the time and they got good food

    Reply
  3. julie   January 5, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I have not eaten at Red Lobster since I got a lobster that tasted like amonia. I told the waitress and nothing was done about it. They can close and it won’t hurt my feelings at all.

    Reply
  4. Carlene Ferrick   January 5, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I agree.. .I usually got the crab legs and coconut shrimp. Not much in the crab legs, but coconut shrimp was good. For the price I could hit the casino’s in Lawrenceburg and Rising Sun. Rising Sun has King crab spicy or regular and deep fried shrimp and peel and eat shrimp. Also prime rib and ribs. Yummy
    ..

    Reply
  5. Karen E   January 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

    The sad fact is the chain had gotten greedy. The sacrificed quantity and quality. I do not mind people raising prices slightly if they keep the quantity and quality the same. I have always gotten the ultimate feast. I remember when it used to be 16.95. You got enjoy food you were stuffed and took home leftovers. I have since had weight lost surgery. The price went up like 10.00 a plate and eat everything on my plate and leave hungry. The tasty is not as good. The portions are cut in half and the product is smaller. The lobster tail is no bigger than the tail of a crayfish I used I used to catch as a kid in the creek. The shrimp are almost now the size of canned mini shrimp for salads. The crab legs you are now lucky if you get one leg and a claw. That is the problem.

    Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      It’s called inflation. Everything on earth goes up in price with time, so yeah, of course food does too! And I just ate at RL for lunch today- if their huge portions are too small for you, you may be contributing to the problem of Americans demanding portions five times bigger than what they should be. The portions are STILL much larger than what is actually adequate. I don’t even see a difference in portion size compared to 15 years ago! Eating a salad, an entree with two sides and endless biscuits should never end up in you “leaving hungry”- that is insane.

      Reply
  6. txgator24   December 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I wouldn’t sue you, but I personally disagree with you. I love red lobster. Being from central Texas, we have no local crabs or lobster to catch. So those of you from the coast or one of those tiny N.E. States, shut up with that. Enjoy your local produce, we will enjoy our shipped in crab legs. Helbig. Someone who does that because they THINK someone won’t tip well….THEY are the problem. And would probably do it regardless where they are. They are not decent human beings nor are those that know they do it and do nothing to stop them. And I’m betting they did not learn that from their employee handbook. Not going to a restaurant because of that is tediculous.

    Reply
  7. J helbig   December 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I will not there anyway, my step daughter works at one, she told me if someone doesn’t look like they are going to tip enough, they sneeze , spit or roll the lobster on the floor. Will not even patronize or look at it!

    Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      So because there are a few idiots at that one location, they all must do that?? News flash: there are waiters at the most expensive restaurants on earth who do the same thing. My sister also worked at RL and they were extraordinarily strict about rules. No way would anyone caught doing that keep their jobs. By the way, you can’t tell what anyone is going to tip, which every server knows…

      Reply
  8. Vicki Traughber   December 28, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Greasy high calorie foods are a high price to pay for your health and your budget. Even your lunch menu is pricey for the average family. I just recently learned that you support Planned Parenthood so I will be boycotting Darden and spreading the word on that as well.

    Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Vickie, people like you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind- I don’t care how many abortions they perform, anyone who wants to take away cheap, adequate healthcare for women who couldn’t afford it anywhere else are either selfish and delusional or so privileged they can’t possibly begin to put themselves in the shoes of a woman who must use these clinics. Your “boycotting” Darden or planned parenthood won’t do anything but waste time, thank God. Ridiculous and pathetic.

      Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      e more thing, Vickie- red lobster has plenty of healthy options. Don’t waste your time “spreading the word”, because that would help themSTAY in business,seeing as the average sane person wouldn’t want to snatch the only healthcare available
      away from women of a lower income bracket. Judgmental people like you need to take
      a hard look in the mirror and put yourself in the shoes of a 12 year old girl who was raped, an 18 year old from a poor family who needs treatment for a UTI or any other woman or girl who need these clinics. You are not very astute if you think the majority shares your radical Views.

      Reply
    • Pro-life for ever   January 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Vicki, good for you! I found out about that almost a year ago and we haven’t been back since. I also share what I’ve learned and several family members and friends have boycotted Darden as well. I know it won’t really stop anything, but I can’t sit there and eat my shrimp knowing that even a little bit of my money will go towards tearing babies apart. And whether anyone wants to admit it or not, that’s all pp really wants to do. It’s all about money and abortions are expensive. They don’t even perform some of the services they offer. And if they really cared about woman, they would tell them the truth and stop lying!

      Reply
  9. Melissa Apodaca   December 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I used to love Red Lobster until I discovered the all-you-can-eat seafood buffets at the casinos. You pay the same price and get plenty more. Also, Red Lobster kind of reminds me of fast food for some reason.

    Reply
  10. Laurie Barbee   December 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been boycotting Darden Restaurants for about a year now because of their support of Planned Parenthood.

    Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      You don’t support clinics that are sometimes the ONLY option for women who need healthcare but can’t afford it?! Wow, what a great person you are. You boycotting a company because they support a worthy cause doesn’t matter to anyone. Hopefully, privileged, delusional people that don’t support PP don’t stop even one girl from getting treated at these clinics that have helped so many.

      Reply
  11. Rebecca Savastio   December 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Triton, what are you going to sue me for? Writing an editorial? Please enjoy my new article about your company’s whining: http://guardianlv.com/2013/12/red-lobster-denies-possibly-closing-whines-bad-journalism/. We’re reporting on the speculation; we never said the restaurant is definitely closing. Darden says they expect the company to be sold or spin off. How can anyone possibly know what will happen in the future? The truth is, you can’t. The article is my opinion. Welcome to United States. We have freedom of speech here. Keep bullying me, go right ahead. Is that what you do, go around trying to strong arm writers?

    Reply
  12. Ronnel Orphan   December 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    We don’t get to very often but other then one time have always had a good meal. It sounds like it depense where it’s at. All the restaurants in our area our busy all the time. Also fast food places aren’t cheap either. I’ve had worse meals at places more expensive then R.L. So we will return.

    Reply
  13. B Foster   December 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Prices every where are to high, and they are just now seeing this. My Dad once told me..if you cannot have a whole loaf of bread, a slice is better than nothing, and a half a slice is better than none at all. Bottom line Rl and a lot more have been ripping the people off for sometime anf now they are seeing the results. I am glad they are going, and all the others follow.

    Reply
  14. bobeatsshrimp   December 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Caps lock key, carloslax. Use it.

    Reply
    • Burnie Rubble   December 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      POST SOMETHING RELEVANT U IDIOT

      Reply
      • bobeatsshrimp   December 28, 2013 at 6:28 am

        Caps lock key and punctuation, Burnie. Use them. Also, unless you are a teenage girl it is “you” not “u”.

        Reply
  15. carloslax   December 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    LAST TIME I WENT THERE WILL BE THE LAST TIME EVER
    ORDERED MAHI MAHI WHAT WAS SERVED DID NOT LOOK OR TASTE LIKE IT
    THE SHRIMP SKEWER LOOKED AND TASTED LIKE IT WAS SHIPPED AS IS FROZEN FROM CHINA .. I WOULD NOT EVEN BUY FOOD FOR MY DOG FROM CHINA..
    IF YOU CANT TRUST GETTING THE TYPE OF FISH YOU ORDER.. GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE THEY ARE FEEDING YOU
    IF THEY WANT TO STAY IN BUSINESS THEY NEED TO START OFFERING WILD CAUGHT SEAFOOD AND STOP SCAMING CUSTOMERS WITH SOME CRAP FED TILAPIA

    Reply
  16. wantstosmileagain   December 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Wow. It truly amazes me that because someone printed it…it MUST be true. There is little to no truth to this article. Red Lobster wants to split off from Darden to help with stock prices/returns. Red Lobster started Darden. Nobody is going to close. If you don’t like Red Lobster…then don’t eat there. Truth be told – there isn’t a restaurant out there that isn’t over priced for what you get. These places are in business to make money – not serve 5 star food.

    Reply
  17. Richard Vergis   December 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Haven’t been to a Darden restaurant since they decided to roll bartenders in with servers…splitting thier tips…so they no longer had to pay bartenders minimum wage….glad he’s paying the price…

    Reply
  18. bryan   December 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    My last 2 tips to RL were really disappointing, I love lobster especially large tails and I don’t mind paying market price, my recent experiences were being served tails that resembled crawdads, small and tough, I called co. head quarters and they told me they were sorry and offered me some coupons, (big deal) they also said they’re biggest tail is 9 ounces, haven’t seen anything close to that size, I don’t like to complain or send food back I just leave a nice tip and do not return, LOBSTER is your company logo and yet you can’t seem to get that right,

    Reply
  19. susan   December 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Uhhhhhh……someone negelected to do their research……is this how you do all your articles? Make up rumors?

    Reply
  20. Burnie Rubble   December 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    red lobster is sh1tty sea food for white trash

    Reply
  21. [email protected]   December 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I’ve gotten sick off of the lobster there several times. when I tried to contact the company no one ever returned my calls. The food is usually good but the lobster is deadly. it’s like they rewarmed it and bacteria had already set in. I have stopped going there.

    Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Deadly??? Lol, I’ve not heard of one person who died from eating anything from Red Lobster. I’ve eaten there probably well ore 150 times in my life and never got sick afterwards.

      Reply
  22. Jack Mehoff   December 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I’ve never been to Red Lobster……and it looks like I never will. Chain seafood restaurants always suck because they use frozen seafood. I’d rather buy fresh from the market and make at home than eat a mushy coconut crusted shrimp bomb or over fried calamari.

    Reply
  23. DeadSurvivor   December 27, 2013 at 11:46 am

    With Competition Opening Either Across The Street Or The Store Plaza (Usually Half A Mile Or Less In Distance), This Is Hurting Too Many Businesses (Less Profit) … Eventually, Fast Food May Be The Only Type Of Eatery Left And That’s If They Can Survive The Over-Population Of Similiar Establishments.

    Reply
  24. [email protected]   December 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Haven’t been in a RL in 13 Years. Got bad shrimp and never went back. Too bad; it was close by home; easy for grabbing dinner when we didn’t have anything ready for dinner.
    You could smell the shrimp was bad as it approached the table; Why in gods name would you even try to serve that?! Just wrong.

    Reply
  25. Dan   December 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    In the San Diego area there are 2 places with better food at better prices. The Fish Merchant and Anthoney* The RL should have fresh food being only a few miles to the sea. My big turn off with them is the fact that the never seem to have the specials they advertise, Never!! I called there corp. offices and they deny it. My brother also called and they mailed him 2 free dinner coupons but he didn’t want to use them, that should tell u something !!

    Reply
  26. scott   December 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

    seriously, the red lobster in modesto is packed every night. sounds like very poor managment

    Reply
  27. Alan   December 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I used to go to Red Lobster all the time, when I lived in Lakeland, where they started. Always liked it, but then again, I was a kid. Since then, I have not been there much. It’s not because they are expensive or the food is not good, it’s because there are other restaurants that serve great seafood and they are not a “seafood” restaurant. I think Darden Restaurants may have underestimated the customer. Are the prices a bit high, maybe, is the food bland, don’t think so. Perhaps, for some people RL is a bit expensive, but I sometimes pay this for lunch. Yes, I know, that’s crazy. However, the economy has definitely changed the priorities of a lot of people and Darden Restaurants, as well as the government, still have not figured that out. I have cut back a lot on going out, but not because of money, it’s because I am trying to watch my diet. I hope RL, as well as Olive Garden, can figure out the recipe to staying in business, because I still like both places. However, there is a tremendous amount of competition out there.

    Reply
  28. triton rocks   December 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca … if only you took the time to read some of the recent 10-Q’s from Darden. You should have also taken a look at their balance and cash flow statements. Had you done that, you would not have written this false and defamatory article. Basically, here I am, a long-time Darden shareholder, looking at the damage you have inflicted irresponsibly via the internet. Lawsuit? You bet. Already working on it.

    Reply
  29. Chuck   December 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Rarely eat at RL the last few times the food was not very good and expensive. Whoever said that good seafood was hard to find was right. I live about 5 hours from the ocean and there are few places here to eat seafood. As far a OG is concerned, the food is still OK. But, they have taken a number of items off of their menu that I thought were good. I now prefer to go elsewhere for Italian.

    Reply
  30. camille   December 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I worked for RL back in 1991 to 1993, i can say truthfully that everything came in frozen, and the atlantic white fish as its called is actually cod fish. Hardly anything was fresh there. I cannot believe RL is still open in Dothan, Alabama, when the one in Panama City, and Baton Rouge closed many years ago. Quality has gone down hill, while they think quantity is better over quality these days. Last time i ate there, the food was greasy, and made me sick. No desire to ever eat there again.

    Reply
  31. Larry B.   December 27, 2013 at 10:45 am

    When the economy tanked a few years ago, many restaurants began offering discount coupons to try to keep afloat. It’s better to sell it cheap than not sell it at all. But Red Lobster didn’t adopt that policy. So, my wife and I quit going there and began supporting the ones who offered discounts.
    As the economy got better, we decided we might go to Red Lobster again. So, I went on their website to see what they offered now and how much they were.
    I was amazed to see how much they had gone up!! So much so, that my wife and I agreed this looked like pure greed on Red Lobster’s part.
    Well, apparently that greed is coming crashing down on you now, RL.
    I liked your food but your priced yourself out of my league and out of business.
    Who cares??

    Reply
  32. arlene green   December 27, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I have been a long time customer of RL. In the last few years, I have seen the food change. e.g. The size of the shrimp, for example. The quality of Walt’s Favorite Shrimp. I don’t mind smaller portion – in reality it is more healthy. Also, they have discontinued some of my favorites. e.g. Cold shrimp dinner (my husband’s e.g. Vanilla Bean Cheesecake). These were items that drew us to choose to go there. I have seen the crowds dwindle but there have been a lot of new chains coming to my area so there are more choices. It would seem that a good seafood restaurant would be needed. Joe’s Crab Shack – yuck!

    Reply
  33. Elizabeth Johnson   December 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Yippee Red Lobster is closing their doors for good, the food now is absolutely overprices, terrible tasting and its nutrimental value horrible.

    Reply
    • Oscar   December 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Overprices?

      Reply
    • Bitty   January 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Um, they have unhealthy options and healthy options like EVERY restaurant in the world. Also, perhaps you can’t read- they aren’t closing. Some blog writer is simply trying to predict they will.

      Reply
  34. Melanee   December 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Don’t blame the economy. The Old Spaghetti Factory, Buca Di Beppo and Maggianos are busy every time I go-(yes, I like my Italian). Put out a good product, a “Kind” food not food that was tortured and certainly not one I just saw swimming two minutes ago, add fresh ingredients, make it affordable & provide good service and they will come.

    Reply
  35. jay1934   December 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I quit going to Red Lobster many years ago so won’t miss them. Good riddance.

    Reply
  36. Carol   December 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I just ate there yesterday & seen no problem. the place is clean waiters are polite’. I had shrimp alfredo for lunch I HAD 2 OF THERE BISCUITS, SALAD. i WAS FULL WHEN i LEFT.

    Reply
  37. Patsy MaKris   December 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Quit going to RL after Karina. They changed their biscuits (hardly any cheddar at atl and the discontinued the Seafood Gumbo. Just not the same anymore so I won’t miss them.

    Reply
  38. ollie   December 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Todd, you are absolutely right, RL Has improved dramatically in the last 15 years especially. They used to be horrible so I’m not getting the haters here.

    Reply
  39. James   December 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I hope they don’t close, but their food does need a lot more improvements. It will also hurt mom and pop shops if corporations like them close. However, corporations are always taking advantage of the customers by selling food at high prices but putting out subpar food. I’m pretty sure that the execs of RL or Olive Garden don’t even eat there. In the food business, if you won’t even eat your food that means it won’t sell. DUHHHH!!!!

    Reply
  40. Tara   December 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I love Red Lobster. I miss the fiesta lobster rolls and i rarely eat the lobster because it’s tough and it has a chemical taste to it. The crab and shrimp are always awesome. But I agree with another commenter, for the price you pay there should be more crab. I always have awesome customer service.

    Reply
  41. AG   December 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I used to go to Red Lobster abit..but ‘half or lunch’ portion of fish went to almost $20..for very small half..And recently found a great seafood restaurant near me..Food moderately priced..homemade..and on the water with beautiful view..As far as Olive Garden..tried it twice..was MOST bland food i ever had IMO..

    Reply
  42. charles   December 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I love RL it has always been one of my favorite lobster restaurants. I would hate to lose them!

    Reply
  43. Chuck   December 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I don’t buy the claim that they are failing due to places like Chipotle and a “farm to table movement”. Sure there there is new competition but the whole “organic” and “farm to table” thing is just a niche or a fad that most people actually don’t care about.The real problem with places like Red Lobster in my opinion is a big decline in food quality, crappy service, dirty restaurants, facilities in need of repair, etc. In other words, they just let themselves go. A good chunk of the US cannot get decent seafood so a place like Red Lobster could do very well. That won’t happen when the food is terrible, the staff is lazy and there is dust and sticky crap all over the restaurant though.

    Reply
  44. steve   December 27, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Lobster is the cruelest food on earth: imagine being thrown alive into boiling water… it takes several minutes for them to die.

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  45. sher   December 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

    All of Darren resturants that are doing well should NOTE– Don’t cheapen the food or cut back on portions. That is what CLOSED RED LOBSTER. For many years it was the only place I would eat salmon out but I haven’t been there in 2 years. The last meal I had was $18 dollars for salmon and half the size it once was. Now I don’t eat salmon at all because the only one anyone should consume is from Alaska, if it is natural caught.

    Reply
  46. robert   December 27, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I would not be at all surprised that Red Lobster and Olive Garden could be closing…the last time I went to a Red Lobster (probably at least 8 years ago), I spent almost $40 & still left the restaurant feeling hungry (IMHO there should be NO reason for a customer to leave a restaurant feeling hungry after having spent that much money)…so I never returned to Red Lobster after that visit…I can remember when Olive Garden was the place to take the family for a good Italian meal, but that has not been the case in my experience over the past few years…the last time I went to Olive Garden, you had to really fill up on the salad & breadsticks because the portion sizes were so small (except for the actual pasta…you get LOTS of pasta but almost no actual meat in your serving). The last time I went to Olive Garden, my meat portion was about the combined size of two chicken mcnuggets from McD’s….sad for almost $20/plate…

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  47. closeoutcorralKat   December 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

    What? Did all their microwaves break?

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  48. Denise   December 27, 2013 at 5:08 am

    What is the time line on their closing?

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  49. Bob   December 27, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Well, how about management getting off your lazy arse and changing the menu, pricing, and remarket Red Lobster? Why give away a name brand? Typical lazy management, they don’t invest they “ride out” the name brand without re-imaging it…which is wrong in my book. HELLO leaders, time to lead instead of make excuses.

    Reply
  50. Bonnie Seitz   December 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Please make the buscuits and sell them frozen, best part of the palce…….

    Reply
    • Michelle   December 27, 2013 at 7:10 am

      They are sold, in a box, at Walmart.

      Reply
    • chris   December 27, 2013 at 7:22 am

      you can get the mix for them at Walmart its really easy to make we did that two weeks ago and they were great

      Reply
  51. Gwen   December 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    RL is a staple restaurant for my 75+ year old parents – they love to eat there 🙂

    Reply
  52. Emily C. Bunyan   December 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Since the early 1970’s when RL opened in Terre Haute, Indiana, it’s been a favorite restaurant of mine. Some of my best times with friends have been there. There’s always a fairly lengthy wait but there are comfortable benches on which to sit while waiting for a table. Oh, and the food is tasty. I like everything on the menu. Service is excellent. The real estate that Darden owns across the U.S. must be really valuable. Somewhat like McDonald’s, RL and OG restaurants are in prime locations.

    Reply
  53. bob   December 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Could it be that the oceans are so polluted that they can’t get the seafood they need?

    Reply
  54. kate   December 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Open one in Staten island and business would be booming again a lot of ppl stop going there because of the toll always raising becomes a more expensive night out

    Reply
  55. E. Fleagle   December 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    OG’s food has too much sodium in it, RL too much “buuer” and who knows what else. The way these places receive and prepare gives me a bad taste. I want fresh, real taste. For the wait at either place it is not worth it. Fast food is going, would rather have fresh prepared as much as possible.

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  56. Jason   December 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I guess giving away a fortune in free lobster tails on Black Friday and furnishing the kitchens with several $10000 convection microwaves (turbochef sotas with custom Red Lobster emblems) a restaurant wasn’t a good idea this year.

    Also part of the reason Darden ignored the farm to table concept is because they felt that every branded store should be the same, so they get all their vegetables from Mexico and shrimp from Thailand and Ecuidor pre-breaded and pre-scampied

    Reply
  57. Candy   December 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Love Red Lobster eat there 3 times a month at least. Love the food don’t mind the price and there is 6 in my family! Travel 35 minutes to get to the closest one. Get treated nice each time! Every time I have been to OR been treated like garbage wouldn’t go back!

    Reply
    • Candy   December 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      OR should be Olive Garden OG

      Reply
  58. Todd   December 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    We eat at both fairly often. I don’t feel the price is out of line at either. Clearly fast food is attacking them but I can’t find lobster or mussels at one. And you can spend fast more at other specialty joints that are not really much better. Sure the small kids are missing but mostly you’re paying for the look, not the food. RL’s food has improved over the past ten years and I think they are a pretty good value.

    Reply
  59. Michael   December 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I wonder how Darden’s other restaurant, The Capital Grille, is doing? To me they are the best steak house in existence.

    Reply
  60. Curtis   December 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I have dined at the Evansville, IN Red Lobster since I was a teenager. I am now 60 years old and I have always been served an excellent meal at that Red Lobster and other Red Lobsters around southern Illinois and Indiana. There is a waiting line every weekend. Somebody likes the food!! The Evansville, IN Olive Garden does a whale of a good business too!! Maybe they could improve the food quality a little, but I certainly hope they do not close our restaurants.
    Personally, I think we have enough fast food joints!!

    Curtis

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  61. Dirka!   December 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    The problem is that these restaurants are open during times that there are very few costumers. Opening up at 1PM instead of 10:30AM can save money.
    Olive Garden all ready treats their employees like crap… I’m sure the father company has everything to do with it. Serves them right…

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