Red Lobster Sold and Olive Garden Should Be Next

Red Lobster

Red Lobster has been sold and the future of the restaurant chain is uncertain at best. Last year, Guardian Liberty Voice published several stories about the possibility of Red Lobster closing its doors forever, and as a result, received numerous threats of lawsuits from people claiming to represent Red Lobster. Now, however, it is clear that the seafood chain’s future is tenuous since no one knows exactly what new owner Golden Gate Capital plans to do with the brand. There had been talk of possibly spinning off the chain into a more casual “fast food” type of establishment, but so far, there’s been no word on what, exactly, will happen. The possibility still remains that Red Lobster will close for good. This would actually be best for everyone, especially the public. In fact, Olive Garden should be next, because its food is even worse than the food at Red Lobster.

While shareholders for Red Lobster were busy wringing their hands and getting mad at newspaper reporters for giving opinions on the sub-par seafood restaurant, parent company Darden continued to ignore the real problem, which was always the food itself. Sure, they tried offering a variety of specials to lure back lost customers, but no one wants to eat cold, over-salted, microwaved food no matter how inexpensive it is. Unless company executives begin to understand that, there is no hope for Red Lobster or its sister company, Olive Garden.

The food at Olive Garden is an embarrassment to all people of Italian descent, and bears no resemblance whatsoever to the food in Italy. In fact, the Olive Garden commercials are downright hilarious as they portray Olive Garden chefs traveling to Italy for new recipe ideas. This is preposterous, to say the least. Red Lobster has been sold, and the new owners ought to just give up and close the chain permanently. Olive Garden should be next.

Before the sale of the beleaguered seafood chain earlier this week, profits had been on a downward spiral and were down 8.7% in one year. Darden shares overall were down 4% and this is because Darden execs are obviously not paying attention to food quality. Here’s how Darden can recover from their financial downturn and avoid Olive Garden being the next victim of a sale.

First: get rid of all the microwaves and freezers in all Darden restaurants; and that means all of them, no excuses. No one wants your re-heated food, Darden. If people wanted to eat previously frozen food heated in a microwave, they would stay home and eat a Lean Cuisine off of a TV tray. That’s why Chipotle has been cited as edging out brands like Red Lobster. Chipotle does not have microwaves, freezers or can openers on the premises of any of their restaurants. Times have changed since 1968, Darden, but your company has failed to change with them. Back in the 70s and 80s when Red Lobster was booming, microwaves were still new things and thus, eating food heated in them was acceptable. Now, society has moved into this whole “farm fresh, sustainable” deal, so you need to get with the program. Hire real chefs who are committed to cooking real, fresh food from local sources. Throw in some organic items, too. People love the organic thing these days.

Second: lower the prices on the wine. Your wine prices were always, and still remain, outrageous for the cheapo brands you sell. Lower the prices on your wine, and people will start flowing in just for reasonable alcohol.

Third: Clean up your act. Some of your restaurants are dirty, run down and just plain awful. Renovate the worst and clean up the rest. Make sure your staff is on top of keeping the bathrooms clean, too. They are often disgraceful. If you make your restaurants nicer overall in terms of ambiance, it will go a long way in their possibly avoiding the same fate suffered by Red Lobster.

The most important of all these points, though, is by far the food issue. Normal citizens who aren’t bigwig fat cat company executives often wonder what the corporate millionaires are doing at Darden, because those head honchos are definitely not paying any attention to the food. Maybe they are busy lolling about on yachts and driving overpriced cars. Instead of spending time being typical corporate d*****bags, improve the food, and everything will change.

Red Lobster has been sold, and Olive Garden should be next; that is, unless parent company Darden takes actual steps to improve the lousy cuisine they try to pass off as good casual dining. Otherwise, it won’t be just the over-salted cheddar biscuits that are in jeopardy, but the unlimited bowls of watery and sometimes partially frozen piles of iceberg lettuce as well.

Opinion by: Rebecca Savastio

Source:

Washington Post

Forbes

5 Responses to "Red Lobster Sold and Olive Garden Should Be Next"

  1. Wm. Spencer   December 15, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Darden treats their employees like trash. This is why they cannot retain quality employees. I worked for Darden for 11 years. It became unbearable. They need to clean shop by not allowing managers to run a dictatorship in their restaurants. Happy employees means happy guests and increased revenue. The former CEO Clarence Otis was replaced. Hopefully things will improve but all my former coworkers tell me they have changed but not for the better. Darden cut wages for all buzzer and bartenders about six years ago to 5$ per hour from what they had previously been earning to cut costs. That was probably the worst thing that could have been done because it was a blow to morale resulting in people not caring about their work performance. Management is abysimmal. They make you work sick, do not pay you for time worked properly. I could go on for days but will spare you the agony.

    Reply
  2. Kim   July 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    What an angry person who wrote this artical. Red Lobster listen to me (Kim) keep your food just the way it is. I have been driving a minimum of 45 minutes for over 20 years to Asheville NC every time I want Red Lobster. As far as the Olive Garden is concerned the food is just as good as Red Lobsters is and who cares if it is actually like Italys food. Luckily we have one closer to home now, just need a Red Lobster in Hendersonville NC and life would be complete.

    Reply
  3. Michelle   April 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    This report is too biased to be credible.

    Reply
  4. Timothy Shoup   April 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I totally agree

    Reply
  5. Jessie Jan   November 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Ummmm FYI olive does send culinary team members every year to the culinary institute in Tuscany sooo do yourself a favor and do some research before you write about “facts” you know nothing of!!!!

    Reply

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