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BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc. said it would separate itself from its Red Lobster business while halting expansion at Olive Garden and stopping acquisitions “for the foreseeable future.” Orlando, Fla.-based Darden has struggled recently along with the rest of the casual dining sector as price-conscious consumers moved into the cheaper fast-casual tier that includes chains such as Smashburger and Panera. Darden said the Red Lobster move may take the form of a tax-free spinoff to shareholders or an outright sale.
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BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc. said it would separate itself from its Red Lobster business while halting expansion at Olive Garden and stopping acquisitions “for the foreseeable future.” Orlando, Fla.-based Darden has struggled recently along with the rest of the casual dining sector as price-conscious consumers moved into the cheaper fast-casual tier that includes chains such as Smashburger and Panera. Darden said the Red Lobster move may take the form of a tax-free spinoff to shareholders or an outright sale.
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BUSINESS
October 16, 1997
Advertiser: Red Lobster restaurants Agency: Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago Challenge: Give Red Lobster a fresh image that distinguishes it from other mid-price restaurant chains. The Ads: In its new campaign, Red Lobster, a unit of Darden Restaurants Inc., portrays dining at its restaurants as a break from routine. One spot opens as a tumbleweed rolls across a western landscape. "Life on land is dry," says the voice-over.
FOOD
August 17, 2013 | S. Irene Virbila
No way am I going to make it to Maine this summer to feast on lobster pulled straight from the Atlantic. Short of flying in the crustaceans from the East Coast (very expensive), I intend to get my lobster fix right here. Not at the Lobster in Santa Monica - too noisy - or the Red Lobster. And I'm not longing for one of the gigantesque lobsters served up at the Palm steakhouses either. Something more demure, more soulful for me. On a recent lobster crawl around town, I found three places that did a good, even great, job with Maine lobster.
BUSINESS
June 25, 1993 | CHRIS WOODYARD and ANNE MICHAUD, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Restaurant Enterprises Group Inc. agreed Thursday to apologize to food giant General Mills Inc., pay unspecified compensation and yank TV ads claiming that fish served at REG's Coco's restaurants tastes better than that of Red Lobster, a General Mills subsidiary. The ads end with a view of the Red Lobster logo in which the letters b and t are dropped, leaving "Red Loser." In a lawsuit filed in U.S.
NEWS
October 20, 1994 | LEONARD REED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Red Lobster chain of restaurants dots the United States with astonishing success. Whether it's the Red Lobster on Route 17 in northern New Jersey or the Red Lobster off the Ventura Freeway in Oxnard, the dining room is always running full-tilt with happy customers facing tan mounds of fried shrimp or combo plates sprouting large pink and white branches known as crab legs.
NEWS
July 23, 1992 | SANDRA SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
As I cruised the Red Lobster parking lot searching for a place to land, I hoped finding a table wouldn't be as challenging. Rumor had it that there could be as much as an hour's wait to be seated. After my fourth pass through the maze of cars, determined to check out the new seafood joint, I gave up on the restaurant's parking and opted for a hike from a furniture store across the street. The overflow benches outside the front door were all empty. A good sign.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Chairman and chief executive of Darden Restaurants Inc., which operates Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other sit-down casual-dining chains. Raised in Los Angeles, Otis, 54, has spent the last 15 years with the Orlando, Fla., concern and helped guide it through boom times and two recessions. He is one of the nation's few African American CEOs who run a Fortune 500 company. Family matters: Wife is Jacqueline Bradley, a former executive of corporate banking at SunTrust and now a stay-at-home mother.
BUSINESS
June 25, 1993 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Red Lobster Comes Out a Winner: The Irvine parent company of such eateries as Coco's, Carrows and El Torito formally apologized to General Mills Inc. for calling the Minneapolis company's Red Lobster seafood chain "Red Loser." Restaurant Enterprises Group Inc. also agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle the trademark disparagement lawsuit filed by General Mills.
BUSINESS
July 13, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Darden Restaurants Inc., owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, will buy the beer-centric Yard House USA Inc. restaurant chain for $585 million in cash. The deal with Yard House owner TSG Consumer Partners will place the chain in Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, a more upscale lineup of restaurants that includes the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie Vs. Yard House, based in Irvine, has more than 130 taps on average and takes advantage of the popularity of craft beers.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc.'s efforts to spruce up Olive Garden's lagging sales, including national promotions and cost cuts, were “less effective than anticipated,” the company said while announcing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Friday. Similar tactics were also uninspiring at Darden's seafood chain, Red Lobster. After a brief respite during the spring, Italian brand Olive Garden returned to its pattern of poor same-store sales, which tumbled 1.8% over the quarter ended May 27 compared with a year earlier, while customer traffic fell 7.5% in May. Red Lobster's same-store sales slid 3.9% over the quarter and customer traffic in May slumped 7.8% With sales of $904 million, Olive Garden is Darden's largest chain.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Millennials, the 19- to 34-year-olds who eat out more than any other generation, are considered by restaurant owners to be the new golden geese. But luring them in is a tricky affair. They're not just looking for tasty treats at a good value. What they want is much more complicated: an emotional connection to a brand that is socially responsible and sustainable, using thoughtfully chosen ingredients and considerately employed workers. They tend to have polarized views on certain restaurants.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Maybe it's Marilyn Hagerty working her magic: Olive Garden  is reversing out of a long slump with more visitors and better sales. A few weeks after the elderly North Dakota reviewer's piece on a new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks went viral, the chain's parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc., said its fiscal third-quarter profit soared more than 8% to $164.1 million, or $1.25 a share, from $151.7 million, or $1.08, in the same period...
NEWS
September 15, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
First Lady Michelle Obama gave her support Thursday to healthful menu changes at Darden Restaurants, the parent company of mega-chains such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster. The company announced Thursday  it's cutting calories and sodium in all of its restaurants, offering more healthful choices on its kids' menus and revamping other food choices. Obama spoke at a news conference held at an Olive Garden restaurant in Hyattsville, Md., in which Darden Chairman and Chief Executive Clarence Otis outlined changes the company's restaurants will make.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Chairman and chief executive of Darden Restaurants Inc., which operates Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other sit-down casual-dining chains. Raised in Los Angeles, Otis, 54, has spent the last 15 years with the Orlando, Fla., concern and helped guide it through boom times and two recessions. He is one of the nation's few African American CEOs who run a Fortune 500 company. Family matters: Wife is Jacqueline Bradley, a former executive of corporate banking at SunTrust and now a stay-at-home mother.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Millennials, the 19- to 34-year-olds who eat out more than any other generation, are considered by restaurant owners to be the new golden geese. But luring them in is a tricky affair. They're not just looking for tasty treats at a good value. What they want is much more complicated: an emotional connection to a brand that is socially responsible and sustainable, using thoughtfully chosen ingredients and considerately employed workers. They tend to have polarized views on certain restaurants.
TRAVEL
December 10, 2000 | G. FRANCO ROMAGNOLI, G. Franco Romagnoli is a food writer and educator based in Watertown, Mass
On a sunny afternoon last spring, I stood on Cabo da Roca, Portugal, the westernmost point in continental Europe. Looking at the vast Atlantic horizon, it was impossible not to feel the pull of faraway places, the allure of exploration. A thousand miles behind me was Italy, my homeland--and that of Christopher Columbus. Ahead, almost directly across the ocean, was my adopted home, Massachusetts, the shore at the end of the Pilgrims' journeys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1999 | CATHERINE BLAKE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It was a Hawaiian Christmas--and a Native American Christmas and a farm equipment Christmas--in Camarillo on Saturday when the community's 36th annual parade marched down the street mixing themes from throughout the West Coast and beyond. Santa on a sleigh still brought up the rear and there were Christmas hats aplenty, but many of the floats showed remarkable ingenuity in creating eclectic combinations.
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