Red Lobster Restaurants To Close



R.I.P. Red Lobster. The seafood restaurant chain is reportedly closing up shop.

Darden Restaurants announced Thursday (Dec. 19) that Red Lobster locations will be shutting down for “a tax-free spin-off” or possibly be sell it off completely. One thing is for sure, though: no more Red Lobster.

Apparently, investors and analysts have pressured Darden about its future and how it planned to bring back consumers after the recession. Though it’s one of the biggest companies in the casual dining industry, with a market value of $6.7 billion, its core chains — Red Lobster being its first — have had stagnant growth.

Red Lobster has 705 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and had annual sales of about $2.6 billion in the company’s 2013 fiscal year.

It’s unclear when the locations would begin closing at press time.

In addition to Red Lobster’s closure, Darden also plans to halt expansion at its core Olive Garden chain, and slowing down opening new locations for LongHorn Steakhouse.

Because Darden isn’t doing so good. It seems that consumers are turning their noses up at hoity-toity sit-down places like Red Lobster and Olive Garden these days in favor of cheaper chains like Chipotle.


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58 Responses to Red Lobster Restaurants To Close

  1. Dawn Kennedy says:

    Chipotle is not cheap. Every time I go to red lobster it’s chock full of people. I call BS. Something went wrong somewhere and they’re not taking accountability.

  2. candace mccann says:

    The last time I was there the food was not good the service was even worse and the price was extremely high.

  3. Jesse Shelton says:

    I agree that Thw traffic into every red lobster I go to is always a wait. This is simply a case of passing the buck. Apparently issues are with corporate and not the restaurants. Probably the old classic corporate greed where top management is taking mist of the profits in salary and bonuses and setting on there back sides doing nothing for it. Our staying out on golf course when they should be building and promoting the brand.

  4. mary says:

    I hate chipotle! My husband and I go to red lobster as an anniversary dinner every year (23 years now) and seeing this is sad.

    • Ron says:

      Chipotle is awesome, but harsly a substitute for Red Lobster. My wife and i take the kids every chamce we get. Not sure ifbi believe it vBulletin is closibg yet. Time will tell

  5. Karen Green says:

    Our family eats there every Christmas Eve. We will have to come up with another plan I guess. Use those gifts certifates quickly.

  6. Tish Gross says:

    Its not that Red Lobster is losing money. Its investors see it bringing in the same amount of money year after year and they want a chain that is going to increase its sales year after year. They are just not happy with making the same old millions, they want more millions. Go to the smaller non-chain restaurants. They make better food, and you know your money is staying local.

  7. Far from hoity-toity!!! Fallout will be MORE unemployed people who struggled to support their families already on low wages while the upper echelon of management take in the big bucks.

  8. I can’t imagine not having my Red Lobster date night!!

  9. B. Eaton says:

    Sorry to hear this!! We go to RL quite frequently on Sundays after church.

  10. Dean Mangas says:

    The impossibly crappy modern upbeat Muzak music they play at red lobster is why I won’t go it’s torture to the ears

  11. Danil says:

    I hope I can get the excess financing. I will buy out the “Red Lobster” franchises. I can get $1.2 mil. I’ll do what I can. I will keep ALL employees. If they invest, They WIL be partners.

  12. Jo Ann Clark says:

    We like RL once in awhile. We go there and Tex. Roadhouse mostly. I will say this, no matter what RL we are in, we have always had excellent service. I will certainly miss it if it goes.

  13. Craig Mazz says:

    They may make 2.6 billion but what’s the operating cost plus thanks to rising costs and new health care initiatives. Higher taxes and lack of people who want to work any jobs that don’t pay hundreds of dollars an hour. people don’t realize what it takes to run a restaurant of that magnitude. Don’t blame Darden only doing what’s best for future of their company as a whole. There are going to be many more company’s doing same thing. As Americans we are doing it to ourselves help save America wake up before it happens to the whole country

    • Craig Mazz – Lets not be sheeple and swallow down the propaganda some people are pushing. Affordable health care isn’t the doom some want the sheeple to think it is, a living wage isn’t going to make any companies go under but the already poorly run and corrupt ones. High Taxes are not the issue in this country, the huge loop holes that have the middle class paying more than corporations are. Off shore accounts and slimy business practices and the revolving door in the government are real issues. We need to get our law makers out of the pockets of big business, we need to stop letting big business run our country into the ground. And just to be clear, Red Lobster isn’t closing, that isn’t any more true than the fear mongering about health care such. Do. The. Research. Don’t be a sheeple! We can do better!

    • dh says:

      I knew somebody would find a way to blame President Obama

      • pamela says:

        He deserves it. He has run this country down. So faR down it will take eons to fix if ever. The only people who were stupid to vote for the rat are young uninformed people who think life is a free ride and I get stuck with the boll!

        • harriscandit says:

          Oh really? OK informed person tell me where Obama went wrong fixing the insanity Mr bush put into motion. This I have to read….which part of the south are you from

          • pamela says:

            Not from the south moron. You are in the minority of people still singing his praises. Do you ever watch the news. His ratings are in the toliet and folks are sick of his lies.

    • AvgJoe says:

      So true!! That’s all we need more loss of jobs

  14. Sean says:

    Red Lobster is NOT closing. They are spinning it off into a separate company

  15. The Red Lobster in the Tigard ,Oregon area just demolished and rebuilt a new restaurant. I am not even sure it is open yet.

    • Yo says:

      Red Lobster not closing, Darden says


      Sandra Pedicini discusses Darden plans to split from Red Lobster
      By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel
      3:00 pm, December 27, 2013
      Relax, everyone. Your Cheddar Bay biscuits are safe.

      Red Lobster is not closing, despite Internet rumors about the chain’s demise.

      Owner Darden Restaurants has been trying to quash false reports since Christmas that Red Lobster is shuttering its restaurants across the country. Still, on Friday afternoon “Red Lobster closing” was the No. 1 item trending on Yahoo, and the rumor was the subject of multiple Tweets and Facebook posts.

      “To clarify, reports that @RedLobster is closing are false,” the company tweeted out Friday. “We’re looking forward to your next visit!”

      Darden said last week it plans to sell or spin off the Red Lobster chain into a separate company. But “we never said we were closing any restaurants,” spokesman Rich Jeffers said Friday.

      Jeffers said the rumors stem from a piece in LA Weekly that “was clearly being facetious” about the brand’s shutdown. Other media outlets wrongly assumed the restaurants were closing and reported that, he said.

      “You had a couple outlets where clearly folks weren’t practicing good journalism, and no one called to verify if what they read in LA Weekly was accurate,” Jeffers said.

      The LA Weekly piece had been updated as of Friday to say no restaurants were closing.

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  16. Plimpty Hug says:

    LOL…I wondered how many comments it would take before someone blamed Obama. Regardless of the topic, on any page where comments are allowed, Obama is blamed/compared to Hitler, etc within 10 comments! At our house, we sarcastically shout “Thanks, Obama!” whenever anything goes wrong, (especially things that he could, in NO WAY, have any affect on.) “What? We’re out of ketchup? THANKS, OBAMA!”

  17. Carson says:

    They are not closing, Darden used to be part of General Mills before they split into Darden, Red Lobster is either going up for sale or spun off into its own company to give it the freedom to grow.

  18. This is NOT true. Go to their site. Plus this is not a good source for news!

  19. Gary says:

    Red lobster use to be upscale years ago. They still have that thought but in today’s economy it doesn’t work. Simplify the menus reduce the menue and cost push quality food not costly and make up the money in the alcohol sales. One thing people don’t want to pay a ton for food but won’t skimp on alcohol.

  20. KSE says:

    All three of those restaurants need to become more friendly to alternative diet restrictions. I can’t eat at Olive Garden any longer because I am allergic to dairy now – so any cheese dish is out – or anything slathered in butter. Same for Red Lobster – they bathe most of their food in butter or creamy sauces. As for Longhorn – I was a vegetarian before I was vegan (by allergy) and the only thing I could eat there was a crappy salad and a sweet potato. I can eat that at home for a lot less than they charge. They’re not the only ones, but I think this is becoming a problem for many restaurants. They need to cater to folks with food restrictions.

  21. Jacquie says:

    Hilarious! A nasty ass chain allegedly closes and people blame the president.
    The more corporate chains that close the better small local independent eateries do….plus they tend to pay a living wage. Not to mention reinvest in the local economy.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Its called Fukushima. So long seafood.

  23. Leah says:

    The red lobster mix in the mix isn’t that good. I love red loster.

  24. Terry Heggs says:

    Has more to do with not meeting projected financial #’s by the shareholders than anything else. It’s all about projected financial #’s. I bet you that the restaurant is profitable quarterly & yearly. It’s just not meeting the projected #’s that are forecast by the shareholders. The only thing that they care about is profits & not any adjustments to keep the business open. But that’s just it. It’s business!!!

  25. Too bad! Red Lobster may be hoity toity, but at least the food is good. Chipotle positively sucks!

    • Kris says:

      You may think Chipotle is gross, but that is my opinion of Red Lobster. Chipotle Restaurants give organic, non-GMO foods at a reasonable price and everything there is CLEAN! I have NEVER seen a cockroach in a Chipotle Restaurant, I guess that’s something Red Lobster can only wish to say about their Restaurants. If you want to entice consumers, then listen to their wants and desires. I want food that isn’t created as an experiment. I want REAL food. I only buy Organic in the grocery store, why would I want to pay more for GMO foods in a restaurant? No Thanks!!

  26. Jen says:

    If both restaurants had better not processed foods it might be worth 15-20 a plate. Homecooked meals taste better than frozen any day.

  27. Natasha says:

    Please dont shut down.I love the shrimp and biscuits.

  28. Jen says:

    This seems hardcto believe seeing how they are remodeling alot of restaurants.

  29. Susan says:

    Man U admitted u voted for Obama?? Can’t believe it I’d b ashamed but then again I didn’t vote for the mooran!!!

  30. LLuscious says:

    Ha ha if you’re going to insult someone and call them a moron, you may want to spell it correctly next time. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Well they shut down Smokey bones bar and grill also I worked for darden. Best insurance offers. Domestic partner insurance. But they are getting over their head with all these restaurants offering buffets for cheap

  32. John says:

    Sounds like they are paying too much for the square footage of their restaurants? Even AppleBee’s, TGI Fridays, Red Robin, etc have smaller buildings. Need to build smaller restuarants and control cost. Of course, I’m sure when the revenue was great, they overpaid like K-Mart did in there prime!! Good luck!!

  33. Tim says:

    To say that nothing is fresh is completely wrong…the brand is built on you see the live lobsters or the fresh fish menu’s, or the fresh made cheddar biscuits, recipes use fresh ingredients and everything is freshly made….now that being said i believe the company is in trouble and is looking for a scapegoat…just may end up red lobster will be caught in the cross fire.

  34. mookie says:

    Never cared for Red Lobster. Too noisy and it smells of fish and stinky sea food. Too crowded. And not my cuppa tea. Maybe tge real issue is healthcare with employees….ya think?

  35. Michelle says:

    Annual sales of 2.6 billion isn’t the same as profit. If you lose money, you have to make tough decisions. Restaurant managers need to know how to manage to make a profit.

  36. Last time I was in a Red Lobster I was sitting at the bar n watched a roach crawl across the bar n down to where the fruit was that goes in drinks!!!

  37. George Adams says:

    You got to be kidding…our Chillicothe Red Lobster & Olive Garden is ALWAYS packed to the max with customers that luv their food, no matter what the cost their ALWAYS PACKED FULL!!! What about gift cards that people recieved as gifts??? Will their cost
    be refunded??

  38. Diana tatman says:

    I’m sorry for the employees 🙁

  39. Rah Banks says:

    “It’s unclear when the locations would begin closing at press time.”

    It’s unclear to you. Darden has already stated that it will close down “SOME” locations, not all. And the spinoff should be a good thing for Red Lobster and Darden alike. Why the hell would you spread this propaganda?

  40. Tina says:

    I can’t speak for all the restaurants but the one in our area was pretty good, one of my favorite places. However, the service started going downhill and I started choosing other places to eat. Even with what I consider to be horrible service, the place is always packed out into the parking lot. So I’m not sure how they’re not making money.

  41. crissy says:

    Chipotle? Is that a joke?? Hands down the shittiest restaurant ever…

  42. kevin says:

    Red lobster ain’t what it used to be. But overall Itll be well missed

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