Red Lobster turns in another strong quarter


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 6, 2011

It’s been a strong year for Red Lobster.

On Tuesday, Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, which owns the 680-unit casual seafood chain, reported that Red Lobster’s same-restaurant sales increased 6.8 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended 27 November.

Red Lobster’s same-restaurant sales were up 12.8 percent in September, 3 percent in October and 2.8 percent in November. In the first quarter, its same-restaurant sales were up 10.7 percent.

The same can’t be said for Olive Garden, Darden’s other leading brand, which has hit a rough patch. Its same-restaurant sales were down 2.5 percent in the second quarter.

Red Lobster’s new marketing push appears to be paying off. This summer, the chain launched a national advertising campaign featuring “real people,” including Alaska crab fishermen and Red Lobster “grill masters.” It’s the latest step in a multi-year effort to refresh the chain’s brand and broaden its appeal by making a more personal connection with its customers.

Also on Tuesday, Darden reported that in the second quarter it completed the acquisition of upscale seafood brands Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille from Eddie V’s Restaurants for USD 59 million. Announced in October, the deal includes all eight Eddie V’s restaurants and three Wildfish restaurants.

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