Red Lobster Turns on Wood-Fire Grill


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 10, 2008

Red Lobster is introducing wood-fire grilled items to the menus in all of its 680 restaurants across North America. The initiative, which the company is trumpeting as the largest systematic change in the seafood brand, is part of a plan to renew growth at the casual-dining seafood brand.

"This is the most comprehensive culinary and menu change in Red Lobster's history," says Red Lobster President Kim Lopdrup. "Wood-fire grilling introduces our guests to a whole new way to enjoy seafood."

"We're grilling food over oak because of the crisp, clean flavor it provides," says Red Lobster's Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke. "Fresh fish and seafood are delicious in their purest form, and wood-fire grilling really enhances those flavors. The fresh, natural flavor makes the heart-healthy benefits of fish even more appealing."

Prior to the launch, Red Lobster studied consumer preferences for more than 17 cooking methods, conducted more than 30 focus groups and tested Wood-fire grills in 36 restaurants for more than a year. Consumers rated wood-fire grilling as their most preferred cooking method, especially for fresh fish, shellfish, chicken and steak because it added such an appealing flavor.

Eight new wood-fire grill menu items are: Wood-Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops; Peach Bourbon BBQ Shrimp & Scallops; Wood-Grilled Sirloin & Shrimp; Wood-Grilled Scallops, Shrimp and Chicken; Jumbo Shrimp with Lobster Butter; Maple-Glazed Chicken; Honey BBQ Grilled Chicken and Shrimp; and Peach-Bourbon BBQ Scallops Appetizer.

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