March 01, 2017
Red Lobster, in an effort to halt the slump in sales, is bringing back a customer favorite - it's Lobsterfest.
Red Lobster, a casual dining chain, recently kicked off the yearly event with no official end date in sight. According to the chain, the event will go on for several months. The company has added four items to its menu such as the chilled shrimp and lobster cocktail, lobster surf and turf and mix-and-match lobster tail. It also offers five traditional lobster dishes.
Casual chains like Red Lobster are trying to set themselves apart in the over-crowded industry. Red Lobster uses its special seafood events such as Endless Shrimp and Lobsterfest to entice customers away from TGI Friday's and Olive Garden.
Red Lobster Senior Vice President of Menu Strategy and Development Danielle Conner said the restaurant is the leader in seafood and Lobsterfest is about producing an experience for guests. She said when people come to the restaurant, they want to sit down, have great food, amazing customer service and talk to the people they are with.
Many casual dining restaurants have seen sales drop in the last few years with customers opting for fast-casual dining for their cheap but fresh options and independent restaurants. Grocery prices also dropped in 2016, with more people opting to eat at home. Analysts on Wall Street warned of a possible restaurant recession.
Red Lobster went private three years ago, and it's taken action to stay current and made investments in its food quality. The company boosted its shrimp by nearly 50%, added upscale foods like the wild-caught Alaska Sockeye Salmon and have prepared more dishes in-house.
Red Lobster said these investments are working. The chain is now seeing a surge in sales and customers.