Growing up, I remember dinners at Red Lobster as such a treat. For a middle class, middle-American family like ours, it always marked a special occasion. Well, recent news means it could be the end of an era for fans of the chain. Red Lobster could be closing all of its 705 locations, and it looks like Olive Garden (owned by the same parent company) won't be opening up any new restaurants in the near future. That means one sad fact for millions of families:
No more tasty AND affordable meals out. The restaurants have been hard-hit in this ongoing recession, and the plan is to sell or spin off the Red Lobsters.
Dinner at Red Lobster may not sound like such a luxury to wealthier Americans, but for many, it's still the place to go celebrate anniversaries, new jobs, date nights, and much more. And while I haven't been there in years, I still have fond memories. I went on my first date there! Lobster is expensive, and an affordable place to get it is something many diners greatly appreciated. But, I suppose, not enough of them. Execs say patrons dropped significantly in recent months. Apparently, the lure of high end fast food places like Chipotle may have taken away customers.
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So the company will scale back growth of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouses. But Red Lobster is on the chopping block. If the attempt to sell or spin off doesn't work, it could mean no more "Lobster Fest."
It’s certainly disheartening to see another American institution crumble.
It evokes the same emotion as when we heard that Hostess was closing down and the Twinkie would be no more. Fortunately, the product was bought by another company and saved. It’s unclear if Red Lobster will have the same luck. So for now, shellfish lovers take note: get your budget-friendly crab legs and cheesy biscuits now. They may not exist much longer.
Are you sad to see Red Lobster go?
Image via RedLobster.com