Recent Marketing and Operating Activities at Red Lobster

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  • Topic: Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden, Orlando, Florida
  • Pages : 5 (1440 words )
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  • Published : April 12, 2011
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Recent Marketing and Operating Activities at Red Lobster

Contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………...Page 3 Keeping Red Lobster Current…………………………………………………………….Page 3 Movement towards Sustainability………………………………………………………...Page 4 Marketing Blunders of 2010……………………………………………………………....Page 5 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………….Page 6 Personal Thoughts…………………………………………………………………………Page 6 References…………………………………………………………………………………..Page 8

Introduction
The first Red Lobster restaurant opened was opened in 1968 by company found Bill Darden. In 1995, three popular restaurants, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze became part of Darden Restaurants. With large contributions by its popular seafood restaurant, Darden had revenues of approximately 7.1 billion dollars in 20101. Today there are nearly 700 Red Lobster restaurants between the U.S. and Canada.6 This term paper will focus on the following three topics: keeping Red Lobster current, its movement towards sustainability and its marketing blunders of 2010.

Keeping Red Lobster Current
As the economic downfall continues to force consumers to cut spending, eating out is one of the first activities to be cut from their budgets. While many restaurants are losing profits, two of Darden’s companies, Red Lobster and Olive Garden, have held strong.2, 3

Darden has achieved this success despite economic challenges by revamping Red Lobster’s brand image as a more upscale, sleek, high quality restaurant that will attract both wealthier and younger diners9. Red Lobster announced its plans to remodel all of its restaurants by 20148 moving from its colorful décor to more sophisticated nautical décor including dark woods, a new contemporary logo and soft modern lighting9. Darden CEO, Clarence Otis, was quoted in USA Today saying companies must, “Be prepared for cyclical downturns by offering a range from value to premium. When appropriate, emphasize the value offerings,” and Red Lobster management is doing just that3. In addition to remodeling, Red Lobster is also revamping its menu to appeal to both upscale customers and price-conscious customers, focusing on better flavors and better quality. Bringing in two highly regarded chefs, offering a daily rotating fresh fish menu and wood-fire grill options have moved the brand away from its stereotypical “fried food” image9. Red Lobster has also successfully adapted to the changing market need for less expensive meals, offering a new lunch menu with meals ranging from $8.99 to $18.508. These new meals provide affordable, yet fresh and appealing options for its price-conscious customers.

Movement towards Sustainability
Like many companies, Red Lobster has begun moving towards integrated sustainability10. Integrated sustainability involves integrating activities within the operations of a company that not only help the company reach present operation goals, but will continue to help meet goals in generations to come. This often involves the integration of energy efficient technology, environmentally friendly activities and/or socially beneficial operations.

In the case of Red Lobster, most of its integrated sustainability efforts are focused on maintaining seafood sustainability. As America’s largest seafood restaurant, it is estimated that Red Lobster purchases between $750 million and $800 million of seafood each year5. As such a large consumer of seafood, Red Lobster has maintained an environmentally aware outlook in regards to its role in the ocean’s diminishing supply of fish. Its parent company, Darden, utilizes expert opinion on which types of fish to offer on its menus and spent nearly $5 million dollars in 2008 on marine research and restoration projects5.

In an effort to preserve the world’s supply of fish, the company is also strongly considering fish farming, or aquaculture, pushing to research the idea of creating its own lobster farms. Although this many appear to be a viable solution, there are...
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