Red Lobster is one of the most popular seafood chains in the world. Though the chain has gotten both positive and negative press over the years, it remains hugely successful. However, despite the fact that the franchise has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Red Lobster. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Its Predecessor Was the Green Frog. Red Lobster was founded by Bill Darden, but before Darden opened the first one, he had a lunch counter he called the Green Frog. Darden eventually bought the Howard Johnson restaurant franchise and a seafood inn called Gary’s Duck Inn, and by 1968, he had plans to open his own seafood kitchen – the Red Lobster.
Number Fourteen: The Origins of the Name Are Unclear. One story alleges that Darden came up with the name for the chain during a brainstorm session. He and his wife came up with it because red lobster is synonymous with fresh and well-cooked lobster. However, other people allege that the name came from a printer that suggested the name when printing out menus.
Number Thirteen: It Was Briefly Owned by General Mills. Around 1970, General Mills purchased the chain, which had become relatively successful. Darden remained the manager of the franchise, and General Mills owned it for 25 years until the Darden Restaurants subsidiary was created in 1995.
Number Twelve: Those Famous Cheddar Biscuits Didn’t Exist Until the 1980s. It’s true! The biscuits were invented in 1988, and they were originally introduced as an alternate choice to their hushpuppies. Biscuits were chosen because of their associations with comfort and family food, and they eventually earned themselves the cult following they have today.
Number Eleven: It Basically Invented Popcorn Shrimp. Shrimp weren’t a generally popular thing to eat until the 1970s, and that’s right around the time Red Lobster began to gain popularity with the general public. They decided to bread and fry the shrimp so people could eat it more easily, and customers who were averse to shrimp would be more likely to try it.
Number Ten: You’d Have to Eat Three Pounds of Shrimp to Get Your Money’s Worth on the Endless Shrimp Promotion. The company does a promotion that allows people to have as many shrimp dishes as they want for just $16.99. However, they still manage to turn a serious profit with the promotion because customers would have to eat about three pounds of shrimp to really get their money’s worth.
Number Nine: But the Endless Crab Promotion Was Worth It. In fact, the chain actually lost money on their $20 Endless Snow Crab promotion in 2003. The promo was extremely popular, and Red Lobster lost money because snow crab was expensive at the time. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Red Lobster, coming soon!