Red Lobster Completes Sale, Revamps Food Presentation

Now that Golden Gate Capital has acquired Red Lobster from Darden Restaurants, the seafood chain is trying to emphasize its quality.

learn more about Kate Taylor

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Under fresh leadership, Red Lobster is ready to be the everyman's restaurant of choice for finer dining.

Today, Darden Restaurants and Golden Gate Capital announced that Golden Gate completed the acquisition of Red Lobster and certain related assets and assumed liabilities. The San Francisco-based private equity investment firm paid approximately $2.1 billion in cash for the seafood chain.

Darden put Red Lobster on the chopping block in December 2013, with plans to either spin off or sell the chain. Golden Gate announced plans to buy the chain in May.

Related: Done Deal: Red Lobster Restaurant Chain Sold for $2.1 Billion

Under new ownership, the casual-dining chain wants to take on a more upscale image, says new CEO Kim Lopdrup in an interview with the Associated Press. How? For one, the chain is cutting promotions that emphasize low prices above the quality of the food. Additionally, Red Lobster is rolling out a new plating style reminiscent of more upscale restaurants, with food stacked in a vertical presentation instead of being separated on the plate.

The food itself will not change, other than in its arrangement. However, Lopdrup is backtracking on the company's decision in late 2012 to expand non-seafood menu offerings to up to a quarter of the menu, with plans to lower the amount to 10 to 15 percent by November.

As Red Lobster gets fancy, Darden has been focusing on its most well-known, remaining chain: Olive Garden. The Italian chain is currently in the midst of a "brand renaissance," with new menu, logo and restaurant design.

Related: Olive Garden Undergoes 'Brand Renaissance' as Investors' Criticism Intensifies

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.

Fundraising

Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.