Red Lobster's story
It is often said in the business world, one good idea can change it all. This is the case with Red Lobster in terms of casual dining business. Red Lobster, an American chain of restaurants, maintains decades of long tradition of serving quality seafood and fresh fish.
It all began when Bill Darden truly devoted himself to making tasty and high-quality seafood dishes. He wanted to share his passion with others and wanted to make a chain of restaurants, which would make seafood available even to people who normally don’t have access to it due to geographical distance or shallow pocket. This is how 49 years ago, the Red Lobster was born.
In a world full of fast food chains, Red Lobster’s approach to food is making it refreshingly different. All seafood served at Red Lobster come from sustainable sources. Red Lobster’s business policy is protecting the ocean wildlife. Therefore, you will never find endangered or overfished seafood in the menu.
The restaurant is offering a variety of healthy food choices in the form of different fish and seafood entrées, salads, side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. Its extensive daily menu is comprised of five large categories:
- Today’s Fresh Fish
- Lighter Fare
These categories can easily satisfy everyone’s taste, and best of all, at totally reasonable prices.
The nutritional value of seafood is generally considered to be very high. Seafood is an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight naturally by changing their eating habits because many species of fish are low-fat and at the same time, packed with proteins.
In addition, seafood provides plenty of essential amino acids and nutrients to promote healthy body development. The famous omega-3 fatty acids come from seafood, contributing to reduced risks of many diseases. Incorporating seafood in your regular meal plan is something that doctors and nutrition experts recommend.
There are many reasons why seafood is good for you, and the following are only some of them:
- Seafood provides a good source of protein, but contains less fat than other animal protein sources.
- It is generally low in cholesterol, which is important for heart health.
- It is rich in vitamins and minerals including iodine, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B.
- Seafood promotes immunity improvement and also vital for a healthy retinal function.
- Seafood can help improve the welfare of the patients who need additional care after complicated surgeries or recovering from difficult diseases.
- The regular consumption of seafood reduces the risk and severity of several mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and mood disorders such as anxiety, hostility, and aggression.
Red Lobster’s varied menus provide an excellent opportunity for people to enjoy the benefits of a seafood-rich diet. On their website, you can find an app called "Nutrition Calculator", which will allow you to create a menu that specifically meets your food and nutrition goals. Even if you opt for fast food, Red Lobster offers "Quick Catches", which manage to integrate a variety of vegetables and healthy meat with spectacular taste without losing much of their nutritional values.
If you are a shrimp lover, Red Lobster’s “Endless Shrimp” event will become one of your favorites. In the last ten years, every year around the holiday season, if you visit Red Lobster, you will find a special promotion offering hours of non-stop shrimp eating for a fixed price of $16.99 or $21.99 depending on the restaurant’s location.
The official Red Lobster’s policy states that there is no time limit to the promotion, which basically means that if you like it, you could have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same place eating the same food for the same fixed price. However, it should be stated that not all meals with shrimp on Red Lobster's menu are included in the promotion. Only five items are part of the "Endless Shrimp" deal. The 2016 “Endless Shrimp” line-up included:
- Parmesan Peppercorn Shrimp
- Garlic Sriracha-Grilled Shrimp
- Hand-Crafted Shrimp Scampi
- Hand-Breaded Shrimp
- Shrimp Linguini Alfredo
How the promotion works
Upon arriving, you get to choose two of your favorite shrimp preparations to start. After you have enjoyed them and you’re ready to continue, you can order other shrimp preparations one at a time.
“Endless Shrimp” is a great way to explore a variety of different flavors and shrimp preparations. Guests can enjoy even more shrimp with their meal by selecting an appetizer they prefer. In addition, you can complement your menu with seasonal sides, including fresh roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in a light brown butter sauce and whipped sweet potatoes topped with honey-roasted pecans.
Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Can you imagine biscuits getting that popular to have their own Facebook fan page with almost a million likes? You should, because this is the case with Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. These cheesy, buttery, and garlicky biscuits became an instant classic from the first batch.
Cheddar Bay Biscuits are usually served at the start of any meal. However, there are many people who enjoy batch after batch as their main course. Their popularity has grown so huge that there is now a Cheddar Bay Biscuit premix, in case you want to make your own heavenly bites at home. Although the biscuit mix only has a few simple ingredients such as flour, cheese, butter, and garlic, it can surely satisfy your biscuit cravings.
There’s no big secret why Red Lobster restaurant chains have millions of loyal customers. The reason is that their menus are created in a way wherein guests can easily find their own favorite dish. In addition, creative chefs don’t stop exploring new combinations and creating fresh meals from scratch.
A wide range of Red Lobster’s dishes includes some that have earned the title "Classic". "Lobster & Signature Combos" feature lobsters that are prepared in many different ways, and the same goes for shrimps, crabs, and fish. And who hasn’t heard about Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp or Cheddar Bay Biscuits?
Dishes such as the Farm-Raised Catfish and Maple-Glazed Chicken with wild rice pilaf are some of the items that are both affordable and would make any customer happy. The company also added plenty of seafood options for kids 12 and younger, such as Popcorn Shrimp, Petite Maine Lobster Tail, Broiled Fish, and Snow Crab Legs.
If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, there is a special menu with a choice of good dishes. Lighter Fare menu is comprised of several delicious dishes. It contains 600 calories or less altogether with fresh vegetables and salad.
However, if you are a big eater and cannot imagine a meal without trying something sweet, there is plenty of options at Red Lobster that will make you happy. The Chocolate Wave Cake is a warm, decadent chocolate cake with creamy fudge frosting, vanilla ice cream, and a rich chocolate sauce. The cool and tangy Key Lime Pie is another treat worth indulging in. Moreover, the list is far from complete. For passionate dessert lovers, Triple-Chocolate Brownie à La Mode, Apple Crostata with Caramel Drizzle, Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie, and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake will make a perfect ending to a delicious meal.
Dietary or allergy restrictions
Red Lobster offers specific information on all allergens contained in their meals. All you should do is ask your server for gluten-free info for your order. You can also use their "food allergy wizard" or "allergen guide" to see which allergens are in which dish. Even though the recipes are continuously being improved and changed, the allergen guide is regularly updated.
Red Lobster "Specials"
Red Lobster’s "Specials" include four major categories:
- Pasta Specialties
- Classic Favorites
- Wood-Grilled Selections
- Drinks, Sides, and Dessert
Each category contains three different meals to choose from.
1) Pasta Specialties - are a nice mix of creamy sauces, seafood, or chicken, and a variety of interesting spices to add a distinguished flavor. Red Lobster offers three types: Lobster Cavatappi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, and Grilled Chicken Alfredo. It’s up to the guests to discover their favorite pasta and enjoy it.
2) Classic Favorites - are a seafood mix, offering well-known tastes of scampi and crabs. Southern Style Crab Cakes, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, and Hand Breaded Shrimp fried or oven-broiled are an excellent choice if you are a fan of classic-proven recipes.
3) Wood-Grilled Selection - offers Toasted Parmesan Grilled Shrimp, Roasted Red Pepper Shrimp, and Maple-Glazed Chicken, which include shrimp or chicken that will pack enormous enjoyment in every bite.
Red Lobster Lunch
If you are in the mood for more specials, Red Lobster won’t fail to meet your expectations. During lunch time, you have an opportunity to choose between three large menu sets: Lunch Specials, Quick Catches, and Lunch Classics. These sets include a rich variety of options including seafood cheeseburgers, sandwiches, tacos, pasta, and so on. For each set, you can choose a side dish and a salad for an additional cost.
The number of Red Lobster restaurants around the world keeps growing by the day, and many of them are located in suburban American shopping centers. At the moment, there are more than 700 chains of Red Lobster.
Red Lobster hours
Red Lobster’s opening hours are generally 11am-10 pm, but it’s always advisable to check the time at your preferred location, just in case there are some time discrepancies.