Red Lobster comps jump 8% on traffic, check gains

ORLANDO Fla. Darden Restaurants Inc. said Thursday that same-store sales rose between 8 percent and 9 percent at its Red Lobster chain and about 5 percent at its Olive Garden concept for the four weeks ended July 29.

The same-store-sales result at the 680-unit Red Lobster brand reflected a 4-percent to 5-percent jump in traffic and a 4-percent increase in the chain's check average, which was aided by a 3-percent price increase, the company reported.

Year-to-year traffic improvement was lighter at the 614-unit Olive Garden brand, up 1 percent for July. The brand’s jump in same-store sales was mostly aided by a 4-percent increase in average check, also helped by a 3-percent menu price hike.

Darden operates about 1,400 restaurants under five casual-dining brands and does not report same-store-sales results for the Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Smokey Bones chains.