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Red Lobster: Creating memorable LTOs

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As the home of the cult-favorite Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Orlando, Fla.-based Red Lobster Hospitality LLC continues to rank highly among consumers.

Kim Lopdrup, Red Lobster CEO, told October’s Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference that the brand has made progress in operations — from supply chain to in-restaurant execution — in order to live up to its mission as “the ultimate seafood-dining experience.”

Related: 10 chains with the best ambience: Consumer Picks 2017

Lopdrup said the company has invested more than $50 million in updating the kitchens in its more than 700 restaurants and also studied the ideal ways to prepare and cook each of its seafood offerings. In addition, Red Lobster has upgraded the specifications for many of its ingredients, such as increasing the size of shrimp by 50 percent.

The brand also came out on top in Consumer Picks for its limited-time offers, branding the various promotions with such popular campaigns as Crabfest, Endless Shrimp and Lobsterfest.

Related: Chick-fil-A: Catering to a cult following

Red Lobster, which was spun off in 2014 from Darden Restaurants Inc., has until now avoided loyalty programs, Lopdrup said, fearing the brand would get on a “deal treadmill.”

However, Red Lobster recently tested a loyalty program, Lopdrup said. “It does have a rewards component but not a deep-discount component.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Correction: November 17, 2017
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Kim Lodrup's title. He is Red Lobster's CEO.
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