It looks like Red Lobster fans can relax, just a little. Despite rabid internet rumors that the seafood chain is closing down, owner Darden Restaurants Inc., claim otherwise. The rumors started a few days ago when LA Weekly posted an article about the uncertain future of Red Lobster.
The article was subsequently edited because it did not get all the facts straight. But one thing is for certain, a lot of people have the seafood lover in them. Since the article was posted on December 23rd (and many articles about the potential closing followed), Red Lobster has been the number one trending topic on Yahoo.
Of course, Twitter users have also had their say.
— Desus (@desusnice) December 24, 2013
Cut to me weeping, pounding on the boarded up doors of Red Lobster. "YOU SAID ENDLESS! ENDLESSSSSSS!"
— Mike Scollins (@mikescollins) December 27, 2013
Darden's Twitter response:
— Darden Restaurants (@Darden_News) December 27, 2013
So what's the latest story? Is Red Lobster really closing or isn't it? Not according to Darden, which is one of the largest casual dining companies in the country. They also own Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille among others. Darden spokesman, Rich Jeffers, stated that the company does want to sell or spin Red Lobster, however, they have no intention of closing down the restaurant chain.
The company is worth nearly $7 billion, but the health of their financial future is clearly in jeopardy. The Orlando-based Fortune 500 company had a 31 percent drop in net earnings last quarter alone. Red Lobster currently has 705 operating restaurants in the United States and Canada.
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