Red Lobster is a chain limited by the fact that many people are just not fish eaters, and, despite always having had menu options for those who don’t like seafood, the chain is trying to capture a larger market share of not-pescatarians by foregrounding a bevy of menu options for those diners.
Red Lobster’s menu revamp will be introduced on October 15, and, if you are addicted to their cheese biscuits but have a dining companion that cannot handle fish dishes, you may be in luck. Red Lobster’s managing Darden Restaurants is upping the chain’s menu portion of non-fish items from eight percent to a far larger 25 percent of options, leaving plenty of choice for people who think Lobsterfest is the grossest thing to happen to dinner since someone coined the term “sneeze guard” for buffets.
While the change may seem a big one for Red Lobster, whose identity is clearly and strongly linked to seafood, Darden CEO Clarence Otis commented that “the biggest risk would be to not change.” Food industry writer Candace Choi explains that the impetus behind the change is indeed to capture the possible customers lost by seafood abstainers:
“The idea behind Red Lobster rolling out more non-seafood options is to eliminate the ‘veto vote,’ or that one person in a family or group of friends that rules out Red Lobster because they don’t like seafood.”
A higher number of non-fish items isn’t the only change to hit the Red Lobster menu later this month; catering to an overall industry trend of deal conscious diners, Red Lobster is also introducing a number of dishes that come in at under $15 for value-seeking consumers.