I love good seafood.
Whether it’s a King Paul recipe for seafood gumbo or blackened Mahi Mahi, that’s no matter to me. I’ll take it.
But I have to admit, I won’t eat at Red Lobster. I have my standards.
That said, when I read that Red Lobster’s new owners were on a mission to change the brand’s image to that of an upscale dining experience, I took notice.
The plan is to take away some of the promotional discounts (just not the ones mentioned earlier) as well as to assemble food vertically on plates, as it would in a fancy establishment — such as a piece of fish resting on a bed of rice.
Unbelievably, that’s it. You can bank on this: these superficial changes won’t help matters any.
If Red Lobster really wants to make a change, it has to dig deeper.
Here’s what I’d do, if the restaurant is intent on going this route. I’d change the name. It has brand equity, and not the kind an upscale place wants. It says low-end dining — kind of like the seafood version of TGIF. Basically, the Red Lobster brand does not have permission to be high end. It’s like saying Walmart is now selling Brahmin handbags. You just won’t believe the bags are authentic.
Changing the menu might be another great idea, and dump the stupid promotions.
You see, real change takes commitment, careful planning and an acknowledgment of where you are and where you want to go.
Seems to me, Red Lobster is just a ship without sail.