Red Lobster’s revamped menu adding more seafood dishes while removing others beginning one month ago does not appear to be resonating with consumers over 18 who like to dine out.
Coinciding with new owner Golden Gate Capital’s directive of increasing seafood items on the menu from 75% to 85% and raising the “Ultimate Seafood Feast” platter’s price by $1, Red Lobster’s value perception with diners has declined to its lowest level of the year to date (in fact, it is the lowest score since Fall of 2012). Red Lobster spent the majority of this year with value perception scores above the casual dining sector average. Now they are trending below their competitor benchmark.
Perhaps more concerning is the falling purchase consideration of the dining out demo, which is an indicator of future revenue for the brand. In the past month, the percentage of consumers who dine out who say they would consider Red Lobster the next time they are looking for a restaurant dropped from 36% to a current 27%. That is still well above the casual dining sector average of 14%, but may give ownership some pause as it evolves its strategy to drive increased return on investment.
In addition to its Purchase Consideration metric, YouGov BrandIndex measured Red Lobster with its Value score, which asks respondents "Does the brand provide good value for what you pay?" All respondents are adults 18 and say they are likely or very likely to be dining out at least once in the next month.
Value score can range from 100 to -100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
On November 3rd, just as the revised menu was introduced, Red Lobster’s Value score was 12. It has since dropped down to 4, compared to the casual dining sector’s average score of 9.