Can Red Lobster's 'value' meals rescue Darden?
After serving up a mess at its Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, Darden International is banking on "value" meals to lure diners back.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at MSN Money.
#1 Apr 25, 2013
I think the "value meal" would lure me back even in this struggling economy.
#2 Oct 17, 2013
NO! I am an avid diner, red lobster and olive garden were my restaurants of choice. This up until a year ago when i vowed to never return to either of the two after multiple horrible experiences involving rude waiters and waitresses and HORRIBLE service. I have not returned to this day and typically ate there once every couple months. this has nothing to do with value or the economy. this has everything to do with piss poor service. I love how corporate blames everything on the economy while trying to scrounge up marketing ideas to lower their standards and prices in order to bring in more customers. they just dont get it i guess. hell, they dont even have a way to contact them via e-mail on their website. they direct you to a third party website and say that this is the best known way to contact them. there are tons of stories on line of unsatisfied customers and all of them end the same way, they spend 10-20 minutes on hold, then they deal with rude customer service reps, and then end the phone call angrier than when they called.
I, along with many other people that i know all have the same experiences with both of these food chains. it has nothing to do with cost but everything to do with service. if i am spending my hard earned money at a middle/upper middle class restaurant, i expect to get the service that comes with the extra money that i spend to go to one of these restaurants instead of a diner or fast food joint.
These ceo's need to sit down and look at the real problem here and stop trying to lower quality/price and get back to the reason that soo many people fell in love with olive garden and red lobster in the first place. and quit taking the easy road by blaming it on the economy. the economy is not the reason that i, or many people that i know stopped visiting these restaurants, and that with the high percantage of people that i know all refusing to visit for the same reason, i find it hard to believe the economy is the real problem. this all seems like a case of corprate entities once again falling out of touch with the real world and their customer base.
Darden, you need to quit making excuses and get down to the real issue that you and i both know is the reason for your downfall. once you start lowering your standards by adding value meals its all downhill from there, you cannot go back. re-examine your management practices and clean house if you need to. if you have rotten management, then you have rotten attitudes and rotten service.
Listen to your customers, they are already telling you what the issue is. you need to get someone to sit in front of you guys that isnt going to kiss ass just to save face, and tell you how it is. dont get out of touch with your customers, they are the ones that made you what you are today. get a website where you can actually be contacted. hold yourself to a standard of getting back to people in a reasonable stated amount of time. they are trying to contact you for a reason, when they could just walk away and never call, and also never return to any of your restaurants.
You can find a way to even raise your prices and have people come flooding in the door. seriously, sushi has become huge in the past two years, every restaurant in town has a wait on friday-sunday evenings (PACKED) and these are not cheap eateries. i cannot believe that you have not focused more on the sushi brand that has become soo popular recently either. just small suggestions i guess.
50% menu, 50% price, 100% service!!! getting back to your root customer base is going to require 200% effort, but i feel that the effort will pay off as long as you guys fact the real facts and take care of the issues. Thank You
#3 Nov 11, 2013
why not to try home delivery?
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