*Darden Restaurants will be selling Red Lobster to a private-equity firm for $2.1 billion, according to an announcement the company made on Friday.
As parent company to the Red Lobster restaurant chain, it was after years of sagging sales that led them to this decision. It may seem strange that a business with poor sales can have a high price tag this high, but much of that $2.1 billion only covers Red Lobster’s real estate. What’s left of the brand’s value is “fairly minimal,” Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier wrote in a note.
The cheddar-biscuit purveyor’s demise is being hastened by a growing American preference for micro-managing meals that can be scarfed down quickly. So the era of families sitting down to a meal conceived by food scientists and prepared in a kitchen they can’t see is fading fast.
This is scary news for a host of other chains, including Olive Garden, which Darden still owns.
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