As it suffered sales declines more recently, executives blamed a variety of factors, including a refusal among customers to swallow price increases. In 2012, for instance, executives cited a $1 price hike for its “Festival of Shrimp” special in explaining a quarterly decline in sales.
More recently, the company tried to attract a wider array of customers by adding more non-seafood dishes to Red Lobster’s menu. The efforts didn’t take hold.
Darden sees more potential in fixing Olive Garden, which has about 830 locations. The company recently reworked the logo for Italian chain and has been adding lighter menu items it says reflect eating trends.