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Red Lobster

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Lobsterfest. I Took The Bait And Tried Them Again
Posted by Ok4now on 03/30/2013
After my past two visits I was not anxious to return. This is a Darden chain joint that does try but always seems to come up short. Guess I got weak after seeing those unending Lobsterfest commercials. I had a $50.00 dollar gift card from my C. C. points plus a 50% off coupon on the second dinner that they sent me. So basically the dinner was free.

We arrived on a Friday night at 6:30 pm and they were packed. We were told 45 minutes to one hour wait time. They hand you the little pager alerting you when your table is ready. We were seated in 30 minutes. Considering how busy they were the wait time was decent and we were in no rush.

Fast forward. I ordered the stuffed seafood mushrooms for $8.95 which was quite good. Then the house salad with Cesar dressing & garlic bread was decent.

We both ordered the Lobster Lovers Dream for $30.00 each. This consisted of a rock tail plus a second tail that was smaller and more tender. The dinner also included linguini with shrimp in an Alfredo sauce. This could have been hotter. Two vegetables are also included.

Conclusion: Red Lobster on a busy night basically got this dinner right. The food was good for this inconsistent chain joint. We'll probably wait until the next Lobsterfest before we return. Google them for some good coupons if you want a decent dinner.

     
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Posted by onlooker on 2013-03-30:
nice to see that there are dinners that go well there.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-03-30:
Mmm. This makes my mouth water for Maine Lobster.

Good review. I won't be caving to go to RL in my lifetime, but it is real hard to argue with free. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by BigAl on 2013-03-31:
trmn8er> Food poisoning is one good arguement.
Posted by Buddy01 on 2013-03-31:
I got a chuckle out of your title since you reviewed a seafood restaurant.
Posted by Alain on 2013-03-31:
Enjoyable, informative and fair!
Posted by ulysee clayton on 2014-03-28:
Went to Red Lobster today 3/27/14 wife took me there to celebrate my birthday. she advised them it was my birthday they did not do the traditional birthday song or furnish me a dessert. I have been there on several occasional and it was done for other people. Would like to know how it is established who gets it and who doesn't, or has policy been discontinued.
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Great Service With A Smile
Posted by on 04/24/2007
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK -- Red Lobster in Henrietta, New York.

I took my wife and kids to this Red Lobster restaurant couple of weeks ago. The service was excellent and the food was well-prepared (hot & fresh). The only problem I had was my entrée. I order the Lobster/Shrimp pasta with garlic butter sauce. It was terrible. The sauce was too greasy (buttery). I was only able take couple of bites. The waiter came by and asks how everything was. I told him everything was excellent except for my entrée. I explain the problem with the pasta sauce. He apologized and took my entrée away and went to talked to the manager. My entrée was comp. and the chief rush my replacement dish (Ultimate Feast). It was done within minutes. It was much better than the pasta. They also comp. the desserts for kids. I have very happy with the food qualify and service and will recommend this Red Lobster restaurant to friends and families.
     
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Posted by Sparticus on 2007-04-24:
My wife and I are big Red Lobster fans. They have great food and always good service... at least in our area.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-24:
Lobster will do I guess, in a pinch.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-24:
Never been to a Red Lobster(I hate seafood)I hear they have good steaks.True?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-30:
Yes! good steaks too...
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-09-02:
My wife likes the cheesebread biscuits
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-02:
me too!
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StarStarStarStarStar
Guess What? It Was a Great Experience!
Posted by Liggett.sandy1 on 01/01/2013
PIQUA, OHIO -- I haven't been to Red Lobster in years. We got a few gift cards and went on New Years Eve. Yeah, a lot could have happened wrong with all the people there. But, it was a great experience, the food was excellent and the waitress, Brittany, was great! She was helpful, came back several times to make sure everything was going well. Everyone knows Red Lobster isn't cheap, but then again if the food is that good I understand why.

Great job on a very busy night and the food was excellent. Another great New Years Eve! Thank You!
     
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-01-01:
That really is nice. We hear so much about people being grouchy when they have to work on New Year's Eve...it's nice to know some people care about their customers and make it a pleasant experience, no matter what day it is.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-02:
I also haven't been to a Red Lobster in years, and I won't be going again in my lifetime. I'm glad you had a good experience.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2013-01-02:
Good review, thanks
Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-02:
Glad to hear that you had a great dining experience at this Darden chain restaurant. My experience with them has been hit or miss, they are not consistent. On a good day I would rate their food quality average but never excellent. Similar to the Olive Garden (another Darden joint) their food is sold at a specific price point to attract a certain customer base. For really excellent seafood this is not the place to go.
Posted by madconsumer on 2013-01-02:
very helpful review, and voted as such!!
Posted by Skye on 2013-01-02:
Glad you had such a great time. Thanks for taking the time to let others know.
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Poor Quality Food
Posted by Formerruling on 12/15/2010
There is a reason when people talk about Red Lobster they say "I had a craving for cheddar biscuits" or "Endless Shrimp is going on" and that is because nothing else is particularly remarkable. I've visited many of the Red Lobster locations in northern Georgia and Alabama and none really stick out from the others for good or bad reasons.

The staff is quite normal for a chain with about equal chances of getting a good waitress or one that hates her job/pay. This does mean though your food is just as likely to be prepared by a high school student as it is by someone that knows how to cook. The only thing notable is during their Endless Shrimp promotion it is even printed on the menu that you cannot pre-order more than one shrimp "refill" and you have to allow normal meal prep time to be served. Unless your waitress is great, in which case she deserves a nice tip, you are likely going to go through about an hour of eating 5 pieces of shrimp and waiting 10 minutes for 5 more pieces of shrimp.

The problem is their quality. Obviously being a chain most of their food comes in prepared and frozen. This wouldn't be too much of a problem except the quality of this frozen seafood is around the same as you can pick up from a bag in a Wal-mart freezer section. This old seafood coupled with the general lack of actual cooking means that sensitive lobster usually turn out rubbery, and anything fried is devoid of any moisture or texture. This is often overlooked by visitors because the seafood experience in this region is generally limited to Captain D's.

The pricing and portion sizes reflect this almost arrogance at being the defacto "fancy" seafood in the area. Meals range from between 13.50 and 28.50 at dinner. The only chains in this region that price higher are some steakhouses. Taste does not justify the charge as I discussed and neither does portion size. One example is the Admiral's Feast. This is typically priced at ~19 and comes with breaded shrimp, scallops, clam strips, and 2 fillet of haddock all fried. The fillets are the size typical of fast-food fish. The scallops are the size of popcorn chicken bites which pale in comparison in size and taste to the scallops served at most Chinese buffets. The clam strips barely fill the palm of my hand and usually suffer the most from overcooking. You typically get between 4-5 pieces of shrimp which would be adequate if the other portions were better. The main issue when ordering that meal is it is still served on a feast-sized platter which at one time would have been full of seafood now just serves to show you half an empty plate and leaves you wondering where the other half of your almost 20 dollar dinner went. I've tried all the "feasts" and all suffer from this downsizing. I was specifically irritated when an Ultimate Feast (at a 29 price tag) left me hungry because of the kid-size lobster tail and crab leg portions, and all of this after I was charged $3 for a substitution in what shrimp came with it even though I was substituting in a cheaper side of shrimp.

I cannot leave in a full complaint though. The locations have all been very clean and tables were spaced out nicely and gave good seating room. The non-seafood plates are actually of great quality. My wife specifically loves the Cajun Chicken Alfredo which in stark contrast to the seafood on the menu is not only one of their cheapest dinners but is served in very generous portions she can never finish. If their entire menu reflected this dish I probably wouldn't be writing this complaint.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-15:
OK, you keep on believing those are scallops they serve at the Chinese buffet.

Yeah, RL can keep their seafood, I'd prefer to eat somewhere else.

Good review.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-15:
Good review. RL is decent enough for a chain seafood joint, and they must be doing something right because the parking lots are always full. Their seafood really can't compare to fresh from the market seafood though, but then again, if they served that, their prices would be double/triple what they are.

The best place I ever ate was at Mo's in Newport, Or...the clams in the clam chowder are brought in on the hour fresh of the boats. A bowl costs around $12 bucks and it's worth every penny.
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Horrible Food and Horrible Seating
Posted by KittonMittons on 09/22/2010
GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA -- Pasta was extremely oily. Order side of crab- NO WAY it was 1/2 pound- served cold and contained hardly any meat, smallest “crab leg” I have ever been served or purchased at any location. My boyfriend had the walleye which he said was the worst walleye he had ever had there- soggy and very disappointing. Contemplated asking for our money back but with the screaming baby kicking the back of my booth and the two groups of 10+ sitting 2 inches from our booth-kids running around the tables taking pictures, we wanted out. Had card out 2 minutes after food was received, wanting to leave, boxed 98% of food to go which later was disposed of.. Seat/host and Manager seemed to have better things to do then sit us before our waiter arrived- Host talked so fast we couldn’t understand him and left before we could ask any questions. I am 23- it was not my lack of hearing ability.

Server was fantastic and clean cut- tipped 18%-waited for bread and drinks 8.50 lobsterita- think they forgot the liquor- I have been a bartender/waitress for 5 years-it wasn’t busy-there was a general feeling that no one wanted to be at work that day, maybe gossip was more important to the manager, it was like a high school. When we walked in it was like- sigh* how many? Will never return to this Red Lobster -very angry at the 63$ I spent on one of the worst food experiences at Red Lobster, was loyal customers for many years with tabs always over 50-100$. From MN. I moved to ND three years ago and have found the experience at this restaurant to decline every visit.

This will be our last time at this establishment and now discourage all our friends and family from dinning at Red Lobster. I am being harsh but I am being honest. I'm still very angry. Want reimbursement of some kind. Never have contacted an establishment with a complaint like this. What a waste of money.
     
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Posted by raven2010 on 2010-09-22:
90% of the time, I handle issues like this at the point of sale. That said, I can see where the OP, and some others just dont. A lot of folks never say a word, they just vote with their feet.

Sounds like the OP had enough nonsense that day and decided to leave. I strongly feel should would be better off to speak up on the spot and I know I would not have paid for food as icky as she describes.

That said, there is no rule saying you have to speak up on the spot or your claim isnt valid. Its just harder to prove is all.
Posted by MRM on 2010-09-22:
Thank you, KittenMittons, for sharing with your readers about your dismal service at Red Lobster.
Posted by ok4now on 2010-09-23:
This is a common complaint because you are going to a chain restaurant mostly owned by Darden Restaurants. They are the world's largest with 1800 restaurants employing 180,000 people and serve over 400 million meals a year. This includes the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Capital Grill, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 32. While upon occasion I have had a good dining experience with them overall it's only been fair. The management is poor and most of the employees are kids who don't care. The food quality is not consistent. I prefer a local establishment run by the owner who makes sure his customers are well treated with quality food & service.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-09-25:
I'm a little curious as to why the OP tipped nicely when being served such crud. I know that a server isn't directly responsible for how the food is cooked but, AFAIK, a good server does not serve anything that is sub-standard. And, if your drinks were not brought to you, who's fault was that? I hate to say it but, if I had had that experience, I would not be tipping at all, much less 18%.

KittenMittons, you said you are a bartender/waitress yourself. This might sound pretty harsh to you, but I look at it this way: I haven't been to Red Lobster a lot lately but it's probably the kind of place where one person takes your order and then other servers come around with the drinks, the food items, etc. I always thought they usually pooled tips at places like that. So, whatever I tip is based on the whole experience. If one person is doing a good job and the rest of the team isn't holding up their end, that's not my problem.

ok4now: Thanks for the info on Darden Restaurants, I've heard of them and wasn't really sure which brands were theirs. Of those you mentioned, Red Lobster and Olive Garden are the only ones I'm really familiar with. I've noticed with both of those chains that some locations seemed like nice, well-run places, with decent grub for the money while others were a disaster. That seems to be what this post is describing.

I kind of shy away from Red Lobster because there's something uniquely disgusting about bad seafood. I can deal with an overcooked steak or pasta that isn't al dente. But going to Red Lobster is obviously a gamble and kinda gross if you find a loser.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Terrible Service
Posted by Heatcoach33 on 02/10/2013
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS -- Slow service. After being seated, waited for 15 minutes before we seen our waitress. Then she shows up acting like she didn't want to be there. She took our drink order and 15 minutes later we finally got them. She then started to walk off. So before she walked off I said we are ready to order. Then after we ordered we waited another 15 minutes for the salad and a half hour for food. Food came out wrong and all of us were minus our baked potato. She said it would be right out. Nope. Once the order was finally corrected we managed to eat the entire meal without the potato. So we continued to set there not seeing any sign of our waitress. Finally she comes out and says the potato is just about done. 10 min later she comes and says the same thing. So we just asked for our $130 bill, paid and left. This place is horrible. Never go there and I will never go back!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-10:
The $130 bill is hard to put in perspective without knowing how many patrons were in your party.

Personally, I was last in Red Lobster around 1990, and I will never be returning. Good call!
Posted by ok4now on 2013-02-11:
This Darden chain joint, along with the Olive Garden, is approaching a new low. They used to be two of my favorite restaurants. I refuse to return to either one now. They increased the prices, the portions are much smaller and customer service is lacking. Vote with your wallet and go where your business is appreciated.
Posted by JAKFK on 2013-02-11:
Customer service is everything. Often times, the staff cannot be held accountable for the quality or quantity of food served. That is usually above their pay grade. They are instructed to serve the food a particular way, and in specific portions. The customer service and attitude is where I usually like to hold each individual franchise accountable.

I can excuse small portions, prep methods, etc...but what I cannot excuse is lousy customer service and poor attitudes. I hope at the very least that the OP was able to get the potatoes deducted from the final bill.
Posted by d meadows on 2013-11-25:
You're waitress didn't prevent you from getting "set" sooner.I'm guessing that you are the type who order frozen drinks which guess what- she has to wait in line for while the bartender ignores her guest's drinks while trying to make his bar guest's drinks 1st. She then probably goes to get your salad where a manager makes her stop mani g salads and forces the policy of "hot food 1st". Which means she has to make you wait while some other server is lagging behind in walking out their own food. She probably knew that the potatoes were mission g but was forced to walk the food incomplete while the kitchen microwaved some new bakes. All of this is not a server having attitude nor is it her fault.
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Very Disappointed
Posted by C.jay30jay72 on 10/23/2011
CHICO, CALIFORNIA -- I am a regular at the Red Lobster in Chico at least two to three times a month I go for dinner. Tonight was the worst service I have ever been given I sat in the bar area to try something new the bar tender not only was very unprofessional but did not seem to care about the language she used. I asked to have the football game turned up but was told she wasn't allowed which was funny cause her language and voice that carried seemed to be allowed I was very put off. Things only got worse when my appetizer was brought out cold and under cooked. But to make things even worse I never received my full meal my snow crab legs never made it to the table. At the end of my visit I took my concerns to management who seemed less then interested and never offered a single apology just said simply I will talk to her then I realized the bar tender was also a manager. Wow how disappointing and to think I was spending three to four hundred dollars a month at a place where I was treated so lousy. Well never again.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-23:
If you received satisfactory service in the other section of the restaurant all the previous visits, then you might want to skip the bar scene and return to something more familiar and comfortable.
Posted by very disappointed on 2012-02-17:
My last visit to this particular red lobster was very disappointing. First my drinks were spilled all over us. Then when the food finally got there it was less portioned, a hair on my fried shrimp, unexcussable attitude afterwards. So my dining out will not be at the red lobster at Wolfchase galleria in Cordova, Tn.
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Poor Service
Posted by on 09/23/2011
Our waiter Jonathon promised us VIP service but we would have settled for not being forgotten. After bringing us our drinks and biscuits we were ignored for 22 minutes until our food was served. We actually expected salads and drink refills before that and his attitude at having forgotten us was very nonchalant. My Walt's shrimp was over-cooked. My son had ordered a baked potato but got rice and broccoli instead. When we pointed that out to Jonathon he chose to argue with us that they had no potatoes and he couldn't have gotten potatoes AND rice and broccoli. However my son should have been told about the potato and been given a choice of alternate sides. So we never got our salads, my shrimp went uneaten, my son's rice and brocolli wasn't touched and we had to ask for the bill to be adjusted!?! They did comp my son's meal but the manager never came to our table to apologize and avoided us at the door! Ten years ago we had a bad service experience here - and now this. We won't be back to this location EVER! (The Lake Worth Red Lobster always has great service)

     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-09-24:
Go to
http://www.redlobster.com/contact_us
and let them know this location let you down.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-09-24:
Your server actually had the gumption to tell you he was going to give you VIP service? They must have told him to say that.

And then he let you down. Sounds like what I would expect at Red Lobster.
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Great service and great food!
Posted by MissLeopard83 on 07/26/2011
I just wanted to comment on my family's experience at RL tonight. Scott was our server and he was very nice and cordial throughout our entire meal. He brought very fresh Cheddar Bay biscuits which were steaming at the table. He refilled the drinks before we even requested or before they were even low. He also made sure we were satisfied several times. I could definitely tell that he cared about customer service. He asked, when we sat down, if anyone was celebrating a birthday tonight (me) and then he and two other servers sang to me before we paid for our check. I have never been disappointed at this Red Lobster. If it wasn't as high priced, we would eat there more often, but we save it for special occasions. Scott made this evening extra enjoyable. Thanks, Scott!
     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-07-27:
It's nice to hear they (and Scott, particularly) made your birthday dinner a success. Good review and a very good example of customer service making a difference!
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-07-27:
It's nice to see a good review for Red Lobster. You really had a great birthday!
Posted by Churro on 2011-07-27:
Man, you had me at cheddar bay biscuits. I could dig into one right now I'll tell ya what. Kudos to RL for treating you like a queen on your birthday.

Good Review!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-27:
Glad to hear you had a great bday MissL!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-27:
Great review! and Happy birthday missleopard. Lobster is one my favorites.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-27:
Consider passing your comment on to the management and corporate, Scott would appreciate it I'm sure.
Posted by Skye on 2011-07-27:
Nice review! Glad you had a good meal, great server and an all around good experience.

Thanks for sharing!
Posted by MissLeopard83 on 2011-07-27:
ript, I actually sent it in through the corporate website after posting it here. He deserves a raise or at least a pat on the back. :)
Posted by MissLeopard83 on 2011-07-27:
Thanks everyone for your nice comments. :)
Posted by GERGHOOVER on 2013-09-22:
My husband and I had truly a wonderful experience last night at the red lobster in Blaine, MN. due to our waitress Emma. She had a sweet smile and manners to go with it.
She deserves a pat on the back.
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More Money Less FOOD
Posted by Zella on 07/24/2010
SPRINGDALE, OHIO -- I recently ordered a carry out of the Ultimate meal Feast which cost me approximatley 25.00 Someone else picked it up for me., I have had this meal many times when I sat in and felt like for 25.00 I should have had more than 3 crab legs..I proceed to ask to speak to a manager which I was on hold for 6minutes before the manager at the springdale location in Cincinnati Ohio came to the phone..after talking to him he informed me that they base your portion on weight 8oz. only. Well first off I feel for 25.00 dollars it should be more than that but I was ok with that..What upset me was the fact that as a manager he could care less if I ever came back or not.. My argument with him was ok I know you didn't create that policy but if I'm a customer displeased with that meal and threating to never return..A GOOD MANAGER WOULD HAVE SAID..I TELL YOU WHAT HOW ABOUT I GIVE YOU A COMPLIMENTARY APPETIZER WHEN YOU COME IN AGAIN SO THAT I DONT LOOSE YOUR BUSINESS..ARE THERE ANY MANAGERS THAT CARE THAT MUCH ANYMORE???

Just because of his actions I will not return there and will share with all my friends and co workers not to return as well..NOW WAS THAT WORTH LOOSING CUSTOMERS FOR..HE COULD HAVE SAVED THAT REVENUE FOR THAT LOCATION BY JUST TAKING A MOMENT AND SHOWED CONCERN, INSTEAD HE CHOSE TO HANG UP THE PHONE AND BASICALLY SAY..TO BAD!!!!!! WHERE OH WHERE HAS CUSTOMER SERVICE WENT..IT DOESNT EXSIST!!!!!!!
     
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Posted by leet60 on 2010-07-24:
The customer is always right, except when he's wrong.
Posted by Alain on 2010-07-24:
Um, Yep.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-24:
When you buy premium seafood like lobster and Crab legs your going to pay a premium price.
Posted by FlShopper on 2010-07-24:
Does that mean you're not going to eat at that particular RL anymore oor are you going to boycott all of them because you weren't offered a freebie?
Posted by leet60 on 2010-07-24:
"Someone else picked it up for me." missed this the first time, makes me wonder if someone was feasting on crab legs on the way home ?
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-07-25:
How many crab legs did you get when you ate in? Is it possible that the person who picked it up for you did actually eat some?

I don't think you are being that unreasonable. I think the manager could have shown a little more concern for your disappointment instead of just explaining the portion size. I'm curious though, was there anything he could have said to make you feel better, or was compensation the only thing you were looking for?
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2010-07-25:
Everything is done by weight in restaurants when it comes to portions. Just because you do not agree with the portion sizes does not mean you get something for free (so that I don't lose your business) People like this cost a restaurant more due to any little thing they will complain about to get something free.
Posted by Customeralwaysright on 2013-01-13:
Going to RL for the first time again in years because I always thought you can't really do seafood cheap...thanks for the input about the ultimate feast, it made me change my mind.
Posted by d meadows on 2013-11-25:
3 legs is fantastic! You get 1/2 lb. Those were probably big legs with a claw. Would you have complained more or less if you had received a cluster of 5 skinny legs. Each still weighs 1/2 lb?
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