The Cheddar Biscuits Are the Problem

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 27 2013 3:43 PM

The Cheddar Biscuits Are the Problem

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Lobsters aren't biscuits.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In response to my contention that bad food is driving Red Lobster out of business, a number of people wrote in to say they love the cheddar biscuits.

And it's true. The cheddar biscuits are pretty good. But this is the problem.

The restaurant is called "Red Lobster." The theme is seafood. The prices are somewhat higher than at comparable casual dining chain restaurants. And the dish people love is cheddar biscuits. That's what defenders of the restaurant cite as its iconic offering. If your business is a seafood-themed restaurant that charges a modest price premium to its key competitors, then your best dish had better be seafood.

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Darden Restaurants, the owners of Red Lobster, also own the smaller-but-growing-instead-of-shrinking chain LongHorn Steakhouse. If people really like the cheddar biscuits, they might find a happy home there.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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