AUGUST 16, 2004 -- ORLANDO, FL -- Despite efforts to more effectively market liquor, Red Lobster and Olive Garden are reporting lower alcohol sales as a percentage of store revenues, according to Darden Restaurants.
In the year ended May 30, Red Lobster's alcohol sales mix was 8.4%, down from 9% in the prior year. Olive Garden's figure dropped to 8.7% from 9% in 2003.
The results were divulged in Darden's 10-K filing with the SEC.
In recent years, Darden has stepped up efforts to boost alcohol sales, wine in particular. It remodeled bars in more than 100 Red Lobster stores to make the areas more visible and attractive to guests.
Darden was trying to undo the cultural legacy of General Mills, the previous owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
"General Mills didn't want us to openly merchandise alcoholic beverages in an aggressive way, so we had to design our restaurants where you could come in, be seated, leave and never see the bar," Darden CEO Joe Lee said in a conference call from a few years ago.
Red Lobster's declining alcohol mix, which trails that of many of its casual-dining competitors, may partly explain the brand's sales slump of the last year.
Darden plans to introduce female waitpersons initially at the Red Lobster chain, similar to the successful "Hooters" concept in order to boost the flagging alcohol sales and bring in a younger customer base.
(Sorry, that last sentence was just a wish!)
bones's facility is great. it is well done. it is class. i believe if/when RL recovers, it will because of major innovations. imo, the RL pres. needs to be creative and realize that RL in its present form just ain't going to do the numbers expected. jmho-bucko
i can tell you this about dri/smokey's . i'm a vendor and service 2 smokey's . the one seems to be steady and the other one just increased service from once a month to every other week. there doing the numbers and the OG located right down the road is causing feeding off each other when one gets too busy.
imo, i don't like the whole idea/practice of shorting. i consider it the same as snipering. yet i don't hate the retail short. just the prctice. i believe hedge funds should be outlawed.
btw-i still believe 17-18 is going to happen to dri.
Results: Get a life. I'll tell you what, I just put you on ignore. There, now you get to deal with one less new person on the board. All you passive-aggressive "pro message-boarders" who live out on these boards can deal with others just like yourselves. I'll just keep on posting what I want and you can try to convince everyone else why I am wrong and you are right. Goodbye Loser!
Let's hope so. It is an excellent concept. Although real estate situation might be under control, menu needs help. Way too complicated, difficult to execute and labor-intensive. Problem is: new prez has no restaurant experience whatsoever. At the end of the day, it is all about the food and service. This is why I'm short on DRI. They just can't get their priorities straight.
Excellent point... Bones' usually makes a pretty good splash (like ANY new concept entering a market), but I'll bet if they published their numbers, you would (will) see a big drop-off within months. Famous Dave's, a concept somewhat familiar to Bones, has been fighting this for years. Besides, does anyone think Bones will make it where home-made, authentic BBQ still rules? Come on!
P.S. Please don't bother with "I've been to Famous Dave's and they suck" response. We know all you pumpers feel every one of Darden's concepts is the greatest. Please spare us with the obvious.
Problem w/ Bones is the veto diner. Get a group together, ask if they feel like going to Bones, if one says they don't feel like BBQ, the group will go elsewhere. Same for a sports bar. Have you noticed the subtle name change from "Smokey Bones Sports Bar and BBQ" to "Smokey Bones"? Have you seen the menu going from largely BBQ to a lot of non-BBQ traditional items? If that doesn't say "something ain't working" I don't know what is.
P.S. Bucko, thanks for an opposing reply without a personal attack like some of these other no-lifes pumping DRI around here.
Are you sure it's not called Johnny on the spot? How you end up comparing the two is beyond me. When you start bashing Smokey Bones, you obviously don't know what you are talking about. They said SB and BB would be accretive to earnings coming this year. David, you are a chronic complainer. I will bet you that DRI is still around 25 years from now, unless the world ends before then, which is actually better odds.