News Column

Red Lobster Not Closing, Darden says

December 27, 2013

By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel

Relax, everyone. Your Cheddar Bay biscuits are safe.

Red Lobster is not closing, despite Internet rumors about the chain's demise.

Owner Darden Restaurants has been trying to quash false reports since Christmas that Red Lobster is shuttering its restaurants across the country. Still, on Friday afternoon "Red Lobster closing" was the No. 1 item trending on Yahoo, and the rumor was the subject of multiple Tweets and Facebook posts.

"To clarify, reports that @RedLobster is closing are false," the company tweeted out Friday. "We're looking forward to your next visit!"

Darden said last week it plans to sell or spin off the Red Lobster chain into a separate company. But "we never said we were closing any restaurants," spokesman Rich Jeffers said Friday.

Jeffers said the rumors stem from a piece in LA Weekly that "was clearly being facetious" about the brand's shutdown. Other media outlets wrongly assumed the restaurants were closing and reported that, he said.

"You had a couple outlets where clearly folks weren't practicing good journalism, and no one called to verify if what they read in LA Weekly was accurate," Jeffers said.

The LA Weekly piece had been updated as of Friday to say no restaurants were closing.


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