The Most Basic Mistake

The President of Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants, Edna Morris, was fired last month after only 18 months on the job. Ms. Morris was replaced by Dick Rivera, the COO and President of Red Lobster’s parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc.

What did Ms. Morris do wrong to earn the axe so swiftly? She underestimated the appetite of the American people:

Darden Restaurants Inc. Wednesday said it had replaced the head of Red Lobster, its biggest chain, after an all-you-can-eat crab promotion went awry…
Darden executives said Red Lobster management had badly miscalculated how many times customers would refill their plates after paying $20 for an “endless” crab entree. Meanwhile, crab prices were going up, sending the profit margin crashing.
“It wasn’t the second helping on all-you-can-eat but the third,” said company chairman Joe R. Lee on a conference call.
“And maybe the fourth,” added Rivera.

Jeez louise, people — four helpings? I can understand seconds, but thirds and fourths? I mean, that’s so far beyond gluttony that we’d need to invent a new word for it.

I feel bad for Edna Morris, losing her job because she had the temerity not to imagine that the average diner at Red Lobster would down four helpings of crab. Shame on her! Clearly she is out of touch with her clientele. Perhaps they should provide some cud for people to chew on while they wait for a table, too.



October 7, 2003
2:37 pm

mmmmmmmm…..fourth helpings of Crab