More Lobster for Red Lobster


Americans go to Red Lobster with the intention of indulging in various forms of seafood, but would you ever dare to try a plate of pork chops at Red Lobster?  Not surprisingly, Red Lobster’s sales have been dwindling down in the past few years for this very reason.  Red Lobster was failing to supply their core customers’ demands and was instead trying to appeal to everyone.

Red Lobster was previously owned by Darden Restaurants, the famous owners of American’s favorite food chains such as Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons52.  Recently however, Darden Restaurants decided to drop Red Lobster from their lineup and thus Red Lobster decided to rebrand their image and revamp their menu under their new owners the Golden Gate Capital Group.

As a Band-Aid, their “quick fix” Red Lobster turned to handing out promotional deals.  Hoping to grab there past customer’s attention, the lobster chain ended up overwhelming their customers and failed in achieving their goal of increasing sales.

From thorough research conducted, Red Lobster claimed, “while we had the seafood our guests crave, we didn’t have the right kind of seafood, enough of a presence of lobster.” Red Lobster believes it has found its new solution in creating a new menu.  Red Lobster’s new menu is claiming to cater to their customers’ demands by raising the amount of lobster presence from 75 percent to 85 percent and including refreshing new dishes such as Lobster Tacos and Roasted Maine Lobster Bake.

Oddly enough there was not enough lobster at Red Lobster.  Customers would choose to dine at Red Lobster with the intention of eating seafood not chicken linguine.  Some of the dishes on the menu were not even closely related to seafood and did not contain any seafood.  It is understandable that Red Lobster would want to cater to people with dietary limitations; however, it is hard to understand why there would be a demand for pork chops at a seafood restaurant.

In another attempt to make their menu more appealing, Red Lobster has decided to change their layout.  Red Lobster has eliminated the text heavy format and opted for a two-page fold with more pictures.  Their research has shown that a more navigable menu would make the environment and dining experience more appealing.

Red Lobster’s president Salli Setta claimed, “We want to be not just the biggest seafood restaurant, but the best seafood restaurant.”  This is quite a large goal for a restaurant that is suffering from years of bad sales.

Red Lobster’s new take on their menu could help but can it really turn the company around?  When was the last time you dined in at Red Lobster? Have you noticed any positive or negative differences in the food chain?


From #Bendgate to #Hairgate

We’ve all heard about the infamous crowd of customers camping out for days outside the golden gates of the Apple Store, anxiously waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus.  Shortly after the initial “new toy” excitement, it was reported that the iPhone 6 plus was suffering a design failure and bending while stored in people’s pockets.  This bending property quickly began trending on twitter as #bendgate and started a frenzy of “who can bend their iPhone 6 plus”.


As soon as the bending ordeal began to simmer down, a new problem arose with the iPhones.  Known on twitter as #hairgate, users are complaining that the new iPhones are snagging the hair from their heads and faces.  The issue here lies within the small empty seam between the glass interface and aluminum casing.  While iPhone owners are talking on the phone, their hair gets stuck inside the seam.  As the user moves the phone away from their head to put it down, their hair is torn out of their head.


Both the bending and hair pulling kinks are design issues that have no noticeable affect on the actual usage of the phone.  So what’s the big deal? Well customers don’t want to wait days for a phone that works great but bends after a few days of regular use.  Customers want a phone that has the whole package, software and hardware.

Although I think it’s safe to say that the pros have definitely outweighed the cons when it comes to the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the question still remains, why does this highly awaited phone have two significant design issues?  I believe that the answer lies within the operations management of Apple Corporation.  Somewhere along the deign process, employees decided to turn their heads and ignore pertinent issues with the design of the new iPhones.

The lack of design in the iPhone reminds me of the paper puppet activity we did in class.  Two sheets of green paper were noticeably damaged, however, not a single employee in the design process tried to communicate the damage.  Why? Well it could be for various reasons, but the most obvious answer would be the idea that someone else will take care of it.  Each employee saw the damage and brushed it off since it was not part of their job description.

Lack of communication occurs in the operations management of many companies, Apple is simply the latest to be publicly criticized for it.  Had some of their employees simply verbalized their observations on test models, perhaps Apple would not be obliged to replace so many bent iPhones.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the new iPhone’s design issues could have been avoided with more effective operations management? Or do you think this was simply an accident?