There was a Red Lobster about a mile from where I lived in Chicago. I went there once – the first time since the 1970s. I came away totally unimpressed and my standards are not very high.
Word hit Wall Street yesterday that the company that owns the 705 Red Lobsters wants to unload the chain as it no longer matches the profile of the type of customers they need in a changing restaurant business.
The push for employer paid health insurance and higher minimum wages means that the middle ground is vanishing. The people paying $50 for a steak at Morton’s will pay $60 without much concern. Low service fast food outlets like McDonalds will figure ways to use less and less labor to survive for a while, but taking the middle class family to the restaurant will become less and less common – which helps to explain why the folks running US Foods see no long term future.