Millennials, some of which are hipper than thou about their food choices, are flocking to Red Lobster, according to a survey by Nation’s Restaurant News. By classing up the joint with a remodel, including large communal tables, and by adding trendier and more substantial menu items, like wood-grilled fish, larger shrimp, and fresh scampi sauce, Red Lobster appealed to millennials, who want fresh and locally sourced food. Fancier menu items, like Alaska sockeye salmon and lobster tacos (as well as an updated cocktail list), are helping to draw the 18 to 24 set, who made the chain number one, according the survey. The company’s CEO is as baffled by the rise of the chain as we are: Kim Lodrup told Business Insider: "It's particularly interesting, because we have not been explicitly targeting millennials. We've just been focusing on making improvements overall."
Some of those improvements, like the communal tables, have tapped into the millennial mindset. "Millennials are very social," Lopdrup told Business Insider. "They like to share experiences with friends and they like to dine in groups, and Red lobster is well set up to handle large parties." Apparently, Beyoncé knew what she was talking about. Business Insider reports that after giving a shoutout to the chain in “Formation,” sales jumped 33% the next day. But, it turns out, she was just on point. Next thing you know, Olive Garden is going be cool.