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RED LOBSTER OPENS NEW RESTAURANT IN COLUMBUS
New Restaurant Offers a Menu Filled With Fresh Seafood

COLUMBUS, Ga. (August 8, 2005) — On Monday, August 22, Red Lobster will open its newest location in Columbus.  The new restaurant, the second in the Columbus area, will feature a dynamic menu that includes a variety of fresh fish entrées, live Maine lobsters, the company’s healthy LightHouse Menu and its award-winning kid’s menu, as well as an assortment of traditional Red Lobster favorites.

The 229-seat, 7,222-square foot restaurant is located at 5555 Whittlesey Boulevard in the Columbus Park Crossing.  Employing 150 crewmembers, the new Columbus Red Lobster will begin serving at 11 a.m. on opening day.  Guests can enjoy lunch until 4 p.m. and dinner all day long. 

“We are proud to open our second Red Lobster in the Columbus area.  Our enthusiastic crew looks forward to serving guests the freshest seafood, in a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere,” said Erin Ferguson, a 15-year Red Lobster veteran and the general manager for the new Columbus restaurant.

Fresh Seafood on the Menu
In addition to traditional Red Lobster favorites, guests at the new Columbus restaurant can enjoy flavorful seafood dishes that include shrimp, scallops and crab, as well as the company’s signature, fresh live Maine lobsters straight from the restaurant’s lobster tank.

Red Lobster also offers select cuts of fresh fish, including salmon, tilapia, rainbow trout and grouper in thick, skinless portions – always fresh and never frozen.  These selections can be grilled, broiled, fried or blackened and reinforce Red Lobster’s reputation for offering the freshest, best-tasting seafood at a friendly price.

LightHouse Menu
For the many health-conscious Americans who seek foods that are low in fat, calories or carbohydrates, the Columbus restaurant offers Red Lobster’s “LightHouse Menu” that provides guests with nutritional information for some of Red Lobster’s most popular menu items.  The menu lists more than 30 items – including numerous entrées, accompaniments, side dishes, dipping sauces and beverages – with the caloric, carbohydrate and fat content for each.

Nutritionists advise consumers to eat more seafood since it is such a healthy protein.  In fact, the American Heart Association recommends people eat seafood at least twice a week as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Plus, federal advisers recommend Americans eat more fish and fewer refined grains such as white bread.  They also say the amount of salmon and other fish containing heart-protecting Omega-3 fatty acids should be doubled to two servings a week.

Award-Winning Kid’s Menu
The Columbus restaurant also will offer a kid’s menu that includes grilled and steamed seafood favorites, as well as fresh, steamed vegetables.  Based on these new choices, Child Magazine named Red Lobster one of the “Best Restaurants for Families.”  Also, Restaurant Hospitality magazine named Red Lobster the Grand Award Winner in last year’s annual “Best Kids Menu in America” competition.  

Still Hiring
In anticipation of its opening, Red Lobster is still hiring line cooks and servers.  Those interested in applying for the available positions should apply in person Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Columbus restaurant (706) 521-0110.

About Red Lobster
Red Lobster has over 670 restaurants in North America and more than 63,000 employees.  The company served more than 141 million guests in fiscal 2005 (ending May 29, 2005) and enjoyed total sales of $2.4 billion.  Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for 17 years in a row in nationwide polls by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. 

The company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI).  Darden also owns and operates Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants.  For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit www.redlobster.com.

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