Red Lobster to "act fancier" by plating food differently and raising prices

I'm reading a Yahoo story about Red Lobster's new owner and its strategy to "fancy up" the restaurant chain.

Now, I like Red Lobster, but it is what it is -- a casual restaurant with some moderately priced seafood and some higher-priced seafood. Go when there's a special "fest" or feast going, and you can maximize what you're getting for what you're paying.

Well, Red Lobster's new owner has plans to make Red Lobster a finer dining experience. From the article:

Red Lobster wants to be seen as a purveyor of quality seafood, so it's getting rid of some of its promotional discounts and plating dishes higher as is the style at fancy restaurants.

... many people still view Red Lobster as "fine-dining for the middle class." But the push to change perceptions about the quality of Red Lobster's food could be a challenge, given recent promotions like "30 shrimp for $11.99," or a lobster pot pie that had just a half-ounce of lobster meat.

Lopdrup, who served as president of Red Lobster from 2004 to 2011 before moving on to head other aspects of Darden's business, said he planned to end such steep discounting.

"You're not going to see any of these low-priced specials that we're not proud of," he said.

About two weeks ago, Red Lobster also starting rolling out a new plating style for its fish dishes that will expand to other parts of the menu.

Previously, fish dishes were served on rectangular plates, with the fish, rice and vegetables spread out in separate corners. Now when customers order off the "Fresh Fish" menu, they get a round plate on which slabs of fish are piled over the rice, a vertical presentation commonly found at higher-end establishments.

"The food arranged in a way that's more like you'd see at a fine-dining restaurant," Lopdrup said. "The seafood is the star."

As for the food itself, that hasn't changed.

Red Lobster released a photo via the AP to show the improved plating. The old plating is on top, and the new (round plate) plating is on the bottom.

What do you think of this strategy? Honestly, more "attractive plating" isn't a factor in whether or not I want to eat at a restaurant.

The article goes on to state that they will be offering "pricier items" on the menu too upwards of a $30 price point.

Read "Red Lobster tries acting like a fancier restaurant" on Yahoo.

New Super-Couponing Tips column: Newspaper personnel discuss coupon theft

This week's syndicated Super-Couponing Tips column is entitled "Newspaper personnel discuss coupon theft." Here's an excerpt:

"Dear Jill,

In the last couple of years, the problems caused for us by extreme couponers are major. Bundles of advertising sections for the Sunday paper are being stolen so the couponers can sell the whole bundles to other extreme couponers. People drive through neighborhoods after the papers have been delivered and steal them from driveways.

There are so many problems with this (besides the outright illegality of stealing something that isn’t yours). One is that the person who delivers the papers is blamed for not delivering the papers. They also get charged for each of the missed paper complaints. At our business, the going rate is $2 per daily paper and $4 for each Sunday paper. They are only paid on average less than 15 cents to deliver each paper Mon-Sat, and maybe 25 cents average for each Sunday paper."

Read this entire column at

My Super-Couponing Tips column appears in newspapers around the country to a weekly readership of over 20 million people!

View an archive of past Super-Couponing Tips columns

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Deals of the Week for July 27, 2014 are live!

Deals of the Week are live!

Sunday's Chicago Tribune had FIVE coupon inserts: Two SmartSource (SS1 or SS2,) two RedPlum (RP1 and RP2,) and one Procter & Gamble (PG.)

I've got a new giveaway this week for my fellow skincare junkies! Enter to win the "Raid Jill's Skincare Stockpile" grab bag!

Subscribe to my blog via email and you'll receive one email each day detailing any new deals and matchups. Your email address will never be sold, and you won't receive spam:

Have a great week of shopping and saving!

All You

Walmart Deals of the Week: 7/27/14 - 8/2/14

Here are your Walmart coupon deals and matchups for the current week. I use the Chicagoland version of the ad, but most Walmart advertised deals are valid nationwide.

View weekly ad | Ibotta ecoupon offers | Checkout 51 ecoupon offers | SavingStar ecoupon offers (load online, redeem via app)

Note: I refer to coupon inserts found in the Chicago Tribune, as it is the newspaper with the largest quantity of high-value coupons for Chicagoland.
Need a deal on the Tribune? Get Sunday Chicago Tribune delivery for .75/week!

Top deals:
.50 Suave Kids haircare, $1.38 Suave body wash, $2.47 L'Oreal Advanced haircare, $3.24 St. Ives Fresh Hydration lotion USA, LLC

Target Deals of the Week: 7/27/14 - 8/2/14

Here are your Target deals for the current week...

View weekly ad | Print store coupons from | Target Cartwheel ecoupon offers | Ibotta ecoupon offers | Checkout 51 ecoupon offers | SavingStar ecoupon offers (load online, redeem via app)

Top deals:
$10-off-$40 with store pickup, $4.99 Dunkin Donuts coffee, $4.99 Tide, $5.99 Eight O' Clock K-Cups, Buy 3, Get $5 gift card P&G sale, $5 off $20 meat coupon, school supply deals

Office Depot OfficeMax school supply deals: 7/27/14 - 8/2/14

Here are your Office Depot OfficeMax school supply deals for the current week...
View Office Depot ad | View OfficeMax ad

Top deals:
.01 Office folders, .25 Office pink beveled erasers, .25 Office Depot & Westcott 5" scissors, .25 Office protractors, .25 Office rulers, .25 Really Useful boxes, .25 Scholastic & OfficeMax glue

Walgreens Deals of the Week: 7/27/14 - 8/2/14

Walgreens PhotoHere are your Walgreens coupon matchups and weekly deals for Chicago and the rest of the USA...

View weekly ad | Preview next week's ad on Friday | Ibotta ecoupon offers | Checkout 51 ecoupon offers | SavingStar ecoupon offers (load online, redeem via app)

My deals writeups reference "IVC" coupons. These are found in the monthly Instant Value Coupon books found at the front of the Walgreens store on the flyer racks.

Top deals:
.49 Colgate products, .24 Butterball turkey bacon, .74 Dawn, .99 Mitchum deodorant, .99 Nice eggs, .99 Carmex lotion or cream, $1 M&Ms, $1.67 Kellogg's cereals and Pop-Tarts, $1.99 Hershey's chocolate spread, $2.33 Always pads, liners and wipes, $2.99 Tide, $19.99 Luster Pro teeth whitening system

Weekly Deals from Walgreens

CVS/pharmacy Deals of the Week: 7/27/14 - 8/2/14

Here are your CVS/pharmacy coupon deals and matchups...
View print version of weekly ad | My Weekly Ad | SavingStar ecoupon offers | Ibotta ecoupon offers | Checkout 51 ecoupon offers

Top deals:
.53 Ragu pasta sauce, .69 7-Up 2-liter, .74 Dawn, .99 Gold Emblem Abound snacks, .99 Mitchum deodorant, .99 Suave body wash, $1.64 Kellogg's cereals, $1.66 Pop-Tarts, $1.99 Revlon nail color, $2 Brookside chocolate, $2.50 Head & Shoulders, $2.50 CVS children's vitamins, $3.49 OGX haircare