Halloween Freebies Round-Up 2013

Sweet costume: check. Candy for the kiddies: check. Real food so you don’t starve to death: say what now? As much as we’d love to believe otherwise, you can’t make it through Halloween night on candy alone. Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants out there just itching to throw free (or at least discounted) food at you. And I don’t know about you, but after everything I spent this Halloween, the extra moolah is very much appreciated.


Boston Market:


Free Kid’s Meal with Purchase of Any Individual Meal.




$3 Burrito, Bowl, Salad, or Tacos with Costume, 4:00 p.m. to close.




Free Scary Face Pancake for Kids 12 and Under, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


Krispy Kreme:


One Free Donut with Halloween Costume


Olive Garden:


Free Kid’s Meal with Adult Entree. Newsletter subscription and coupon required.


Outback Steakhouse:


Free Kid’s Meal with Adult Entree



Red Lobster:


Free Kid’s Meal with Adult Entree. Coupon available on Facebook.




$1 Coupon Booklet for 10 Free Jr. Frostys. Proceeds go to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.


DIY Red Lobster Shrimp Nachos, Because It’s Summer Somewhere

I know, I know. It’s winter and it’s all about clam chowder bread bowls and stuffed potato skins. Nachos are usually reserved  for the summer and meant to be eaten while sipping cervezas. But, who really stops sipping ice cold brews? And I don’t think I have to justify making this Red Lobster-Inspired Shrimp Nachos dish anyways because it’s bangin’ and easy to make.

The perk to making this dish at home rather than ordering at Red Lobster? You can be as generous with the shrimp as you wish and use medium-sized shrimp as opposed to the smaller ones they serve in the restaurant. The only thing you have to worry about is shooing the wandering hands like fruit flies. Don’t let them take a single chip until you’ve had the chance to stick the dish in the oven with grated mild cheddar or jack cheese. Once finished, top it with the cooked shrimp, fresh pico de gallo and a dollop of sour cream. Put a load on that chip, take a bite and sip your beer because it’s summer somewhere.

Check out the full recipe at CopyKat

via CopyKat


Olive Garden Owner to Buy Yard House for $585 Million in Cash

Facebook isn’t the only company that can swing the proverbial cash genitalia, and this time the acquisition is happening in the food world. Darden Restaurants, Inc., the owners of such chains such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Seasons 52 have just bought the Irvine-based Yard House chain for $585 million in cash.

The deal captures the 39-unit chain in the midst of a growth spurt, which means all current 39 locations across 13 states will now operate under the Darden Restaurants hierarchy.

Yard House’s first location launched back in 1996, and is known for its music, energetic atmosphere, and its 130+ average tap selection — which takes full advantage of the recent craft beer movement. Each location averages volumes of $8.4 million, according to a release from Darden’s investor relations.

The move to buy Yard House seems quite strategic (duh) for the Darden Restaurants brand, after a multi-year reliance on sliding sales of some of their underperforming properties like Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Through the purchase, Darden will reportedly have “near $1 billion in annual sales.”



Olive Garden’s Parent Company Purchases Eddie V’s Restaurants

Eddie V's Restaurants

Orlando-Based Darden Restaurants Inc., which operates numerous national brand name restaurants such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has purchased Eddie V’s Restaurants Inc. The purchase includes Eddie V’s 3 restaurant brands Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Wildfish Seafood Grille and Roaring Fork which boast a total of 15 locations in Texas, Arizona and California. The restaurants will be brought into the specialty division of Darden which also includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and the Seasons 52 brands. (THX The Business Journals)


The Plans To Revitalize Olive Garden’s Soft Sales and Traffic

Darden Restaurants Inc., parent company to the 750+ unit Olive Garden restaurant chain had a moderately unpleasant earnings call this past week. While Darden’s portfolio of brands reported a net earnings increase of 19 percent for the fourth quarter, Olive Garden in particular reported a 1.1 percent decrease in both same-store sales and traffic compared to this time last year.

Soft traffic and sales, according to the call by Darden officials, is being blamed on a misappropriation of their pricing strategy. The earnings call even targets “the timing of its [Olive Garden] annual price increase, which occurred early in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 but did not take place in this year’s fourth quarter.”

To adress this situation, Darden plans to establish more predictable price points at their Olive Garden restaurants — along the lines of another brand in their portfolio, Red Lobster. The seafood house’s limited-time $15 Seafood Feast proved successful at driving traffic for the brand, and they hope to carry over similar pricing strategies for Olive Garden. [NRN]

What do y’all think about Olive Garden? They pan to open up 35 to 40 new locations in the fiscal year of 2012, think they should do anything different with their price structure? New menu offerings? Don’t change a thing?



Red Lobster: Adding 'The Next Food Network Star''s Winning Recipe


On one of the latest episodes of Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star”, finalist Jeffrey Saad along with the other remaining contestants were challenged by a panel of judges to develop a dish using wood-fire grilling method using fresh fish species served at Red Lobster locations across America. Under the scrutiny of Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke, Iron Chef Michael Symon and Bobby Flay, Saad’s dish was chosen due to its bold flavors enhancing “the delicious, natural flavor of wood-fire grilled fish, without overwhelming it,” said Chef LaDuke. Jeffrey Saad’s dish of wood-grilled fresh fresh  spicy soy broth will be featured on the “Today’s Fresh Fish” menu at 690 Red Lobster locations across North America. Get out and try it!


Red Lobster: Quick Catches Lunch

Yet another new collection of meals from the Red Lobster team. This time it comes in the form of some quick and easy seafood dishes, designed to fill you up when you need to run! The new menu covers 8 items, including: Crispy Beer Battered Shrimp ($7.99), Coastal Soup and Grilled Shrimp Salad ($9.99), Shrimp and Wood-Grilled Chicken ($8.99), Wood-Grilled Salmon BLT ($10.99), Wood-Grilled Chicken BLT ($8.75), Haddock Sandwich ($7.50) and lastly, a plate of Wood-Grilled Shrimp Skewers ($8.50). Want to learn more about this menu or find a Red Lobster near you? Get your seafood on at


Red Lobster: Wood-Fire Grilling

Noting one of the most intensive culinary changes in Red Lobster’s history, the introduction of a Wood-Fire Grill is a special occasion for 680 Red Lobster restaurants being retrofitted with the new wood-fire assisted grills. Along with these new grills comes 3,500 new certified Grill Masters to expertly turn up the heat on 22 new Wood-Fire Grilled menu items. Excited much? Check out the press package they released!