Restaurant feels pinch after crab deal

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The Independent US

A promotion enabling customers to eat all they liked of crab seemed like the perfect idea to lure people into the Red Lobster restaurant chain. But sadly the company's president Edna Morris underestimated just how large her customers' appetites were.

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of the Red Lobster chain, said it was firing Ms Morris, claiming her promotion had cost it millions of dollars.

Joe Lee, the chairman of Darden said: "It wasn't the second helpings on all-you-can-eat [that lost us a fortune] but the third," and Dick Rivera - who will replace Ms Morris - added: "And maybe the fourth."

Ms Morris used to head a steak house chain and company sources said her error was to think customers would be sated by crab as quickly as they were by steak. The promotion also coincided with a sudden rise in the cost of crabs.

Darden's first quarter profits were down by more than $3m (£1.81m) from a year ago.