Slipping the hostess some chocolate didn't get you a table at that multi-Michelin-starred restaurant? Don't sweat it, because you can still treat your date to a fancy evening at Red Lobster.
Red Lobster's old parent company, Darden Restaurants, officially sold it off to investment firm Golden Gate Capital on Monday, and the new owners are aiming to rebrand the seafood spot as a fine dining chain. First order of business? Axing the low-price specials. While Endless Shrimp and Crabfest have been spared, the rest of Red Lobster's deals (like 30 shrimp for $11.99) are getting the boot in order to add to the new black-tie atmosphere. Golden Gate Capital is also changing up the plating style -- instead of bringing out the fish on square plates with the sides spread out in separate corners, Red Lobster will now serve the fish over rice on round plates, just like all the flush seafood restaurants do.
The rest of Red Lobster's new strategy is under wraps for now, but don't be surprised if they start pairing the Cheddar Bay Biscuits with Beluga caviar.
Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and is going to start wearing ballgowns to Red Lobster, just to be safe. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.