Red Lobster sold; Cheddar Bay Biscuits now at risk

Cheddar Bay Biscuit devotees: don't freak out, but maybe TOTALLY FREAK OUT, 'cause a San Francisco investment firm just bought Red Lobster for a colossal amount of cheddar. Darden Restaurants -- the behemoth holding company behind Middle-America mainstays like Olive Garden & Longhorn Grill -- just offloaded the strip mall seafood Mecca for $2.1bill, citing an 8.7% decline in sales and other performance issues.

The chain may be headed for a sea change. (Sorry.)

The buyer is Golden Gate Capital, a not-restaurant group that's already maneuvering to sell off some of Big Red's real estate holdings. What this means for your beloved biscuits, and crabs stuffed with shrimp stuffed with scallops, and... uh, other stuff you go to Red Lobster for, no one is sure yet. But you'd better get your fill while you can, because the chain may be headed for a sea change. (Sorry.)

Dave Infante is a food/drink senior writer at Thrillist, and tweets about his meals occasionally.