Red Lobster is an American casual dining restaurant chain that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company also has operations in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. As of May 29, 2011, there are 698 Red Lobster locations worldwide.
Red Lobster was founded in 1968 by entrepreneurs Bill Darden and Charley Woodsby. Originally billed as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers", the first restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, was followed by several others throughout the southeast. In 1970, General Mills acquired Red Lobster as a five-unit company. With new backing, the chain expanded rapidly in the 1980s.