When all-you-can-eat promotions go bad:
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Darden Restaurants said this week it had replaced the head of Red Lobster, its biggest chain, after an all-you-can-eat crab promotion went awry.
Darden President and Chief Operating Officer Dick Rivera will succeed Edna Morris as president of Red Lobster.
Morris, who had been in that job just 18 months, left to pursue other interests, the company said.
Darden executives said Red Lobster management had badly miscalculated how many times customers would refill their plates after paying $20 for an "endless" crab entree. Meanwhile, crab prices were going up, sending the profit margin crashing.
"It wasn't the second helping on all-you-can-eat but the third," company Chairman Joe R. Lee said during a conference call.
"And maybe the fourth," Rivera added.