Beyonce bounce: Red Lobster sales surge on 'Formation' lyric
A Red Lobster restaurant in Hialeah, Fla., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP / Alan Diaz, File)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:18AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 9, 2016 3:22PM EST
NEW YORK -- Red Lobster says it's feeling the "Beyonce Bounce."
The seafood chain known for its cheddar biscuits says sales surged 33 per cent on Sunday, compared with last year's Super Bowl Sunday. The increase came after the release of "Formation," in which Beyonce says she took a man to Red Lobster after sex. Red Lobster says it's sure the mention is responsible for at least part of its sales jump.
Other factors also likely helped. Red Lobster notes this year's winter wasn't as harsh, meaning people were likely more willing to head out to restaurants. And the chain is running a "Lobsterfest" promotion that it didn't last year.
The pop culture spotlight from Beyonce is nevertheless a welcome change for Red Lobster, which was sold by Darden Restaurants in July of 2014 after it suffered ongoing declines in sales. The chain, which is now privately held by investment firm Golden Gate Capital, says it has posted sales gains every quarter since the separation.
And after the mention by Beyonce, it says it was also a trending topic on Twitter for the first time.
"It's clear that Beyonce has helped create some Red Lobster fans, and we are very grateful to her for that," Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup said in a statement.
Erica Ettori, a Red Lobster representative, said she could not "confirm or deny" whether the chain has reached out to superstar, but noted that things were "moving fast."
Regardless, the chain is already trying to make the most of its moment. It tweeted that, "Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" The chain is also noting that lobster is considered a romantic food.
Red Lobster, based in Orlando, Florida, has more than 700 locations in the U.S. and Canada.