Activist investor Starboard Value has asked Darden Restaurants Inc to delay the planned spinoff of its Red Lobster chain to look at other options to lift the value of shares, including improving operations and cutting costs companywide.

Starboard made the request in a letter to the chief executive officer and the board of directors sent on Tuesday.

Starboard, which said it owns 5.5 percent of Darden's shares, also wants Darden to conduct an evaluation of all its options related to its real state holdings.

Last month, Darden said it would spin off or sell the floundering Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group. Barington last week also voiced disappointment with Darden's plan for Red Lobster.