Red Lobster CEO: We pay above average wages

As the minimum wage increase begins to take effect, one seafood restaurant chain claims to have always been ahead of the curve.

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“Fortunately from the earliest days our founder Bill Darden was focused on hiring the very best people and developing them and retaining them and that’s been in our DNA since day 1,” said Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrop during an interview on “Mornings with Maria.” “So we pay above average wages in the industry [and] our benefits are above average.”

Red Lobster, which was named one of America’s best large employers by Forbes, is also able to offer employees career opportunities, Lopdrop said.


“We have promotional opportunities that go beyond what you get in other companies because we are all company owned. So you literally have line cooks and dishwashers winding up being vice presidents, supervising 10 thousand people,” he explained and he added that “we are doing way better than industry average on retention and if you go into our restaurants you’ll see more long-serving employees than just about anywhere.”