Coronavirus-impacted Red Lobster apologizes for Mother's Day service mishap

Restaurant chain CEO sent email to customers for service issues on 'one of the most important days of the year'

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Red Lobster’s CEO apologized on Tuesday after several customers complained that their Mother’s Days were ruined by widespread service mishaps caused by the novel coronavirus over the holiday weekend, FOX Business has learned.

The memo was emailed to “Red Lobster Guests” shortly before 1:30 p.m. Tuesday with the subject line, “A letter from CEO Kim Lopdrup about Mother’s Day” in response to reports that customers eager for the Mother’s Day meals were left waiting for hours for their pick-up and delivery orders and, in some cases, never received their food.

(Obtained by FOX Business) 

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"I apologize that we disappointed many of you this past weekend as you placed orders for Mother’s Day, one of the most important days of the year," Lopdrup wrote in the letter, which was obtained by FOX Business. "We received significantly more online orders than we have ever gotten in a single day, and despite preparing for a spike in demand on Mother’s Day, some of our restaurants were unable to keep up with the volume."

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Disgruntled diners in New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania took to social media Sunday to complain about long wait times and incomplete or no-show orders, followed by issues getting in touch with any customer service representatives for refunds.

Long lines grew into crowds at a Red Lobster in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, where the restaurant ultimately closed for the night – leaving diners without the meals they’d been waiting for and reportedly telling them to request refunds online.

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On Monday, a spokesperson for the company attributed the service issues to circumstances caused by the global pandemic and resulting operating and staffing changes.

(Obtained by FOX Business) 

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Lopdrug said in his email the company is doing what it can to ensure "this never happens again."

"We will also review and improve our social distancing procedures to better handle situations where we have higher than expected volume," he said, later adding: "We do not take lightly the fact that you trusted us with your Mother’s Day celebration and we let many of you down."

It was not clear if diners were reimbursed for their lost meals.

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