News Release Details

Red Lobster Names John Altomare Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage

May 08, 2000

ORLANDO, Fla., May 8 -- John J. Altomare has joined Red Lobster as Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, the casual dining seafood leader has announced. Reporting to company President Dick Rivera, Altomare will be responsible for Red Lobster's culinary and menu development.

"We are delighted John is joining our executive management crew," said Rivera. "He brings a great combination of restaurant operations expertise and a successful track record of culinary and concept innovation. He'll be a tremendous addition to the very talented team we already have in place on the food and beverage side of our business."

"I am very excited to be joining one of the best known and respected brands in the world," Altomare said. "Red Lobster is absolutely committed to setting new standards for service and culinary excellence in casual dining, and I'm really looking forward to being a part of that."

John started his restaurant career in 1979 and distinguished himself in various operating leadership roles with Ground Round Restaurants and Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurants. He developed a solid reputation for building sales and delivering profitability.

In 1992 he became President and COO of P&L Food Services, a Boston Market franchisee, with responsibility for 114 Boston Market restaurants in the Northeast. While there he helped develop several successful new product lines that were introduced system-wide. John later became Executive Vice President of Concept Development for Boston Chicken, where he conceptualized and implemented the evolution of the Boston Market concept and expanded the menu. During his tenure the company significantly increased customer frequency, sales growth, customer service and product quality.

Most recently, Altomare was President and COO of Waldo's $1 Mart, a deep- discount retail concept he developed from the ground up into a successful 11- store chain.

"John will look at everything related to our food and beverages with a fresh set of eyes, including our fresh fish offerings, and help us continue to provide our guests with great tasting, 'craveable' food and drinks that they can't find anywhere else," Rivera said.

Red Lobster is the world's largest seafood dinnerhouse company with more than 650 restaurants, 60,000 employees and nearly $2 billion in annual sales, is owned by Darden Restaurants. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Darden also owns and operates the Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones BBQ Sports Bar restaurant brands, with annual sales of over $3.5 billion.