Just a month after Applebee's extended its fast casual lunch concept to all stores in its home market of Kansas City, Mo., Red Lobster announced this week that its conducting a similar test. The casual dining restaurant is offering "Seaside Express" in two Orlando-area restaurants, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Diners order and pay at the counter from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but its traditional sit-down lunch is also still available.
In the Sanford, Fla., Red Lobster unit, customers order at a lobby counter and make their own drinks at a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. At the other unit testing the fast casual concept, guests order at the bar and receive drinks in plastic cups. At both locations, they receive numbers after paying and sit in a separate area from casual diners. Servers deliver meals that take only a few minutes to prepare.
Meals range in price from $6.99 to $8.99, and although servers bring the food and refill drinks, the menus recommend that diners not leave tips.
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