Red Lobster - brand operationalization, at least in part

Red Lobster is setting itself back on course, reports the New York Times, with a major brand makeover that's taking it from "frumpy and downscale" to a more upscale operation. What's noteworthy to me is how intelligently they designed the change - first focusing on operational improvement, then on changing the image with the public. See quote from the story below:
"Kim Lopdrup, president of Red Lobster, says that the marketing initiative is part of a three-stage effort to revamp the brand. The first phase involved improving operations so that customers got what they ordered and did not have to wait too long. The second phase is aimed at changing the public image and perception. The third part will be dedicated to increasing sales at existing restaurants and perhaps adding locations."
The only question I have for Red Lobster is, did they revamp operations in a branded way - did they educate employees on the new image and how operational changes would enhance it - or did they just focus on straightforward customer service changes? Because it makes a difference...especially since (aside from the food) the restaurant is only as good as the kind of service provided by its waiters and waitresses.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.