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Millennials Love Red Lobster Thanks to Twitter and Beyonce

According to the survey, Red Lobster is the top choice among diners aged 18 to 24 in several categories.
Photo via Flickr user Victor Björklund

Turns out, the Right Honourable Queen Bey isn't the only one seriously jonesing for some Cheddar Bay biscuits. It just so happens that the 48-year-old casual dining chain Red Lobster is the favorite restaurant of America's Millennials.

National Restaurant News recently released their annual Consumer Picks survey, which takes an in-depth look at America's preferences towards restaurant brands. According to the survey, Red Lobster is the top choice among diners aged 18 to 24 in several categories, including menu variety, service, and some nebulous thing called "craveability."


Why would the middle-aged seafood spot be the new millennial go-to? Perhaps because the chain has kept up with food trends, remodeled a bunch of its outposts, and leaned into social media heavily. Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup told Business Insider that it wasn't targeting Millennials in particular when it decided to make these changes, but instead, "We've just been focusing on making improvements overall."

Some have another theory, though. The 33 percent boost in Red Lobster's sales of late and its appeal to millenials may be directly attributable to the Beyhive. They obviously don't know the difference between Rachael Ray and Rachel Roy, but they sure seem to like lobster. And they may be hitting the chain thanks to Beyonce's song "Formation," which was released in February, and which she belted on the halftime show of this year's Super Bowl. The song includes these catchy lyrics: "When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay."

You simply can't pay for advertising like that.

Needless to say, Red Lobster was pretty damn pleased with the shout-out.

"Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? #Formation @Beyonce

— Red Lobster (@redlobster) February 7, 2016

Gentlemen, we're open tomorrow. #LuckyJay #LuckyYou #Formation #SB50 #SBHalftime — Red Lobster (@redlobster) February 8, 2016

So here's a little advice to Chipotle, which has been suffering ever since a rash of foodborne illness outbreaks—including E. coli, norovirus, campylobacter and hepatitis—have been attributed to its stores: Just get one of the world's biggest female superstars to sing about sex and your restaurants in the lyrics to one of her songs.

Katy Perry, how do you feel about burritos? Taylor? Selena?

Maybe gifts like this only happen once in a millennium.