Puerto Rican firm Restaurant Operators Inc. announced Monday that construction on the first Red Lobster restaurant in Puerto Rico will begin in May, through an investment of $2 million.
The eatery will open in December 2016 at the Plaza Las Américas shopping center in Hato Rey. The new 7,000 square-foot restaurant will generate 125 new jobs, ROI executives said.
The future Red Lobster will open in the area formerly occupied by Banco Santander, and will have the capacity to host 230 guests.
“As a group, we continue to believe and invest in Puerto Rico, presenting consumers with new and innovative alternatives. Red Lobster fulfills our criteria and high standards of quality, service, innovation and great taste. It excites us to be able to develop and grow this brand in Puerto Rico,” said Dionisio Trigo, president of ROI, a company that also manages the Olive Garden, Sizzler and LongHorn Steakhouse brands in Puerto Rico.
The arrival of the Red Lobster franchise has been long expected by consumers who know of the restaurant through their travels stateside.
“We welcome the prestigious restaurant that comes to market at the hands of a Puerto Rican group of experienced and knowledgeable professionals, with whom we already enjoy an excellent relationship through previous endeavors, including Applebee’s in Plaza Las Americas, Sizzler in Plaza Las Américas and Plaza del Caribe, and LongHorn in Plaza del Caribe,” added Jaime Fonalledas, president of Empresas Fonalledas, the mall’s operator.
To enable the location that Red Lobster will occupy on the first level of the shopping mall, close to Sears, the Banco Santander branch was relocated to the locale just in front, which was once occupied by BBVA bank, Fonalledas said.
Red Lobster comes to Puerto Rico via a business agreement between Red Lobster Hospitality, LLC and ROI.