Company founder Bill Darden opened his first restaurant, The Green Frog, at age 19. From the beginning, Bill’s restaurants focused on quality and service. With a passion for seafood, it was only a matter of time before Bill and his team opened the first Red Lobster in Lakeland, Fla., in 1968. Red Lobster is an American casual dining restaurant chain that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company also has operations in Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Japan. As of February 24, 2013, there were 705 Red Lobster locations worldwide. On December 19, 2013, Darden announced it plans to sell or spin-off the Red Lobster brand, citing pressure from stock investors.