Red Lobster's Lobsterfest lineup.
Red Lobster

Schmidt is a seasoned restaurant executive and proven leader with over 30 years of progressive experience in finance, operations and accounting.

David Schmidt Joins Red Lobster as Chief Financial Officer

Red Lobster announced David Schmidt will join its Senior Leadership Team as Chief Financial Officer. Schmidt comes to Red Lobster from Bloomin' Brands where he has served as Group Vice President and CFO of Casual Dining Brands since 2019.

"Growing up in Minnesota, the place to go for great seafood and to celebrate life's big events was always Red Lobster, including my own high school and college graduation celebrations," says Schmidt. "Today, I'm honored to join this incredible team and iconic brand, and I look forward to being a part of its continued success."

Schmidt is a seasoned restaurant executive and proven leader with over 30 years of progressive experience in finance, operations and accounting. He has spent the last 16 years at Bloomin' Brands in a variety of roles, most recently overseeing the Finance, Analytics and Consumer Insights teams for the Casual Dining Restaurant Portfolio. He previously served as President of Bonefish Grill, where he led the brand's revitalization with a relentless focus on operational excellence and a superior guest experience while also establishing a track record of simplifying and standardizing operating processes that generate meaningful margin improvement. Prior to his work at Bloomin' Brands, Schmidt was Controller / Vice President of Financial Planning Reporting and Analysis at Avado Brands, Inc and Manager of Franchise Finance at Denny's. He began his career in Public Accounting.

"David has a deep understanding of our business and is clearly passionate about our industry, having spent almost his entire career in hospitality," adds Kelli Valade, CEO, Red Lobster. "We have continued to focus on building an unstoppable team of expert leaders at Red Lobster, and David certainly has deep experience and leadership skills, which is why I am so excited to have him join us in the CFO role."

Schmidt received his BA in Accounting with a minor in Economics from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.  

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