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Red Lobster’s ‘Endless Shrimp’ Deal Lost Them A Gobsmackingly Large Amount Of Money

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There’s an old Simpsons episode in which the Sea Captain opens an all-you-can-eat seafood joint. Big mistake. With his bottomless stomach, Homer handily exploits their deal, leading to a lawsuit. Maybe “all-you-can-eat” is a garbage idea in real life, too, as one Beyoncé-approved seafood eatery chain recently discovered.

Per Restaurant Business Magazine, back in June Red Lobster took one of its more popular limited-time offers — Ultimate Endless Shrimp, which promised just that for a mere 20 clams — and made it a permanent fixture of their menu.

The good news: Traffic at the chain grew by 4% in this year’s third quarter. The bad: In the same quarter they posted a loss of more than $11 million, with a $20 million loss expected for the year.

Thai Union Group, which owns the chain, is citing the endless shrimp offer as a key reason for the financial losses.

“We knew the price was cheap, but the idea was to bring more traffic in the restaurants,” Thai Union CFO Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier told investors recently. “So we wanted to boost our traffic, and it didn’t work.”

So Red Lobster is expelling the deal from their menu, at least full time, right? Alas, they’ve since simply upped the price to $25.

“We want to keep it on the menu,” Garnier said. “And of course we need to be much more careful regarding what are the entry points and what is the price point we are offering for this promotion.”

Perhaps in another quarter or two we’ll see if Red Lobster has changed its tune. But at least you can always get endless amounts of the real star of their menu: those rockin’ cheddar biscuits.

(Via Restaurant Business Magazine)