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All-you-can-eat on Red Lobster menu: how does Ultimate Endless Shrimp work and how much is it?

With news that the shrimp scheme has been too popular that it has eaten into company profits, we check out what the fuss is all about.

Update:
Red lobster

Red Lobster’s iconic “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” promotion, a tradition at the seafood chain for over 18 years, became a permanent fixture on the menu in the summer, as part of the company’s overall strategy. Initiated by Red Lobster’s parent company, Thai Union, the promotion was designed to boost foot traffic during traditionally slower business quarters, allowing customers to indulge in unlimited shrimp for a fixed price of $20.

“Knowing how much our guests love and look forward to the return of Ultimate Endless Shrimp each year, we decided it’s time to make this guest favourite available all day, every day,” said the company’s CMO, Patty Trevino back in June. “And this is just the beginning...”

Great idea, right? Well, sometimes great ideas can backfire.

The ‘success’ of the promotion has led to unexpected challenges, and it has been said to have been the cause of Red Lobster making an estimated $11 million loss in the third quarter of 2023.

My entry to the above challenge:

Look! We got endless, shrimp delight

Seafood dreams, every night

Sizzle for bosses

Cheddar Bay bliss. No empty plates.

Savour every bite!

Why is Red Lobster’s deal causing problems?

The popularity of the “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” exceeded the company’s expectations, contributing to the aforementioned financial setback. While the promotion successfully increased customer traffic by 2% compared to the previous quarter and 4% compared to the previous year, a higher proportion of customers chose to participate in the deal than anticipated. Thai Union CFO Ludovic Garnier acknowledged that the $20 price point was not profitable for the company, and the unexpected success prompted a need for adjustments. So how would they adapt?

In response to the financial strain, Red Lobster has incrementally increased the price of the deal, first to $22 and now settling at $25. Garnier emphasized the importance of carefully determining the entry and price points for promotions to ensure sustainable profitability.

How does Ultimate Endless Shrimp work?

So if you’re heading down to a local Red Lobster, and you haven’t been before, you’ll want to know more about how it all works. It ain’t rocket science, kids.

As I’ve said, “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” allows customers to enjoy unlimited shrimp for a fixed price. For the higher, but still very reasonable, $25, guests can start with a selection of two shrimp choices and then can continue ordering additional shrimp options until satisfied. The menu includes the following tempting choices:

Garlic Shrimp Scampi – hand-crafted garlic shrimp scampi, oven-broiled in a garlic butter sauce.

Coconut Shrimp – tossed in flaky coconut and fried golden brown. Served with Red Lobster's signature piña colada sauce.

Shrimp Linguini Alfredo – tender shrimp in a creamy Alfredo sauce on a bed of linguini.

Walt's Favorite Shrimp – hand-breaded, butterflied and lightly fried. Served with cocktail sauce.

Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewer – skewered shrimp with a butter garlic glaze. Served over rice.

Each “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” meal is accompanied by a choice of side and the beloved Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Oh, and then there are rewards and member benefits if you’re planning on regular visits.

The company says it remains committed to providing an enticing seafood experience for its customers but recognizes the importance of balancing customer satisfaction with sustainable business practices.

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