Red Lobster Reports $11 Million in Losses Because Customers Are Eating Way Too Much Unlimited Shrimp

For decades, has been the ultimate in fast-casual seafood dining. But a recent corporate decision to offer as much endless shrimp as patrons could eat has proven to be a catastrophe: Americans ate so much shrimp that it cost the company $11 million.

According to , the news came during an earnings call in November with Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier, the CFO of Red Lobster stakeholder Thai Union Group. “We knew the price was cheap, but the idea was to bring more traffic in the restaurants,” during the teleconference. “So we wanted to boost our traffic, and it didn’t work.”

Actually, it did. Restaurant Business, which was the shrimp concern, notes that in 2023, Red Lobster observed a 4 percent increase year-over-year in customers. But that wasn’t enough to surmount the losses on its shrimp offer, which cost $20 and offered a bottomless bowl of crustaceans along with their signature.

The deal, which as a permanent menu special after years of intermittent appearances, proved so popular that Red Lobster fans took to social media to trade strategies for consuming more shrimp. The Takeout author Dennis Lee back in 2018. “When my server comes to retrieve my empty plates, I politely decline,” Lee wrote. “I prefer they remain at my table, stacked ever higher as the night progresses, as evidence of my conquest.” Lee also suggested wearing sweat-wicking clothing and sticking with the comparatively lighter sesame-ginger shrimp skewers.