/ 22 May 2024

Sunk by shrimp


One of America’s biggest restaurant chains Red Lobster is investigating whether an “endless shrimp” promotion ultimately led to its downfall after it was responsible for $16.5 million in losses. The US$20 all-you-can-eat offering was originally a seasonal promo that ran successfully for 20 years, but it became a permanent thing after Thai Union, a Bangkok-based canned seafood company, became a major investor. Reports say the deal to supply the prawns caused “operational and financial issues”, but some analysts say it wasn’t all the crustaceans’ fault… The restaurant was popular with boomers but failed to attract younger diners – until the unintentional publicity that the shrimp promo would end prompted a new generation to make it their mission to eat as much as possible before the final tail was torn off. Now more than $440 million in debt, the Florida-based chain has filed for bankruptcy.

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