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Red Lobster's 'Endless Shrimp' deal surpassed expectations, cost company millions

Red Lobster Walt's Favorite Shrimp is served with cocktail sauce.
Red Lobster Walt's Favorite Shrimp is served with cocktail sauce.

Endless shrimp did not mean endless success for Red Lobster.

The seafood chain's "Ultimate Endless Shrimp" deal became more popular than expected, inadvertently becoming a key factor in a $11 million loss in the third quarter.

The limited-time promotional deal, in which guests picked two types of shrimp to enjoy nonstop for $20, landed a permanent spot on Red Lobster menus in June. Red Lobster's parent company, Thai Union Group, said earlier this month that the chain was headed toward a $20 million loss for 2023.

Now the endless shrimp deal costs $25.

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Red Lobster earnings call reveals

Thai Union Group CFO Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier said in an earnings report call that the company was aware the initial price for the endless-shrimp deal was cheap. The offer was intended to draw customers into restaurants, but orders exceeded expectations, he said.

"We wanted to boost our traffic, and it didn't work," Garnier told investors, according to Restaurant Business Magazine. "We want to keep it on the menu. 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."

Red Lobster representatives didn't return USA TODAY's calls for comment.

What comes with Red Lobster Endless Shrimp deal?

The "Ultimate Endless Shrimp" lets guests choose between two shrimp selections throughout their meals. Each meal comes with a side and warm Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

The following items can be selected with the $25 offer:

  • Garlic Shrimp Scampi

  • Coconut Shrimp

  • Shrimp Linguini Alfredo

  • Walt's Favorite Shrimp

  • Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewer

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Red Lobster's 'Endless Shrimp' deal was too popular for chain's good