Entrepreneur Landing Page
Sign In Search

Red Lobster Lost Nearly $11 Million Because People Love Endless Shrimp: 'We Need to Be Much More Careful' The restaurant chain, which is owned by Thai Union Group, made the promotion a menu mainstay in June.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

Promises of unlimited or endless anything at a restaurant chain can seem like a good deal for customers.

But for restaurants, maybe not.

For the seafood chain Red Lobster, an unlimited deal actually cost the company millions because it was too popular.

For over 18 years, Red Lobster has offered its famous "Endless Shrimp" deal — for $20, patrons can eat as much of its various styles of shrimp as they want during a limited-time, once-a-year promotion.

Related: Red Lobster CEO Resigns After Only 8 Months

This year, the chain (which is owned by parent company, Thai Union Group) decided to make the promotion a menu mainstay and offer the deal all day, every day, regardless of the month or date.

The result? A nearly $11 million profit loss in Q3 2023.

"We knew the price was cheap. But the idea was to bring more traffic in the restaurants," Thai Union CFO Ludovic Garnier said in an earnings call.

The plan was to increase foot traffic during Q3 and Q4, which grew 4% year over year, but profits fell as the majority of those customers coming into eat were opting in for the cheaper deal.

"Something, which was different from our expectations, is the proportion of the people selecting this promotion was much higher compared to expectation," Garnier said. "It's one of the iconic promotions for Red Lobster, so we want to keep it in the menu but, of course, we need to be much more careful regarding what is the entry point and what is the price point we're offering for this promotion."

Related: Red Lobster Accused of False Advertising in Lawsuit: Report

It's noted that the price of the endless deal was raised from $20 to $22, and now is being offered for $25.

Garnier cited the promotion as a "key reason" for Red Lobster's net loss in Q3 and the company is now looking at an estimated $20 million loss in total for 2023.

Thai Union Group was down just over 14% year over year.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


Grab a Wireless 4-in-1 Charging Hub for $39.97

No need to worry about a dead battery slowing your hard-earned progress.


Prioritize DEI and Crush Your ROI Goals — How Inclusive and Authentic Marketing Drive Business Growth

There's one business hack that's winning, though it's often overlooked: Diversity, equity and inclusion is good for business — and just plain good.

Starting a Business

This Black Founder Was Denied a Business Loan and Set Out to Prove the 'Gatekeepers' Wrong. He's Made More Than $500,000 So Far — But It's Just the Beginning.

Rob Gooljar, founder of IRIS blossom, started an Instagram account to share his love of floral arrangements — then the requests started rolling in.

Business News

Woman Goes Viral After Recording Her Disastrous Call With HR After Being Let Go: 'They Tried to Gaslight You'

Brittany Pietsch posted a nine-minute-long clip of her firing from Cloudflare on TikTok, and it went viral. The company's CEO responded on X — and also went viral.

Science & Technology

AI May Not Take Your Job, But Someone Using AI Likely Will — Here's Why.

Artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous across marketing and public relations agencies. These tools can increase productivity, but there are risks to consider.


How Learning to Take Care of Myself Helps Me Take Care of My Business

For entrepreneurs, particularly women, balancing the myriad responsibilities of business ownership can be all-consuming. You can't pour from an empty cup — here's how I started putting myself first and how it made my business more successful, too.