The Red Lobester Endless Shrimp promotion initially designed to boost foot traffic and revenue during slower business quarters, unexpectedly led to challenges and financial setbacks for the company. Here are the key reasons behind the problems:
- Overwhelming Popularity: The promotion of “Red Lobester Endless Shrimp” proved to be more popular than Red Lobster anticipated, leading to a higher proportion of customers opting for the unlimited shrimp deal. While this increased customer traffic, it also created a situation where a significant portion of sales came from the fixed-price promotion.
- Unprofitable Price Point: The $20 fixed price for unlimited shrimp was not profitable for Red Lobster. The company’s CFO, Ludovic Garnier, acknowledged that the chosen price point did not align with sustainable profitability, especially given the unexpectedly high participation rate.
- Financial Loss: The success of the promotion contributed to an estimated $11 million loss in the third quarter of 2023. The company faced financial strain due to the disparity between the cost of providing unlimited shrimp at the fixed price and the revenue generated.
In response to these challenges, Red Lobster implemented the following adaptations:
- Price Adjustments: To address the financial strain and enhance profitability, Red Lobster incrementally increased the price of the “Ultimate Endless Shrimp” deal. The price was first raised to $22 and eventually settled at $25.
- Careful Entry and Price Point Consideration: Red Lobster acknowledged the importance of carefully determining entry and price points for promotions. This lesson emphasized the need for a balance between attracting customers and ensuring sustainable profitability.
Despite the setbacks, Red Lobster remains committed to providing an enticing seafood experience for its customers. The company aims to balance customer satisfaction with sustainable business practices to maintain long-term success.