Thursday, September 03, 2009

Red Lobster - Endless Shrimp is the worst promotion ever

Dear Red Lobster,

I hate you.

Every year you foist upon us this hell. It is a nightmare. Whale sized people eating more than a small African nation. Ghetto trash trying to take a week's worth of "skrimp" home. Children playing in scampi grease and spreading it everywhere. The destruction of the polar ice caps. Well most of that stuff anyhow.

Endless shrimp is two to three times the work for less average pay. Sure it might generate some return customers, but I'd like to see a survey done of how many people come to Red Lobster for the first time because of this promotion, and how often then they subsequently come back. My guess is that there is no direct correlation. And it kills your staff. It kills server moral. It kills the prep team grinding extra hard every afternoon to get ready for the onslaught that evening. It kills the dish guys because they have to wash it all. It is a nightmare for stores that use bussers because their work is far greater with no increase in return. What kind of business model intentionally pisses off the vast majority of your employees? I understand you don't care about us, we figured that out a long time ago, but do you really have to shove this hot poker up our asses each year to prove your point that you don't care? I'd rather you just come by my house and kick me in the balls once a year rather than this long torture. Or at least limit it to Monday-Wednesday when most stores are slow. I really, REALLY hate this promotion.

From the Red Lobster web site:

Explore Endless Possibilities

The wait is over. Red Lobster’s best value of the year is back! For a limited time during Endless Shrimp, mix and match new creations like our NEW! Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp – wood-grilled and brushed with a tangy teriyaki glaze – with classic favorites like Garlic Shrimp Scampi or Hand-Breaded Shrimp. Also try Cajun Shrimp, tossed with a spicy Cajun butter sauce, or our sweet Coconut Shrimp Bites. Then, when you’re ready, you can do it all again.

The shrimp may be endless, but this offer isn’t. Hurry in today!

All entrĂ©es come with choice of salad and unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits™.


I know we have to build a customer base, but do we have to do it by catering to the lowest common denominator every year?

I will be pointing my guest to the:

Harborside Lobster and Shrimp

A roasted rock lobster tail, savory garlic shrimp scampi and a skewer of garlic-grilled jumbo shrimp over wild rice pilaf. 23.99

And if your store has the Sam Adams Octoberfest beer - get it. It's awesome beer!

73 comments:

Meagen said...

i HATE endless shrimp. My average tip is about $3 on endless shrimp tables, because it brings out the people that don't normally eat at Red Lobster because it is "too expensive". I had a table that kept ordering shrimp refills even though they had not finished their previous orders, and I knew they were going to ask for a box to take it all home after they had ordered about 9 refills. I kept ringing in the shrimp orders, just waiting for them to ask for a box. When they did, I happily told them that I could not give them a box. One of the guys made a comment along the lines of "Well, you're just going to throw this all away", and I smiled at him and said "Yep! But you can't have a box, sorry". They left me a $2 tip between the four of them, but that would have been the tip I would have gotten even if I could have given them a box.

The Bitchy Waiter said...

I am so sorry for you. So so sorry.

Penny said...

Oh Dear God. Yuck. Sorry.

la princesa said...

This is definitely the worst promotion ever. I love getting a $0.03 tip on a $63.97 bill. It's my favorite.

mr. chris said...

I love the rant, and I enjoy reading your blog.

I'm actually a regular customer, usually twice a month. I do go more often during Endless Shrimp and LobsterFest, though.

The two stores I frequent most actually encourage you to order a refill right away(sometimes as they are delivering the first order). Maybe just to flip the table quicker, not sure.

Regardless, I actually tip a bit more than my standard 20% (usually 25%) during these promotions because I know the waiters and waitresses are getting shived by other diners.

Thanks for your hard work!

k said...

Wow... Red Lobster worker here in Ohio. Pretty freaky how accurate your blog is about RL. The RL I work at has a large group of us that have all been there together for 5-10 or more years, I am only 25... sad. Anyhow, seriously, really, truly, can not tell you how much I enjoy your blog!!! One of my coworkers printed out a few of your entries and we all read you now. Your famous! LOL. Your entry on RL meetings sounded like it was coming out of my own mouth. God are those pointless. Thanks again, will be keeping up with your posts.

Kristen

Moose said...

If I take my whale ass into the local Blob Lobster for skrimps (people really say that?) I'll remember to tip extra... just because of you.

(and I'm a MOOSE not a WHALE, thank you. :-P)

CrazyBrideCrazyWife said...

When I saw the commercial for this promotion this year first I got very excited .. and then I remembered your posting on this last year and I felt sorry for you.

I also thogught about it and I realized I get so excited about this each year (though I do go 4-5 other times through the year) but I very, very rarely get a refill. So why the the hell am I so excited? Stupid, eh?

BizTone said...

God I love you! Lol, "I understand you don't care about us, we figured that out a long time ago..." how true a feeling of the whole industry. (Not just the glorious RL.) I work at place that has a discount night, and the cheap asses all flock in for it. They tip crappy, order water to keep the tab even lower, and camp long enough to keep Coleman in business until my great grandchildren retire... Hang in there friend.

John said...

If you spent as much time looking for a new job as you do bitching about the one you have you could probably wind up in a work environment that you actually enjoy. Go to school maybe, so you don't have to work at the Lob. :p

Mark said...

This is an awesome blog and hopefully you have visitors that are being educated about how to treat a server like the professional that they are. Of course, some are more professional than others and deserve to be compensated as such yes?

scaryice said...

Please post some stories about this year's endless shrimp experience. The stories about bad (and good) customers are the best part of this blog.

Wildroses said...

You know what I wish? I wish the Red Lobster in my area could cook shrimp. They are little rubber balls. I went there twice and I'll never go again after the last one... and your picture looks good. 'Tis sad, I'm one of the people who gets what they want and damn the cost.

David said...

What?! Your Lob doesn't let people take endless shrimp home? It's just about encouraged at mine. I don't let it go overboard, but if grandma orders and then doesn't get a refill, I'll offer her the shrimp pasta to go. This is in michigan.

TheWorstServer said...

you aren't supposed to take home shrimp at any red lobster during endless shrimp. it's just easier to let people than to tell them no and not get a tip at all.

mike said...

if you hate all you can eat shrimp days QUIT it is not the masses fault you work there don't complain do something about go back to school get a batter job. this is what is wrong with ppl today no one wants to work and when you do work all you do is complain about how hard it is. just get over your self you picked this path for you life i feel you all deserve to be treated like shit cause you are at the bottom that is how things work as long and you company is following all the laws for breaks and such and they aren't violating any or your works rights feel lucky you have the job you have cause if you could do better you would have and as far as feeling bad for the bus boys and dish washers chances are they are young ppl and this will be character building to encourage them to do something with there life be for they are bitter and blaming every one else for there problems and there crappy job like you are

Lobster Boy said...

Hey Mike,
My guess is I'm far more educated than you think. I've completed a Master's degree already, and about 1/3 of a doctorate before I stopped my education because I came to the conclusion my doctorate will only cost me money not make me money at this point. But don't let that get in the way of your rant. I mean researching my educational level on this blog would be something a...err...educated person might actually consider doing. I mean it was a whole 5 posts ago where I last talked about my education, and that post is still on the front page of this blog, but don't worry, I'll sit here feeling dumb and sorry for myself...

Max said...

Endless shrimp...I agree with everything said. You get the people who come in once a year and don't know how to act in a restaurant. I would like to share a quick story about endless shrimp from about a month ago. So it is a Friday nights or something, getting busy, I start my shift at 5:30 or so, and get triple sat a 4 top, 7 top, and 11 top (with a server who doesn't do jack ****, so of course I'm gonna be doing all the work). Anyways, I am running around doing my thing, get all the drinks, salad, and food out. It just so happens that every one of the people I am serving are getting endless for the most part. One table, I drop off the food, and ask if this guy wants a refill on his endless, he says yes and gives me his order. Now this is my first stop in my rotation of 22 guests. I happened to forget he wanted a refill, I go get some drink refills or something at the bar, come back, and I ask this guy (who I forgot about the shrimp) how everything is going, he freaks out on me telling me that I forgot to get him his shrimp, and I am like "Sorry sir, they should be out any minute" but he isn't satisfied, he picks up his plate and pushes it across the table demanding to see my manager. So I get her, this guy causes a scene and makes my manager comp the entire meal for all 4 people, and give him a gift card to make sure he would come back. I am thinking "We don't want people like this back??". Anyways, my manager over reacts and cuts me (meaning I won't be given any more tables, and once mine are all gone I can leave), it's like literally 5:50 or so, and I still have the 7 and 11 tops. The 7 top left relatively quickly which was nice. But this 11 top, 2 of the white trash guys there decided they were going to eat half the Pacific Ocean, and really give this endless shrimp thing a run for its money. These two guys literally had 20+ refils a piece, and everyone else in this big party were annoyed by them and wanted to leave, but these two guys just obviously weren't getting the "social Que" that it was time to leave, so it was awkward for everyone at the table, it was awkward and a pain in my ass for me, and get this, they didn't leave until 9 pm! It was the only table I had for almost 3 hours! I could have turned over 7-8 booths in that time and made bank, but noooo, my manager cut me so I didn't get anymore tables. I ran all these refills, pre-bussed the shit out of this table, all for a 7.5% tip (since the 15% gratuity was added and I had to split it with the other server assigned to the table) Definitely one of the worst nights of my life.

Here's to endless shrimp, and the nazi-ism that is the by the book corporate management system of Red Lobster!

Robert said...

Don't forget to mention that they decided to *extend* the promotion this year... because two months of hell wasn't quite enough!

Blair said...

I can imagine what a pain in the ass that is. We have a senior specials at my work, customers get a free drink, or a 2 dollar glass of wine, salad or soup, entree and dessert all for 6.99. It is hell, I feel your pain. The best part is that people never tip when they are getting a good deal! I just found your blog and it is really cool. Please check out mine, it is called www.stuckserving.com. If you like it maybe we could put links up for each other. Thanks!

Jbrooksut527 said...

I work for the olive garden. We just had our never ending pasta bowl. I can agree with everything that the R.L. Employees are saying about the endless shrimp. At least with endless shrimp the price is 15.99. Where as with endless pasta, it's only 8.95. But still. Every year you get the white trash people that only eat somewhere nice when they can save as much money as possible. My average tip from a pasta bowl table was 3 dollars, and living in Utah I only make 2.13 an hour. During the pasta bowl I have to work 50 hours a week just to cover my rent. That's with me and another server sharing rent. Pasta bowl is the worst two months or the year. The best feeling is the day after it ends and you get a party of 25 people all ready for the endless pasta and you get to tell them that it ended yesterday (speaking from experience). During pasta bowl I always get a table that has a compatition to see who can eat the most refills. I had a four top with 76 refills between them. No exageration!!! 76 f***ing refills. 6 dollar tip. If your going to sit at my table for 5 hours. You Better leave a decent tip. I'll admit that I went to endless shrimp and got 12 refills between myself and my girlfriend. But we also got a bottle of wine and dessert, the total ticket was around 64 dollars. Our server was awesome. I left a 30 dollar tip. I know the hell of unlimited soup salad and breadsticks. I refuse to work lunch shifts at olive garden due to that promotion. You get all the people that are on lunch break and in a hurry. The worst is when the guest says their going to be easy. Soup salad and breadsticks is all done by the server. We don't even have to ring anything in! Four people with soup salad and breadsticks and waters can eat for 30.04 (that includes tax). And always leave a 4 to 5 dollar tip. I do more work for those tables and get the smallest tips. I could go on all day about the olive garden. But it all comes down to corporate business and stupid people. Hopefully most the people reading this make more then 2.13 an hour. And better tips.

automaton said...

You all act like your sh1t doesn't stink. These people are customers, and they deserve the same service every other customer deserves. It's a job. You get paid. I don't get a tip at my job, and I put up with azzhole bosses etc. Just do your work. Would you want servers disrespecting YOUR family based on what they ordered?

Universitario said...

Endless Shrimp does suck. We deal with people that just wanna eat like pigs and dont tip shit. The only money we make is our tips, because our checks goes on taxes, so we don't want whales coming to eat our SKRIMP (u wouldn't believe how many people pronounce like that), stay at the tables for 2 hours and give 2 or 3 dollars tip, if that.
Not forgetting all the stupid questions like: The Seaside Trio is also unlimited? That means we can eat all the lobsters we want? Do we get refills on the baked potatoes and fries?
U can give the best service possible to this people, but they wont tip you shit, because they dont know how to act at a restaurant. They think that it is like a fast food place, where u just pay for your meal, but u dont have to tip.
I won't consider this people customers, i will consider them like rats or animals, and if somebody that is reading this feels disrespected i dont give a shit, that means that u are the one who goes out there and dont tip, and just wanna get your ass fatter.
Great blog

automaton said...

From the sound of it, you just assume that anyone who orders endless shrimp from you is a piece of trash who deserves poor service for making your life hell. That's a pretty extreme attitude. Tips are supposed to be gifts for exceptional service, and shouldn't be taken for granted. If someone gives me crap service they don't get a tip. 99% of the time, the only reason you even get tips at all is because people have been shamed into thinking it's mandatory over the years.

Anyway - Red Lobster isn't exactly fine dining, so you should consider yourself lucky that they get away with the prices that they do. A lot of servers work at places where an average meal costs $8 to $12 even without a promo going on. Just remember that the next time someone buys some $17 endless shrimp from you. You can't begrudge a person for coming in due to a promo. Everyone likes to save money, even YOU, your friends, your family, etc. It's not the customer's fault that RL doesn't schedule more servers to work during big promos.

If someone comes in and ACTS like an animal, that's one thing. But I don't want to get lumped into that category just for having the nerve to come in and order endless shrimp. You'd still get 15% of an above-average-priced meal from me just for doing your job, but only if I got good service. If you treat everyone who orders endless shrimp like they're an animal, pretty soon animals will be the only ones who think $17 is even worth the hassle of coming in.

Universitario said...

No, not all the people that come for Endless Shrimp behave like that. It is some kind of people that have no manners, no education at all. They don't know how to ask for things, they are rude, and of course they don't know how to tip.
I go out dining too, and if i don't get a good service, i won't leave a good tip either. I think that a server must work to deserve a good tip.
The point here is that this promotion brings some kind of people to the restaurant which any server wouldn't like to deal with, because you don't make money plus they will give such a hard time. It don't matter if you give them the best service. I know that is part of the job to have some bad customers, but during this promotion you have them more than usual

rebecca said...

I am a bartender at red lobster and have to agree with just about every post here... my resturant has a fairly large bar that seats about 20... so that means no wait if u choose to dine at the bar.. the flocks of people that a-line to us are beyond ridiculos!!! The general public assumes that no wait means as soon as u sit you eat. Not true not true at all.. the average server will work on a 3 table rotation at the bar on the other hand its whoever sits there has to get served... now keep in mind its still the BAR and we are also responsible for making all the drinks, that's for the guests dining in, eating at the bar and those who decide to have a cocktail while waiting... we are also responsible for washing our own bar glasses... this makes it impossible to keep up some times, and since its the bar we split tips so yes when you get a three dollar tip after running ur @$$ off your only entitled to $1 great isn't it!! we even have had guests to try to stand and eat, I mean c'mon how can u expect a good experience if your trying to hover over your date and eat. All we ask for is a little patience but this is unheard of in this industry. But in comarison to the last couple of years this endless was nothing.. this is my 3rd season and its not even 1/2 of what I expected.. I do have to say there was a highlight to this endless, a frequent guest whom always eats endless had about a $30 bill after a few beers did leave me a $250 tip so that made up for a lot of the bs tips that week.. to all my fellow red lobbsterland employees HANG IN THERE!!! Just one week left, Darden is a great corp 2 work for the will look out for you.. 7 days and counting!!

UMDPenguin said...

I'm not a server but i can understand how horrible this promotion can be to the wait staff. However, i am planning on going to RL this evening for this very deal. I want to eat a lot of shrimp, but i swear i plan to tip well. Probably 30-40%. Do you all think i should mention this to my waiter to up their spirits a bit and not worry that i'm just trying to be a pain in their ass? Possibly give them part of the tip before the meal?

automaton said...

Yeah you better tip them at least 30% up front so they don't spit in your "skrimps." Does that really make you feel good about going there?

mrclm said...

Former RL server here - I ate endless a month or so ago, and tipped 25% for average service. This is indeed the worst promo, though it's not as bad as the infamous Endless Crab that got our then CEO canned! But the nightmare stories that can be told from this promotion are all true.

My favorite part of this promotion (and believe me, there are very few redeeming things in Endless Shrimp) was when I would have a tiny Asian lady come in and order it and then eat more than the linemen from the University of Minnesota! No, I'm not kidding! I've seen some little ladies eat 3-4 times the amount I every could, and I'm a big guy. And no, they weren't storing them. A remarkable gastronomical display!

JBW said...

First of all, fuck every asshole commenting here telling you to just "suck it up" because you work in a restaurant and should except being treated like a piece of shit by asshole customers who have lived their whole lives in this country yet still can not understand the rudimentary basics of tipping for service. This is America, morons. 10% is for bad service, 15% is for adequate service, 20% or more is for well done or better service. If you can't grasp this concept, go dine in Europe (not disparaging that continent because I loved my time there but customer service is a shadow of what it is here) and see what kind of service you get.

Servers in most parts of this country make considerably less than minimum wage. The Utah commenter making 2 dollars and change per hour is typical. I made $2.04 an hour when I was a server in Texas and my two week paycheck was always around 5-10 dollars after taxes. It's literally a joke. I'm lucky that I make over 8 an hour working in the San Francisco Bay area although my cost of living is substantially higher so I suppose it balances out but people should never forget that servers live and die by their tips and any asshole who can't understand this should just stay home, open a can of soup and fuck themselves.

I've seen the Olive Garden promos for endless soup, salad and bread sticks many times and every time I do I think, "My God, how can people make enough to live on slaving away at that shit?" My own restaurant located in a fairly affluent neighborhood has had to resort to $20 meal deals Sun.-Thurs. lately and I've definitely noticed a decline in both the class of guests and the average of tips. I understand that businesses must do what they have to do during lean times but I do not have to like it (and trust me, I've been chatised several times about my "negative attitude" as it pertains to this promo).

I recently saw a commercial for RL's Endless Shrimp promo and was thinking of going (I dine out quite a bit and always tip well but RL has pretty much been off my radar since I was a kid) but your blog has made me second guess that inclination. I wouldn't be doing it on the cheap (like most restaurant folk, I drink copious amounts of alcohol and quite enjoy it) and would obviously tip accordingly but I would still appreciate your advice: should I go and slide a preemptive ten to my server to let them know that they will be taken care of or would you recommend just not troubling them at all?

Understand, I love shrimp and might make a (neat) pig of myself on this one occasion but I also understand your particular plight and I would hate to add to the misery of a fellow server if I could help it. Any feedback would be helpful and good luck with your blog.

Lobster Boy said...

JBW,
Go. Go and eat a shitheap of shrimp. If you want to do the preemptive tip, that would rock. I've done it myself, and had people do it to me and it is always a nice thing. You'll probably make that server's night. So enjoy.

Lobster Boy

Jesus Christ said...

Lol, this is all so fucking despicable people...

...but helpful, I guess. Definitely changed my plans for tonight!

I've done the endless shrimp deal twice. Both times it was clear the server wasn't happy about it, but on my second visit I tried the preemptive tip idea. I gave the girl $20 up front, for a bill that would be under $20. I figured $40 was a great price to pig out on shrimp and have refills brought regularly. And I thought my server would be thrilled with a 100%+ tip.

Apparently not. I saw her about once an hour, the shrimp she brought out was cold, and she reeked of cigarettes the few times I did see her.

Anyway, that was last year and I figured it was probably a fluke. I was thinking about going for some tonight (there's a week left, according to RL's website), even though I haven't gone to a sit-down restaurant since May (I was laid off in June).

Thankfully I googled about bad service during endless shrimp and found this. Looks like the shitty service I've gotten twice is the norm! I'll take my $40, buy my own seafood and cook it up myself.

And I'll take this all to the next level...this is the problem with America! Shitheads leave shitty tips, servers develop vendettas against their customers. You're all a bunch of horrible fucks. I hope the swine flu actually mutates into something serious and kills you all.

I hope this fucking country dies. Yes, literally. I hope the economy takes another nose dive and you flag-waving selfish motherfuckers get kicked out of your homes and then apartments. I hope you all become meth addicts and abandon your babies in garbage bins.

Fuck Red Lobster! Fuck the United States of America!! FUCK EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF YOU, YOU STUPID FUCKING CUNTS!!!!!!

Oh, and I hope you all get cancer and die, too...

FUCK THIS MISERABLE FUCKING EXCUSE OF A COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Turtle said...

I found your blog searching for "endless shrimp" because I'd been wanting some, and read this. I did end up going out to RL tonight and got the endless, but sat at the bar, tried not to be a pig, and tipped over 20%.

ecthlipsis said...

I agree, 100% with this post. Unfortunately, Darden does not. I also work for the corporate greed machine, and just endured my 2nd year of Endless Shrimp.

I had to borrow money from my parents several times to make rent, and have been making roughly 70% normal wages for ~300-500% increased work.

If you think we're exaggerating, go see for yourself.

This promotion was even extended this year to be a whopping 3 fucking months long. 1/4 of the year dealing with those cheap ass gluttons.

I'm in Arizona to boot, to my wage pay is only $4.25 an hour. When those fat whales come in, sit in my booth for 3 hours eating 45 refills of shrimp and leaving me $5, I literally don't get to eat.

Fuck you Darden, Fuck you Red Lobster, and fuck all you pathetic Endless Shrimp clientel that fit it the above categories. You know who you are. Can't wait 'til I'm done with school and outta that place.

America needs a re-balance and soon.

mona851 said...

you guys are so sorry to complain about something so dumb. most of the world is out of a job at the moment so you should consider yourself lucky. also, anything dealing with customer service sucks like a bich so if you know thats not your strong suit, you need to look for something that suits you. i agree with the guy that was talking about education, it is the key to your success. with all of the free programs and grants, there is no reason for any one to settle in a field that they are not happy with. for jbrookesut527, it amazes me how you can leave a 30 dollar tip when you are having a hard time paying your rent. it seems to me that you should stick to hotdogs and ramen noodles. i leave you with this, if you hate your "crappy job" do us all a favor and quit and let someone who really needs a job have it.

Dawnielle said...

I think that it is truly amazing how many people just do not understand what it is like to be a server. Those people have NEVER worked in a restaurant, or they would clearly understand. We have really great days, and really bad days, and it doesnt always depend on money. Being treated like a SERVANT, would really put anyone into a bad mood. RL is a great company and has many great promotions. Many times I just try to say...well...lobsterfest will come eventually. We don't hate every guest that orders endless shrimp! Come in and be pleasant, don't argue about how many refills you can have at a time, and how many boxes I can give you, and i wont feel put out. Treat me like a server, and not a serVANT and I would love to make sure you have a great time. What is so hard for people to understand about the fact that after month 2 of endless, we are BEHIND ON BILLS BECAUSE WE ARE MAKING NO MONEY?! It is very discouraging and really lowers moral. It shouldnt please us sooo very much to tell them the day after that the promotion ended yesterday! TOO BAD!
I really enjoy this blog, keep up the great work. I have been with the company for 4 years and am moving into management, but I LISTEN to my crew, i AM one, and i really love the honesty, so make sure to give us more!

veintisiete said...

Wow, is it just me or is it hard to find good workers these days. So many bitching and moaning. Blah.. Blah.. Blah... Wake up America! It's called working for a living. In a Customer Service role, means you have to make the customer happy REGARDLESS. Don't like it, then you don't need to be working in a customer service job. Go get yourself a desk job that does not deal with customers.

cmaphx said...

I dont know why people act the way they do once they have entered a resturant. I know professional,educated people turn into raving assholes everytime they go out to eat. All manners and common courtsy go out the window and then the battle is on. If they manage to get past the front desk without making some 18 year old hostess cry they will go stright for the servers throat. Then true to RL ass kissing any asshole policy, they walk out with a comp meal and gift cards for their outragous behavior. Big chains need to draw the line with these assholes. Nobody fucks with flight attendants anymore after 911. Im happy to see at laest one segment of the service industry empower their servers, tho be it in the air. Im also saddened that people had to loose their lives to free the flight attendants from ranting assholes. Darden is run by corperete,spinless,pinheaded pussys.

Afton said...

Wow, I know I'm a bit late, but I just had to post some food for thought.

Many of you have called the people that come in during endless shrimp or lobster-fest "white trash," "whales," etc. Red Lobster isn't exactly fine dining, but it's probably the best those people can afford. Have you ever stopped to think that the people who go for the specials can't afford to any other time? That maybe they save up and go out for a special night? That maybe they look forward to endless shrimp all year long? And here you are calling them trash.

Why shouldn't they be able to dine at RL, or any other restaurant, when specials make them affordable? Maybe they don't give you a big tip because they can't afford to give you a big tip. Or maybe they don't give you a big tip because as soon as they order the endless shrimp you give crappy service and don't deserve one.

On a side-note: As a former-server at a low-end restaurant in Utah (well-know for poor tipping),I made way more than my service was actually worth. So I don't have a lot of sympathy for all you whiners out there. And Mike, have you ever thought that your inability to make a living is a product of your spending habits and not your job? I mean, if you can "dine out quite a bit and always tip well," maybe you shouldn't eat out quite as often--you'd probably find yourself with a lot more money in your pocket.

OGserverGirl said...

Oh yeah? You think this is bad... try being an Olive Garden server and having to serve unlimited soup, soup, salad and breadsticks for $6.95! And even if they order a regular entree, they still get unlimited refills of soup and salad and breadsticks. And that lasts ALL YEAR long my friend!
I just love it when I get two people come in, order just water and the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, have about five refills of soup and a trillion breadsticks and then leave me a $2.00 tip.

So, although I feel your pain, I am pretty sure your endless shrimp can suck my figurative balls.

Lobster Boy said...

OGServerGirl - that is exactly why I chose Red Lobster over OG. There is NO way I would work at OG. I was very intentional many years ago in picking Red Lobster because of their high ticket totals. Things aren't as good as they were back then, but they are still WAY better than Olive Garden. Never in a million years.

poolcueti said...

Wow!!!! I am neither a "WHALE" or "TRASH" and do eat at RL because it's easier than me having to cook it myself; even though I prepare much better food~~ My husband, family and I do enjoy the "endless shrimp" campaign because it is a reasonably priced opportunity for us to all get together and spend time with one another since we all love shrimp! I am thankful that I don't have to cook for everybody and have a chance to be served for a change..... maybe something that some servers aren't able to understand quite yet???? We always are sure to tip well in consideration of the usually excellent, courteous, service that we receive.... Please consider each table individually???? Most of the time if you give good service, I truly hope you receive good compensation.....however, what you send out into the universe will come back around.......KARMA...~~

Lobster Boy said...

Karma is bullshit. Some people are assholes, and as a server you are exposed to a higher percentage of said assholes because of the sheer volume of people you deal with. I serve over 100 guests 48ish weeks a year. And if you serve at something like a Perkins/IHOP/Waffle House it is even worse because of the even higher volumes, and if you work during the bar rush you get those added drunken ass clowns to further worse your work environment.

I've seen the service industry break some really wonderful people. Karma is bullshit.

Lobster Boy

Lobster Boy said...

And I say this having bartended at another establishment (all bar, no food) for a number of years, learning to deal with all sorts of drunken idiots.

And while it might seem that I tell the worst stories here, there are some horrific tales I won't tell until I quit because of the nature and specificity of those experiences would make it clear who I am in a public way that I'm not interested in having at this point.


Lobster Boy

Magus said...

"And while it might seem that I tell the worst stories here, there are some horrific tales I won't tell until I quit because of the nature and specificity of those experiences would make it clear who I am in a public way that I'm not interested in having at this point."

You mean because your whiny, snotty, downright condescending posts reflect poorly on you and your employer and as a result you know they would fire your punk ass if they could figure out who the big man behind the anonymous blog name was? Sounds like, despite your incessant bitching about the working conditions on this blog, you'd still rather have this job than not? Grow up you obnoxious entitled scumbag.

Skye said...

People who haven't worked in a restaurant before don't know what they are talking about, when they are defending people who pig out on all you can eat deals and leave bad tips for good service. To the person who said, "those poor whales might save up for Endless Shrimp all year and can't afford to tip" well, obviously the saying remains true: if you can't afford to tip to industry standards, then you can't afford to eat out. End of story.

MamaB said...

My husband and i have a 10 month old baby, and we havent had time to leave the house to do something together. we are going to visit my parents in cleveland at the end of this month, and were planning on going to RL for endless shrimp, so we can sit and enjoy ouselves for one quiet evening out. but now i am reconsidering, since it seems that the servers of RL will probably treat us like shit due to our ordering choice. and they also don't seem to want to work for a tip. i would rather go elsewhere, even if we have to spend a little bit more money, for better service and most likely better food. when customers read things like this blog.. it causes loss of business, and thus less tips. you are really only putting yourself further in the hole with your poor attitudes. and YES, i have been a waitress in a very difficult restaurant, and i work at a large retail giant, so i have to work with extremely difficult people due to the fact that i work customer service all day. so i do undrstand the issues, but that is no reason to not do your jobs. you cant always be patted on the back for a job well done. as long as you are happy with your own job well done. what i dont understand is the HUGE sense of entitlement. but i guess thats just me.

aplacetotalkandthinkoutloud.blogspot.com said...

MamaB... you aren't the only one. I'm actually surprised that Red Lobster hasn't fired this employee.

If you don't like your job, and you certainly aren't thankful for it... quit.

There are plenty of people out there who really, really need a job.

I'm still planning a trip during this season... and I'll try and talk to the wait staff and be kind. Hopefully my playful banter will make up for my poor tip. Nah, just kidding... I'll tip better than I should despite the quality of service.

Anonymous said...

I eat at Red Lobster all the time. I always tip well. The reason I don't like the promotion is that they will only bring out one additional order at a time. I usually eat 7 orders (that's 5 more than the original plate). But I have to order 5 more times and, well it gets embarrassing and seems like I'm begging in some creepy way. I called the mngr and he said they would accept my two orders at once if I asked, thus only having me order 2-3 additional times. But sadly, I'm just uncomfortable with the entire process and will likely go but stick with the SEASIDE TRIO and enjoy a nice peaceful one time order.

Anonymous said...

As a person who waited tables at Outback, I can't relate to working at the Lobster. However, it seems most of the anger is at the customers. Sure, I've received low to no tips from some. Most are decent with tips, and some tip above and beyond. I hate the idea of tips as misleading and unfair for customers and waiters. Why not just increase the price and give the difference to the waiter. Spending 50 dollars and then realizing at the end you have to pay out another 10 is annoying. I usually tip 20 percent unless the service is poor. I tip 10 percent for poor service and nothing for aweful service. Bubba Gump was the worst experience, where we didn't even have a waiter, we had to flag someone passing by to place an order and get a bill. Never saw the waiter and obviously never asked about refills or anything. The food was terrible as well.

I'm sorry you work there, but don't hate on the customers. It's not their fault or "the man's" fault. It is what it is. Look at those living in third world countries. No one has it rough in America.

....and avoid eating at the Bubba Gump in Lahaina if at all possible.

Dramatheyouth said...

I am a consumer who tends to only eat at red lobster during specials time. But I will say this having waited tables I understand the tribulations and it is totally gutted that fat american's fill their bellies and don't consider the feelings of those who watch them gouge at it. Though if any of you are in the chapel hill rtp area post up and i will come give you a big ups. Tipping is something I do. Good service comes with a price and there are still those of us who do not mind paying it. The meal is cheap but the service is not.

Allysia said...

you ALL are pathetic! Stop complaining about nothing. I worked as a server, (then a cook for the last year) @ RL for about 3 years. Nobody liked it when we ran "endless shrimp" promotion BUT it was what we got paid to do. You know, a little something called WORK. When I got tired of the BS i did what normal hard working people do, found another well paying job. And lets be real. RL is overpriced crap in the first place. Yea, back in the day RL was top notch for seafood, but in this day and age, that is no more! Its only good if you eat it right then, and you can forget about warming it up later. If anybody thinks that this is a "nice, high quality" establishment, you need to get out more. If sales vs. quality hadn't started to prove this exact point, "Endless shrimp" would have never been created in the first place. It was and is ALL a marketing technique.

Anonymous said...

So, if you all were used to making atleast 75 dollars a night BUSTING your ASS for people and then for 2 months out of the year you make 40 a night IF THAT, I think youd be pissed too. RL is RObbing their servers and all their employees for that matter running this Promo. All the fat people who sit there and eat 4000 calories in skrimp, then try and take some home, then rip you off shouldnt have a right to go out to eat. By the time you eat 5 refills your server could have turned there table 3 times and made 3 times the tips from the 3 dollars your going to leave even though they brought you 5 dinners instead of 1. If you can't tip Over 20 percent for endless shrimp then you shouldnt go out to eat, you must need the money more than us. LEARN TO PROPERLY FUNCTION IN SOCIETY.

Anonymous said...

The store does it because it generates business (Me), if yo udon't like it as an employee quit and find a different job.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in the restaurant industry for a number of years, here's a comment for the general public. If you can't afford to leave your server a decent tip then may I suggest drive thru. You can get a fish sandwich over at McDonalds or Burger King. Your waiter/waitress has a family or themselves to support. Your $3 on a $100 check is just not cutting it. You are actually costing the server money because now we have to tip out the bartenders and the bus boys based on our sales. We make a lot less than miniumum wage because we are tipped employees so we live off of our tips. As for the All You Can Eat Shrimp promotion, it does bring in all the trailer park trash that normally doesn't come to Red Lobster any other time of the year. And as for all of those bashing the Red Lobster servers in the blog...you haven't walked a mile in our shoes so you can't comment on what we go through or what we should do. We stay there because we love our jobs other than those few months of torture that they put us through. I can tell you one thing for sure, servers put up with a lot of crap from both the customers and management and if they can can survive against those odds, you can survive anywhere doing anything.

red lobber said...

everyone always says endless shrimp is hell... not stoked for it coming up.

Anonymous said...

Endless shrimp is the worse I once had a guest that sat at my table for 4hrs he literally went to the bathroom to make room for more refills smh no offense but all redlobster servers pray that they dont get sat with a fat guest during endless shrimp.

Anonymous said...

I went to RL once this year. I normally don't eat at chain restaurants because the food is prepackaged crap. The service was excellent - great waiter. The food was pretty terrible. Endless rubbery shrimp doesn't attract me. I will say that looking down your noses at poor people to whom this is a special occasion is kind of sad. Strange that waiters identify with their rich customers, even though they are not rich themselves. I understand the rudeness of leaving a small tip, but maybe it was because the customers feel the contempt that you obviously have for them?

Harmon said...

@Anonymous,
Thanks for the post. I will never go the Red Lobster again. I suppose the customers should be asked if they want "endless" contempt with their meals. I actually tip well because I was married to a dancer who was once a waiter. "Endless" spit and "skrimp"
No Thanks! I'll head on out to San Pedro for a real festival at "Lobster Fest". Got to admit, I hate being treated to dinner by a skinflint that doesn't respect waiters and is insulted if I offer to boost it. I guess some people have, "principles".

Anonymous said...

Go find a new job you whinny useless PoS.

If taking someones order and bringing it to them is too hard then
Find yourself an easier job..
I guarantee someone else will do it and complain less.. Laugh

Anonymous said...

I would prefer to never wait table because relying on tips as my m,ain source of income would not be something I'd be comfortable with. However, if I ever had the misfortune of working in that field (I have worked as a cashier/salesman in a dept store), then I would do my best to give my customers a good experience and hopefully get a nice tip from them.

My family and I eat at a Ponderosa Steakhouse buffet once in a while. They had the best waitress I've ever had. Not only did I leave her good tips, I called her manager a couple times and told them about the great job she did. Now she works at Applebees and I make sure to ask for her when I eat there. Treat your customers right and hopefully they treat you right. I know some will be aholes, but such is life.

Anonymous said...

lmao it's funny watching y'all cry & moan about Red Lobster like the it's Morton's Steakhouse or something lol. shut up and stop crying. keep the shrimp coming and thats all. RL isn't classy, broke people go there all the time. You don't see Olive Garden workers crying when i ask for more breadsticks, or at Red Robin for fries. Both of which are YEARLONG promotions. suck it up crybaby.

Anonymous said...

The people that work at RL are poor white trash and yet they complain when the people that live in their neighborhood show up. Well most of them. There are some nice greateful to have a job people that work at RL. Your anger is misdirected at customers. Your true problem is management. They tell you the rules and when a customer complains about the rules the MAN gives in to the customer and punishes the worker. You are not mad at the customer. You are really angry at your managers who work at the same place yet they act like they don't care about you or your life or your feelings. So do us all a favor, revolt, pick up your managers and throw them in the garbage dump out back and then quit. P.S. The guy that started this blog as a low rate loser who will never be happy anywhere. Listen to the tone of his posts. He does not want a solution. He wants to live his miserable life pissed off at the world. If he directed his anger toward the real problem which is management he would quit and go away.

Anonymous said...

My mom worked hard as a waitress all my growing up years so I know the importance of a good tip. I also know how to expect excellent service. Perhaps many of you who are moaning about a poor tip are also poor servers. Regardless of the Endless Shrimp special you should take good care of your customers. If you go above and beyond what is normal, chances are your tips will eventually reflect that. You also have to remember that the economy is bad so go easy on the white trash customers. You may be one yourself or maybe just not 'yet'.

Anonymous said...

I go most of the time to RL about 3 times a year. This is one reason I go when I have a chance. I leave a tip on the table of 20% + $1 for every refill of shrimp. I am always nice to my server and never rushing them. There are plenty of people to make life shitty for others out there. I have friends who work the tables and managers. The managers back their workers fast when there is an issue. I have had waiters ask me if I wanted to box up any left overs, which I decline just incase some other table sees that happen. Which I usually hear someone being an a$$ about wanting to box up some of the unlimited shrimp every 20 minutes of me being at RL.

Anonymous said...

quit crying cause your job gets tough one week a year you pussy. I deploy and fight wars, worry about not coming home to my family, not having any of the things you take for granted and I dont cry about it. your weak and borderline pathetic. im pretty much disgusted with you.

so sad said...

i found this blog while looking up the shrimp that is available for endless shrimp at red lobster. i am deeply saddened by the posts on here. my husband and i go to red lobster on the average of 12 times a year. our date nights. we always order lobster. we tip extremely well as all 4 of our children were at one time or another servers. it is a sad state of the american tipping population i agree. as i read all this, i have something to say to all of you servers. we go once a year to RI endless shrimp with our grandson. he is 5 this year, but has loved endless shrimp since he was 2. this is the one time he can eat to his hearts content and we are not paying out for a full priced meal on a child. papa eats the shrimp our grandson does not eat so the shrimp never goes to waste. since our grandson was a baby we always left a terrific tip plus a clean up tip. we know what wee ones do to a table area. now i do not want to go because you all seem so angry. you have managed to ruin a fun night with our grandson. thank you very much. you should be ashamed of yourselves by your attitude and your language. tonight i will talk to the manager about this blog and ask for a server who will treat us well. AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY TO KNOW WE WILL TAKE OUR MONTHLY LOBSTER DATE NIGHT AND OUR TERRIFIC TIPS ELSE WHERE FROM NOW ON. you must all be very proud of yourselves.

Lobster Boy said...

Hey lady - Santa Claus isn't real either. And I ate the Easter Bunny in 2003.

so sad said...

i should have known better. lobster boy, there are real people out there that respect servers. maybe find a job you would enjoy? i have read all over the way OG and RL treat their employees. i have had employers that treated me awful, i moved on. you must be higher up the pay scale that you remain at RL. did you ever think about management? you could be the one that starts turning around the ways of OG and RL. it only takes one to change things! by the posts on here, i think you would already have a strong base of followers that would back you up. then maybe you might lighten up a little bit, believe in all those santas showing up everywhere starting Oct.1st every year or have fun again like a little kid when you hunt easter eggs with your children and/or grandchildren with the easter bunny of the week. i do not believe you are as cynical as you sound!

Anonymous said...

If you earn it, you will probably get a decent tip. My wife and I have cut way back on dining out because getting decent service and food has become more and more of dicey proposition. If you don't ask me how I want my steak done, if you don't ask me if I care for a refill, if you blame the food taking 45 minutes or later on the kitchen when the table next to me has already gotten their food notwithstanding the fact the we were seated 10 minutes before them, then you did not earn a good tip. I don't care if you are overwhelmed or if you are on your period or if your girlfriend is boofing your friend... not my problem. If you want 20%, earn it!!!! Do what you have to do to make my experience enjoyable. If you don't, you are going to be lucky to get 10%.

Anonymous said...

Endless Shrimp brings out every hick,nigger and morbidly obese clientele into RL. They consume 30,000 + calories then take that much home leaving me pennies on the dollar as a tip to pay my rent. Best of all they bring their kids who they don't actually order for, "they're just going to pick off my plate." Bullshit.

We have to give boxes. We can't say no.

It is truly hell for everyone in the restaurant. Every year I say I will never do it again yet here I am.

Anonymous said...

We usually go to RL 6 or 7 times a year, so Id say we are regular customers. I really got upset tonight when I came in to eat. I did not realize it was "endless shrimp night" but it was a nice little bonus when we looked at the menu...so we thought. First off, the shrimp at the RL they served for this special was NOT the same as the normal fried and scampi shrimp we usually get. The fried shrimp was really small and didnt taste as good as it normally does. The scampi was a total joke! It hardly had any garlic or butter in it!I get scampi all the time so I know what it is supposed to look and taste like and this wasn't it! And once again the shrimp was much smaller than usual.
The final straw was when we ordered more fried shrimp. First, it took like 25 minutes for it to arrive, then there were only 8 little shrimp on the plate! The people at the table next to us were complaining as well (inadvertent eavesdrop). Just another reason why the wait staff probably did not get good tips.
Bottom line is, we will never visit RL again while they are running their endless shrimp specials. I can get the same shrimp at Captain D's for a lot less!

Anonymous said...

I'm a waiter but do not work for Red Lobster. I have dealt with 'unlimited' shrimp before working at a different restaurant in the similar fashion that Red Lobster does so I can relate to this blog.

I actually have nothing here to say about 'tips' or service standard because I know if I give the best service I can and am honest to my guests about the current situation with their dining experience, that the good tips and bad tips will eventually just outweigh each other and come to a common ground.

I do; however, think there is a problem with promoting 'over-eating' in the way these types of promotions work. Promoting people to eat 300 or more shrimp is not only unhealthy, but practically immoral.

Here's a better idea.

Give people a quality product that they can enjoy in moderation instead of a shitty one that promotes them to gain weight.