Saturday, August 18, 2012

Red Lobster - 2012 Endless Shrimp $14.99

I haven't mentioned it, but my old posts on Endless Shrimp are gathering new comments so I figure it is once again worth writing something up.

Endless Shrimp is once again going on at your area Red Lobster.  As a consumer that means a solid deal if you don't mind the smaller shrimp used.  I personally do mind after more years than I care to recount, but if you don't eat shrimp all the time they can still be pretty tasty.

There is a "new" offering of Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp for 2012.  In my opinion they are not all that good.  The Teriyaki sauce isn't all that good quite honestly.  I'm not a huge Teriyaki fan to begin with, but this one just has an off note.  I tried two skewers cooked at different times during our last visit (yes, I do visit my old co-workers, and no I wasn't the one who ordered the AYCE Shrimp).  I'm pretty sure this is the same old sauce we've seen before, though again I don't have a great liking for this flavor profile so I could be wrong.

The new Parmesan Shrimp aren't too bad. Imagine shrimp scampi with Parmesan bread crumbs.  Again, I'm a bit biased against the flavor because I'm not a big scampi fan.  But I do definitely like this a lot better than the plain scampi.

There there are the old standby features of scampi, shrimp alfredo, and fried shrimp.  The fried shrimp are NOT the butterflied shrimp in case you've never been on this ride before.

As a server this promotion is hell the first week, and hell on the weekends during peak business periods.  The first week sucks because inevitably the line will fall behind crashing your refill hopes, slowing everything down.

Endless Shrimp especially sucks during peak business times because it slows down table turns, and is multiplied by fewer dessert sales - because hey, after eating a third of your body weight in butter and fried breading, who has room for more food?  And not only is it harder to get tables in and out, but on average, the tables that come in for all you can eat pigout fest tip worse than the other tables.  As a server it means seeing those people who come out of their holes twice a year - once on groundhog day, and once to do their very best to depopulate the world of shrimp.

So while you are enjoying your Endless Shrimp this year, keep all this in mind.  Your server probably drank too much last night, hasn't had a smoke break for too long, and is tired of shit tips from people with questionable hygiene who sat in your booth before you.  So be nice.  Tip well, and for fuck's sake - don't camp out in the table.  Eat and get out.  That'll at least give your server a moment of hope before the reality of Endless Shrimp once again crushes that.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

"... don't camp out in the table. Eat and get out. That'll at least give your server a moment of hope ..."

See? That's exactly what's wrong with that minimum wage + tips system. You're forced to encourage fast feeding customers and herding them around like cattle.

How much more relaxed would everything be, if servers where being paid a decent wage they could live on from the start and tips where just an extra.

This would also put the responsibility for good service where it belongs: to the management. If you're not capable of motivating your staff to provide good service without financial pressure, you shouldn't be in management.

Sure, prices would go up, but isn't that just making hidden pricetags (quasi mandatory tips) obvious?

Just saying.

Matt said...

Usually when my wife and I go to Endless shrimp we go in the middle of the week, we sit at the bar order drinks eat our fill and tip well. We don't hold up any tables this way and we can take our time.

Anonymous said...

People need to understand that shrimp takes time to cook. So don't ask, "Where the shrimp at? I be here for like, um, I dunno 10 minutes where the shrimp at" THE SHRIMP IS FUCKING COOKING.

steve_in_pa said...

They don't just come out twice a year here, it's four times a week, and only during Endless Shrimp. Never see them any other time of year. And they're PROUD to tell you that, just like they brag that they were here for two hours last time and ate 19 refills of scampi, butter and all, so be prepared to run...hehehe...it's my 13th Endless go-round now, and it seems the trough just gets wider and wider every season. Even had one woman today that brought her own Tupperware container that she kept hidden (so she thought) under a napkin on the booth seat next to her, so she could conveniently add her 4 pasta refills while I was at other tables. The world needs to just open back up and devour these fine citizens like they devour the shrimp, or, even better, RL needs to make this hogfest disappear. Only twelve more weeks to go!

Anonymous said...

ok this is my first endless shrimp. I'm taking orders for refills and it is taking the kitchen 20-25 minutes to get out refills on a Friday night. My store is asking me to work 12 our shifts on my feet carrying heavy ass trays with 1 30 min break. I make 2.13 an hour, I'm a 50 year old female. I'm in good shape, but this is killing me. The kitchen is filthy, hazardous to the max, the SA thing is complete and utter bullshit. Im running my food, other peoples food, bussing my own tables, doing enormous side work- I grew up in another America where you worked 9 hours with an hour for lunch, or 30 minute lunch with 2 10 or 15 min breaks- especially when you are a laborer on your feet bearing weight all day. Here in Tx they have just made it legal to work us like they used to the illegals. Tonight I'm so exhausted and just so sick of RL and their nastiness- I sent my boss an email saying I would not do this again-and if he thinks working people like this is ok he can accept my 2 wks notice. I like the man, but obviously corporate are a bunch of nazi's..Already the new hires were telling me tonight that the place is a disgrace-complete bullshit- and they are quitting-my store is ALWAYS short staffed because people are worked to death. They just do not get it- and this endless shrimp is just another cheap ass ghetto promotion that's meant to over work the staff-any cheap ass all you can it that requires service should be 18% gratuity included. Corporate knows that RL is now ghetto-they do not even warn us about violence in the stores. If they gave a shit at all- we would be guaranteed a gratuity on these horrible promotions. Tonight I had people using those 10 dollar coupons they've been holding onto...this is just evil. No other word for it..

Anonymous said...

Endless shrimp is the bane of my existence. This is my last Endless shrimp ever, I just worked my last shift after 5 years at Red Lobster.

I'm not sure if it is the same in the States, but in Canada the food quality keeps going down year after year. I learned during my last shift we are now microwaving mussels.

I am sad to leave the amazing people I work with, but i have a feeling if Darden keeps treating their employees like crap, and continually pumping out new ideas to lessen the food quality more year after year, eventually something is going to give.

Anonymous said...

I had a nice black couple sitting in my section when I came on at 5 o'clock. The server I was relieving asked if they could transfer the table to me-they had been in the booth for more than 2 hours and she had to get home. I said ok, and they stayed in that booth until 8 15 pm. They ordered so many refills that kept piling up uneaten, that they filled up more than several to go boxes. They tipped me 2.25...that is the truth-an all too common truth for my RL-and for excellent service. I can't afford it for 3 months-I'm looking elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

hmmm..NO TO GO BOXES for endless shrimp..why give in..? they arent going to tip us anyway...this is all you can eat..not all you can carry home..assholes!

Anonymous said...

As a consumer, I don't understand why all servers are getting mad at the customers for ordering the Endless Shrimp. So what if I only drink water-with-lemon? I tip 15%. If you give refill my water and bring out more biscuits to my table WITHOUT us having to ask, you get 20%. Why do you hate people who order the Endless Shrimp?

Anonymous said...

LOL!! I would not bring a to go box-but you know our manager would comp the meal if I said No!!

Anonymous said...

Surely the managers know you cannot run a successful promotion such as the "all you can it shrimp" by scheduling a skeleton crew. What is the point of having unhappy guests having to wait, and wait, and wait for their ACYE shrimp, for their shrimp refills, for their biscuits, for their appetizers, and for their beverages from the bar because management refuses to schedule a crew which can accommodate the amount of guests who are coming in for this promotion?

It is not the kitchen's fault when food orders are getting backed up. It is not the fault of the single pantry worker who is making biscuits, appetizers and salads. It is not the fault of the single bartender who is preparing the server's drink orders, taking to go orders, waiting on tables and answering the telephone every time it rings.

And, it is not the fault of the server who is attempting to appease the guests who are unhappy because they are sick of waiting because management wants to keep a low labor cost for the sake of getting their bonus.

When guests are unhappy, the blame belongs to the managers who are setting their employees up for guest satisfaction failure instead of guest satisfaction success.

Anonymous said...

right on! Our store crew are so over worked, zombies for lack of sleep, sick with a horrible cold virus AGAIN- because your job is threatened if you stay home during the contagious feverish part-a Doc can do nothing about a cold-why spend money-and most have no insurance with this co..to have a doc say "you have a contagious bad cold, and you can't get well surrounded by the germs of hundreds of people, no sleep, and exhausted-your immune system will crash" this is common knowledge to everyone but Darden and nearly our whole crew are really ill..the wait is 30-45 min backed around the corner- not enough staff - new SA's turned waiters-and more tables without a breather for us all.OF COURSE the service has gone down the drain- with it our tips-My God! And the managers still talk this crap to us as if we were mentally impaired.. With all this business things should be great! We all pray for a busy place to serve- but it is NOT working here- it's just insane.

Anonymous said...

Uhh above comment about shrimp takes time to cook and to stop asking where you shrimp is? Shrimp is a very fast thing to cook and when everything comes prepackaged from Red Lobster you shouldn't wait that long. Come on.

Anonymous said...

stop bitching and get a real job if you don't like it

Anonymous said...

Well, the bosses told that same line to the women, children, poor immigrants, and other overworked under paid laborers at the turn of the century and it came back at them with child labor laws and labor unions. Things will change, but only if people say NO we have a right to earn a living doing what we can and not being used like chattel. But thank you for the sage, well thought out advice. I know 29 people who have quit in 9 mos, and none would say it was not a real job.. Many people have worked their lives away raising kids and college educating them on a waiters and bartenders salary.

Anonymous said...

Customer:

Does the employees feel better after complaining that they have jobs!

If you don't like it....find a new job. You work at Red Lobster, not NASA. You can find something else that may not drive you insane. Yes, we like Endless Shrimp...but what would you like the alternative to be? That we don't come at ALL and go somewhere else. I prefer no waiters so I don't feel obligated to tip to people who think it our civil duties. Get a clue! It's a bad ecomony, we are just trying to get a good meal. Cut us some slack.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who bickers at the waiters here for talking about how shitty it is to work during this promotion:

Shut the hell up! I am not, and have not ever been, a waiter. But you have to acknowledge the hard work that these people do! Sure, it's not the most glamorous job or the best paying job, but to tell someone that if they don't like it to get a new job while in the same post defending yourself with "Get a clue! It's a bad economy"...GET A CLUE!!! If they had a better opportunity they would obviously not be working at Red Lobster...Sure, the promotion is great for the customer, but if you think they are complaining about all of the customers, you are clearly missing the point. The real issue is that many of the customers abhorrently take advantage of the offer and the waiters; trying to take as much shrimp with them to go as possible and tipping hardly anything at all, all the while being very irritable with how slowly the shrimp are coming out (that you aren't even eating...) and how crowded the restaurant is (which is, obviously, the point of the promotion; you should know this going in and consider it a trade off for the deal you're getting). *Especially* when you sit there for a couple of hours. If you are this type of customer, then of COURSE they would rather you go somewhere else and leave a table free for multiple parties of civil, well tipping customers.

Anonymous said...

My goodness! I thought this was a blog for SERVERS wanting to talk, rant, laugh..I'm sorry. I did not know it was a customer blog, especially a non-tipping customer blog!! Geez..we get enough abuse from them, we come here for relief not to get chewed out..

Anonymous said...

Hi all. Just a quick question for the waiters ... Is it fine if we tip at the time of ordering so the waiter doesnt keep wondering all the while if I would even give a tip ? That way, you would be assured that we are not one of those customers and be happy to serve ?

Lobster Boy said...

You can certainly tip at the beginning of the meal. I'm all for it, and have mentioned on this blog previously that's a great way to assure good service, and a tactic I have myself employed.

Lobster Boy

Lobster Boy said...

It is indeed a blog for servers, though I publish the customer comments as well just so that A) we don't forget the level of ass hats we often deal with and B) as evidence to A.

Most of the customer comments on this site come from people who've never waited tables, so keep in mind they have little to no perspective. It's why I don't go to blogs about oil rigs (are there such things?) and tell them to quit bitching about the hazardous work environment and so forth. I don't want to be that prick.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

right..it means a whole lot more than you know lobsterboy-that you escaped and are pursuing your dreams but have not forgotten us. Was burning man a success? did you have a great time? I really hope so..I hate to be a sappy girl- but I do appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

I think way back when, that customers did tip at the beginning, because the word TIP means "to insure prompt service" I guess it fell out of favor...

Lobster Boy said...

Burning man was beyond what I had imagined. My recommendation if you ever go - sleep during the day because the freaks come out at night! So much cool stuff to see at night, so much creativity. The advantage to the day time is nudies. But I figure that after you've seen one granola chick naked you've largely seen most all of them. ;-) Plus my old lady would slug me if I stared too long.

But as for Burning Man, I say go if you ever get a chance, even in just for a few hours or a day. It can't be described.

Anonymous said...

Wtf..grow a pair and get a real job. Aww...I carry food and talk to people for 12 hours...cry me a river

Anonymous said...

Wow. And I thought I had it bad at Applebee's. I love shrimp, and I love the concept of AYCE shrimp, but I've never been able to go to RL for the promo, or even a RL before. We don't really have many where I tend to end up living.

But over the years I've worked so many jobs that I think it should be mandatory for EVERYONE to work 2 jobs in the food industry. Fast food, and as a server. A crapton of jerks would learn a lot of respect that way and realize us servers work for crap pay and crappier tips. We have every right to complain about you sitting there and treating us like trash and thinking you're better than us!

I worked 15 hours (that's the whole 12 hours the place was open PLUS 2 hours beforehand to set up AND and hour after to help clean up) one Mother's Day when Applebee's was running not only a 2 For $20 promo, but a Mother's Day special. I got one 30 minute break to suck down three cigarettes and a huge glass of orange juice to stop myself from passing out because my blood sugar dropped dangerously low. After I spent two hours doing dishes instead of being allowed to take those two hours off for a break to get a little rest and something to eat myself. And what did I get as a reward for that miserable day? A whopping $68 in tips. That was about 4 years ago, and to this day I still have stress fractures in my heels from that horrific mistake of a job. And did I mention the early onset of varicose veins? I'm not even 30 yet!!

So to all you disgusting douchenozzles who have the nerve to pull such lousy crap when you go out to eat, take a moment to think about how hard your server is working and leave him or her a nice tip and THANK THEM FOR DOING THEIR JOB! A "Thank you, it was wonderful" and "You did such a great job today" coupled with a few extra bucks really does go a long way and can make a HUGE difference in someone's crappy day. And to all you jerks who tell us to get a "real job"... You get a big middle finger. I got lucky as hell to get food poisoning from bad fast food and end up going in 11 minutes late the next day only to get fired. Best food poisoning experience of my life.

Oh, yeah, not to mention I tip generously whenever I go out to eat now. 20% bare minimum at my table!

Anonymous said...

All u servers are doing nothing but crying over nothing so shut your stupid butt faces up u knew u were going to get paid min wage from the start n no one told u had to work at red lobster so if u hate it quit an stop being a baby

sandiesfriend1 said...

To the asshole who wouldnt give their name and said "get a real job". Who would serve your cheap ass the AYCE shrimp then? Ever think of that? And it is a REAL job, you get REAL tired, REALLY SHITTY TIPS (usually from assholes like YOU!), and work REAL LONG hours. I bet you couldnt do it. Everyone who eats out should have to serve food for at least a month to know what we go through. That would get the tip average up and maybe we could gain some respect. Let me tell you something, buddy. A 10 percent tip aint shit. You sit and hold up a table when the server probably only has 3 or 4 to begin with, then have the audacity to bitch, whine, and aggravate the shit outta somebody who is already stressed to the max and doing everything possible to accomodate your lousy ass. No wonder you eat out, your wife probably wont cook for you.. Disgusted server,,,, OW

Anonymous said...

It's obviously not that easy just to quit and make life all happy, people have bills to pay and serving on the side, especially (or used to be) at red lobster can help pay bills. Working a friday and saturday night alone you can make cloe to 300 sometimes, where else can you make that kind of money quickly. No one here, from what i read was complaining because they wanted to quit they are complaining about the rude customers that endless shrimp brings out. These people never go out to a nice resturant except for endless shrimp, they run you crazy, sometimes rude, and think that they are your only table to take care of, when as a server your there for all your tables. Shrimp on a friday and sat night can take long when there are over 100 shrimp orders back on the screen. Also if a table orders one teraki and one one fried they come out on different tickets in the kitchen and will come out at completely different times at high volume. So I suggest before guests on here start being rude and judgmental know your facts or talk to someone that serves. Other than those specific customers (rude people) serving is fine and it's easy money, I have plenty of people that come in for endless shrimp that are very sweet and friendly and everything goes smoothly and they tip me well. People are just venting about ignorant people just like everyone else does at any other job that works with the general public.

Anonymous said...

As a customer I have always had great service from the red lobster here in London Ont, I realize it is a hellish promo for everyone and that most people (customers) either just don't care or have no respect for other people in general. I imagine the company is not all that great to it's employees, I know what that is like from my own job, It can be very frustrating when you put in real effort and work hard just to feel non important and easily replaceable to the people you do it for. Customers need to cut these servers (something I've never done) some slack, Everyone knows times are hard but be decent and try to tip something modest, these men and women put up with a lot more than you realize and servers should understand that not everyone really has spare cash to tip and that maybe that meal at Read lobster was a once in a blue moon thing for them. I only go to Red lobster for the endless shrimp and I have always had great service, sometimes a little slow but that happens at PEAK HOURS and people have got to realize this! Thank you Red lobster Servers and kitchen staff for putting up with hell.

Anonymous said...

As a customer I have always had great service from the red lobster here in London Ont, I realize it is a hellish promo for everyone and that most people (customers) either just don't care or have no respect for other people in general. I imagine the company is not all that great to it's employees, I know what that is like from my own job, It can be very frustrating when you put in real effort and work hard just to feel non important and easily replaceable to the people you do it for. Customers need to cut these servers (something I've never done) some slack, Everyone knows times are hard but be decent and try to tip something modest, these men and women put up with a lot more than you realize and servers should understand that not everyone really has spare cash to tip and that maybe that meal at Read lobster was a once in a blue moon thing for them. I only go to Red lobster for the endless shrimp and I have always had great service, sometimes a little slow but that happens at PEAK HOURS and people have got to realize this! Thank you Red lobster Servers and kitchen staff for putting up with hell.

Anonymous said...

As a consumer, who HAS waited tables, and bussed them (Although MANY years ago) I have a LOT of respect and admiration for those that still do. Its a LOT of work! I REGULARLY tip 20%, and personally thank my server for what they do. I also have a "Family Tradition" that my father started wher I present a $2.00 bill to the server, in addition to the 20% (Always rounded up) tip. The $2 is for Twice as good service, and I always present it with a quick explanation and a big Thank You. I keep a few in my wallet for this. As for the Endless Shrimp, we do enjoy it, but mainly for being able to have multiple choices. My wife will order 2 kinds, and I will order 2 others, then we share. We dont lounge around and hold up the table either. Quick story, when my father was traveling for work, he was in a small diner and overheard two waitresses talking, one of them was a single mom who was strugling for money for Christmas. Dad left here a $100 tip, on a $7.50 ticket, with a simple "Merry Christmas" written on a napkin. He didnt say a word, and got up and left. As he drove out, she was standing just outside the door waiving goodbye with tears in her eyes. My family is not rich by any means, but I just wanted to relate that SOME customers do care, and we do understand. You all have a very hard job. THANK YOU for your efforts.