Red Lobster, suburban coastal town that they forgot to close down, has fallen on dark times of late, facing declining sales and a constant threat of going underwater in a way well beyond charming interior design. The chain has been struggling, like its namesake, to pull its way out of a tank littered with its dead brethren, its movements hindered by the constricting rubber bands of increased competition and younger, more modern diners who believe that shrimp shouldn’t be endless. And now its torment will be wrought, as always, upon the lobster.
As reported by Business Insider, Red Lobster has completely revamped its menu, which now reads more like the Lobster Necronomicon. The torn and tattered flesh of the lobster is “on almost every page”—adding new lobster dishes, putting extra lobster in existing lobster dishes, scattering lobster atop lobster in an orgy of broken carapace and drawn butter.
Lobster, once the ocean society’s most prestigious bug-looking thing, will now be rolled up in lobster tacos like a common shrimp. The Roasted Maine Lobster Bake now has three lobster tails, a superfluous lobster you can just throw to the dogs if you want; after all, it’s just lobster. The Lobster Scampi Linguine “now has as much lobster as pasta.” You will leave as much lobster as man. Oh, is your table rocking slightly? Here, try wedging in this lobster.
“At the end of the day, we believe that seafood is really why people come to Red Lobster,” said Red Lobster president Salli Setta at the end of a clearly very long and confusing day, possibly involving going mad from drinking seawater.
Still, crazy and strangely tragic as it sounds, Setta’s statement does represent a reversal of recent Red Lobster philosophy, beginning when the salty old restaurant first turned its back on the sea. Its previous owners Darden—which similarly tried reenergizing Olive Garden by suggesting that maybe Americans just wander into the nearest dimly lit building looking for a cheeseburger—tried reviving Red Lobster with many menu items that contained no seafood at all, not even a stray lobster.
Those selections, like the Spicy Tortilla Soup or Wood-Grilled Pork Chop, proved to be a hit only with people who suffer from shellfish allergies dragged there by their indifferent families. And so, like the Ancient Mariner himself, Red Lobster was forced to walk the world with this dead, Wood-Grilled Albatross around its neck.
But no more. Now Red Lobster is in the hands of a private equity firm, and those pork chops and other undesirable land-lobsters are being eradicated, in favor of a seafood restaurant menu that is “85 percent seafood”—and 100 percent more crammed with murdered lobster. So get to your local Red Lobster, before it’s forced to strip the briny deep for its Every-Lobster-In-The-Ocean-Topped-Lobster in another desperate bid to impress you.
Strangely, Red Lobster hasn’t yet considered saving itself by not letting you eat so many goddamn free cheddar biscuits.