The Red Lobster seafood restaurant chain has announced that it will increase the size of shrimp served in its Shrimp Skewer and Scampi dishes. The upsizing changes, which will be implemented now through mid-December, impact nearly 70% of lunch and dinner entrees that contain shrimp.
“As the world’s largest seafood restaurant operator, we serve a lot of shrimp – over 80 million servings per year – and our guests love it. But we started to hear from them that our shrimp had become somewhat ordinary,” said Salli Setta, president of the Orlando, Florida, USA-headquartered company. “Our guests said they wanted Shrimp Scampi and Shrimp Skewers to be bigger, so we increased the size. And, they wanted them to be better, so we changed our preparation to improve taste and give the shrimp a better bite.”
Soon all shrimp in Red Lobster’s Scampi and on the Skewer offerings will be from 47% to 86% larger than before. Scampi sizes will increase from the previous 41-50 to the larger 31-40 per pound count. Skewered shrimp served at lunchtime will go from 51-60 to 31-40 count, while dinnertime skewers will feature 26-30 count “extra large” shrimp.
The “bigger, better shrimp” transition will also be part of other popular items, including the Ultimate Feast and Seaside Shrimp Trio, menued at the chain’s 700-plus restaurants in North America and beyond.
In addition to size changes, Red Lobster has improved its shrimp preparation techniques and presentation. Shrimp Scampi is now handcrafted in-house using classic scampi sauce that’s buttery and prepared with white wine and garlic. Shrimp Skewers are now produced with a new skewering method, called double-piercing. This makes for greater surface area, which better exposes shellfish to heat on wood-fire grills and provides more room for proper saucing. As a result, the shrimp on skewers cook more evenly and consistently, which enhances the grilled flavor.
“We knew shrimp size and preparation needed to go hand-in-hand in order to wow guests, so we made improvements to both and trained our restaurant teams to prepare these items with excellence,” said Danielle Connor, senior vice president of menu strategy and culinary development.
Red Lobster’s Signature Shrimp Cocktail is also now handcrafted in-house with previously frozen shrimp that’s poached in a seasoned broth and then chilled to provide a fresh and firm bite. It is served over shaved ice in a chilled margarita glass.