By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 04 July, 2011
U.S. restaurant chains’ lobster promotions are prolific this summer, despite the fact that North Atlantic lobster is returning to somewhat “normal” prices after a few years of depressed prices and over-supply.
Lobster prices, f.o.b. New England, averaged USD 6 per pound in May.
Uno Chicago Grill brought back its summer lobster menu in late May, after a successful run with the menu last summer. Its restaurants are offering a Lobster Roll, Lobster Wrap and Lobster Sliders, along with a few entrées. This summer, Uno’s is featuring the Lobster, Spinach and Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza, along with a Lobster & Shrimp Scampi and hearty Lobster Mac & Cheese.
“The lobster menu was initially introduced last summer and guests enjoyed it so much, we decided to offer it again,” said Rick Hendrie, senior VP of marketing for Uno.
Meanwhile, Dedham, Mass.-based D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches kicked off its summer lobster promotion one month early — in late April.
“Our lobster sandwiches have become a New England mainstay, with close to 3 million sandwiches sold over the past decade,” said Michael McManama, senior VP of brand development for D’Angelo and Papa Gino’s.
D’Angelo’s summer lobster menu includes a Baked Stuffed Lobster Sandwich, Traditional Lobster Sandwich and Lobster Roll and Surf & Turf (a four-inch Lobster Roll coupled with a four-inch Steak & Cheese Sandwich). The sandwich prices range from USD 9.99 to USD 19.99 each.
Full-service and upscale restaurant chains are also heavily promoting lobster this summer. Outback Steakhouse, for example, is offering a surf and turf special featuring its Outback Special Sirloin with a grilled lobster tail and baked potato for USD 14.99 each.
More free-standing and small restaurant chains are also featuring spiny lobster on their menus this year, said Alan Kiwi, owner of ARK Seafood in Vernon, Calif., an importer and wholesaler of spiny lobster. “This season, there is a shortage of North Atlantic lobster tails, and we have the raw materials to provide spiny lobster all summer,” said Kiwi.