Why Is Red Lobster So Cheap?

When it comes to buying food, and especially when it comes to eating out, it's always a toss-up between cheap but risky, or the safe but expensive. This isn't to say that you can't enjoy a good seafood meal without breaking the bank or visiting urgent care. Red Lobster is well-known for being a seafood restaurant that's both filling but not too terribly expensive, and served in a comfortable, clean atmosphere that creates an ambiance of enjoying a good meal.

There are plenty of choices on the menu at Red Lobster. The dining establishments are justifiably famous for their savory biscuits, and many people attribute their quick growth to one popular dish they're said to have invented: popcorn shrimp. The company has shown heart as well, perhaps most recently by sparing the life of a rare calico lobster and sending the lucky creature to finish its days at a living museum. But about the food: Just how does this lobster house serve its seafood so cheaply compared to the other seafood restaurants out there?

Shell Game: the truth About Red Lobster's seafood

As with most chain restaurants, the products that are served up in Red Lobster usually are shipped in frozen (via Delish). There's nothing wrong with that, unless you consider yourself a seafood purist and want a sea-to-table sort of experience. You'll pay more for fresh fish, but you'll pay less for fish that's been on ice for a while. 

According to Reddit user u/Mremerkin, Red Lobster can sell their lobster so cheaply because of two other factors: The seafood is purchased in bulk and shipped out to various franchises, and it's purchased out of the country. Now, obviously, you're not getting Maine lobster from the Gulf of Mexico, but what you can get from those beautiful waters is the beloved rock lobster, and from the cooler waters of the Pacific by Costa Rica one can find langostino lobster. Simply ordering these all in bulk, shipping them on ice, and holding them all in a big freezer helps to keep the cost of seafood down enough to be affordable, without being in danger of mass spoiling or causing concern among customers.

However, those Cheddar Biscuits they serve with that garlic butter — worth their weight in gold, they are.