Joe’s Crab Shack is a popular chain of seafood restaurants located throughout the United States. The company was founded in Houston, Texas in 1991 by two entrepreneurs named Ron Skinner and Ray Hill. From humble beginnings as a single seafood shack, Joe’s Crab Shack has grown to operate over 130 locations across the country. The restaurant is known for its laidback, beach-themed atmosphere and wide selection of crab, shrimp, lobster and other casual seafood fare.
One of the key factors behind Joe’s Crab Shack’s success and popularity is its memorable company slogan. For over 25 years, “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” has been Joe’s Crab Shack’s official tagline, appearing across its marketing materials, menus, signage and more. This unique, playful slogan succinctly captures the dining experience Joe’s aims to provide – fun, casual and centered around indulgent seafood boils.
What Does “Let the Good Times Roll & the Crabs Roll in” Mean?
Joe’s Crab Shack’s slogan “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” works on multiple levels to promote the restaurant’s brand identity and experience.
The first part of the slogan – “Let the good times roll” – references the fun, laidback atmosphere customers can enjoy at Joe’s Crab Shack. With its beach-inspired decor, Americana classic rock soundtrack, paper crab hats and communal tables, Joe’s aims to provide a dining experience where customers can kick back and have an entertaining, memorable time. The slogan invites customers to let go of their cares and embrace the relaxed, party-like vibe.
The second part of the slogan – “…the crabs roll in” – highlights Joe’s Crab Shack’s specialty menu items. Crabs and other seafood dishes are the star attractions at the restaurants. The slogan lets customers know that when they dine at Joe’s Crab Shack, they can expect fresh, indulgent crab-centric meals to keep rolling out from the kitchen. The play on words linking “good times roll” and “crabs roll in” ties together Joe’s fun atmosphere and signature menu in a clever, memorable way.
History of the Slogan
Joe’s Crab Shack has used its “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” slogan for over two decades. Interestingly, the memorable tagline was created almost by chance very early in the company’s history.
As the story goes, in the early 1990s, founder Ron Skinner was brainstorming ideas for possible Joe’s Crab Shack slogans with some friends. One of his friends joked “let the good times roll and the crabs roll in.” Everyone loved the fun wordplay and how perfectly it fit the restaurant’s coastal personality and indulgent seafood dishes. Shortly afterwards, Skinner decided to officially make it his new restaurant’s slogan.
The slogan was an immediate hit with customers and quickly became an integral part of the Joe’s Crab Shack brand identity. In the years since, it has appeared across all manner of menus, cups, packaging, walls, signage, advertisements and swag, drawing in seafood fans with its warm, lighthearted invitation. Even as the restaurant has grown into a national chain, the slogan has stood the test of time and remains a nostalgic link back to Joe’s humble beginnings along the Texas Gulf coast.
Use in Marketing
Joe’s Crab Shack prominently features its “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” slogan as the centerpiece of much of its marketing and advertising. It acts as a key brand tagline to promote Joe’s fun, casual seafood-focused dining experience to customers.
Some of the key ways Joe’s Crab Shack utilizes its slogan in marketing include:
- Displaying the slogan prominently on restaurant signage, menus, and interior decor
- Printing the slogan on Joe’s Crab Shack t-shirts, bumper stickers, cups and other giveaway merch
- Incorporating the slogan into radio and TV commercials
- Including the slogan on Joe’s Crab Shack websites, social media pages and email campaigns
- Featuring the slogan on billboards and local advertisements
In all of these placements, the slogan serves as a memorable, attention-grabbing reinforcement of the Joe’s Crab Shack brand. It instantly conveys the restaurant’s fun, casual, crab-centric concept in a catchy, appealing way that customers easily remember.
Why the Slogan Works
There are several reasons why “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” has worked so well and remained such an effective slogan for Joe’s Crab Shack over the years:
It’s Unique and Memorable
The playful wording and rhyming structure make the slogan stand out and be more memorable than everyday advertising taglines. Once customers hear it, it tends to stick in their minds and be associated with Joe’s.
Encapsulates the Brand Personality
The relaxed, fun-focused messaging aligns perfectly with Joe’s Crab Shack’s coastal, party-like brand image. Customers get a clear picture of the experience.
Highlights the Menu Offerings
Highlighting crabs sets customer expectations about what food they can enjoy and positions Joe’s as a go-to for fresh seafood.
Evokes Good Feelings
Phrases like “let the good times roll” trigger happy emotions and associations with enjoying life that customers relate to.
At just 6 words, it’s short, sweet and easy to quickly comprehend and remember.
Use in Popular Culture
Thanks to its catchy rhythm and messaging, Joe’s Crab Shack’s slogan has made its way beyond just the restaurant’s own advertising into wider pop culture. The famous tagline has been referenced, borrowed or played off of many times in music, movies, television and more over the years.
Joe’s Crab Shack’s slogan has popped up in lyrics for various songs. For example:
- Country singer Kenny Chesney references it in his song “Keg in the Closet”
- Rapper Nelly incorporates it into his song “Hey Porsche”
- Indie band Beatnik Turtle has a song titled “Let the Good Times Roll and the Crabs Roll In”
TV shows that have given a nod to the Joe’s Crab Shack slogan include:
- ABC sitcom The Goldbergs – Episode is titled “Let the Good Times Roll” and features a scene at a seafood restaurant.
- CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine – One episode revolves around the main characters going to “Lou’s Crab Shack.”
Joe’s Crab Shack’s slogan got prominent placement in the 2010 comedy Grown Ups starring Adam Sandler. In one scene, the main characters visit a seafood restaurant with a large sign out front reading “Let the Good Times Roll & the Crabs Roll In.”
Use of Slogan in Joe’s Crab Shack Restaurants
Within individual Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants, customers will encounter the “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” slogan in numerous fun, playful ways that reinforce the dining experience.
Large signs featuring the slogan greet customers as they pull into the parking lot or walk up to the building entrance. The familiar phrase starts setting their expectations immediately.
Inside each Joe’s Crab Shack location, customers will find the slogan plastered on walls, embroidered on towels, printed across tabletops and more. It surrounds diners and immerses them in the Joe’s atmosphere.
Joe’s Crab Shack menus prominently feature the slogan on front covers or header pages so it’s one of the first things diners see as they begin considering meal options.
Slogan-adorned cups, mugs, buckets and more provide fun visual reinforcement while customers sip drinks. New limited edition designs are released regularly.
Joe’s Crab Shack souvenir hats, t-shirts, koozies, stickers and other giveaway items frequently incorporate graphic treatments of the slogan.
Some locations play instrumental versions of the slogan’s rhyme as background music, keeping it cycling in customers’ minds.
For over 25 years and counting, “Let the good times roll & the crabs roll in” has served as an integral part of the Joe’s Crab Shack name and brand. It succinctly yet memorably captures the restaurant’s laidback personality and indulgent seafood fare. The slogan’s rhyming structure, emotional associations and ties to American coastal culture have helped it stand out and remain effective through changing times and the company’s national expansion. With no signs of retirement anytime soon, Joe’s Crab Shack’s signature tagline will likely continue welcoming seafood fans for years to come.