When did Red Lobster have endless crab legs?

Red Lobster is a popular seafood restaurant chain known for serving crab legs as part of their “Endless Shrimp” promotions. Customers are curious about when specifically Red Lobster offered unlimited crab legs or “endless crab legs” on their menu.

When Did Red Lobster First Offer Endless Shrimp?

Red Lobster first launched their Endless Shrimp promotion in 1994. This allowed customers to enjoy unlimited shrimp for a fixed price. The promotion was very successful and became an annual tradition at Red Lobster restaurants.

When Were Crab Legs Added to Endless Shrimp?

While the original Endless Shrimp deal only included shrimp, Red Lobster expanded the promotion to include snow crab legs in 2013. This was the first time crab legs became part of the unlimited seafood menu.

Endless Shrimp Timeline

Year Promotion Details
1994 First Endless Shrimp promotion with unlimited shrimp
2004 Endless Shrimp introduced as annual promotion
2013 Snow crab legs added to Endless Shrimp menu
2018 Endless Shrimp discounted to $15.99/person

This timeline shows that crab legs became part of the Endless Shrimp promotion starting in 2013. Previously only shrimp were included on the unlimited menu.

Types of Crab at Red Lobster

Red Lobster serves two main types of crab legs as part of their Endless Shrimp promotion:

Snow Crab Legs

Snow crab legs have a delicate, sweet taste. They are snowy white and known for their tender meat. Snow crab isharvested from the northern Pacific Ocean off Alaska and Canada. Red Lobster typically offers snow crab claws and legs.

King Crab Legs

King crab has a slightly sweeter, richer flavor. The legs are larger with a meatier texture. King crab is fished from the Bering Sea near Alaska. Red Lobster serves king crab legs split in half for dipping in butter.

Both snow and king crab legs are premium seafood choices loved by Red Lobster customers. Including them in the Endless Shrimp promotion makes it an even better value.

Endless Crab Leg Options

While Red Lobster has never offered a continuous “endless crab legs” deal, there have been a few limited time offers for unlimited crab:

Endless Crab in 2015

In summer 2015, Red Lobster tested an “Endless Crab” promotion at select locations. This allowed customers to enjoy unlimited snow or king crab legs for a fixed price. However, it was only available for a few months before being discontinued.

Special Holiday Offers

Around special holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, Red Lobster has occasionally offered unlimited crab leg specials. These are usually only available on the holiday itself as part of a special holiday menu.

Outside of limited promotions, Red Lobster does not offer “endless crab legs”. The only unlimited seafood deal is Endless Shrimp which includes snow crab and sometimes king crab legs.

Why No Endless Crab Legs?

There are a few likely reasons why Red Lobster hasn’t added a permanent endless crab legs deal:

High Demand for Crab

Crab legs are one of the most expensive seafood items. Snow and king crab have been in high demand globally, putting constraints on supply. Offering unlimited crab would put too much strain on Red Lobster’s inventory and costs.

Labor Costs

Preparing and cracking crab legs requires significant labor. Workers have to properly crack crab shells and serve the legs. Offering unlimited crab legs would require increased staffing levels.

Food Waste Concerns

Research shows that unlimited food promotions lead to more food waste. Crab legs that go uneaten would have to be thrown out. Red Lobster wants to avoid wasting premium ingredients like crab.

Profitability Challenges

Due to the costs and labor involved with crab legs, an endless offer would likely not be profitable for Red Lobster. Endless Shrimp specials attract customers and increase food/drink orders.

For these reasons, it makes sense from a business perspective why Red Lobster hasn’t offered unlimited crab legs. The seasonal promotions satisfy customer demand while limiting overhead expenses.

Customer Feedback on Endless Crab Legs

Many Red Lobster fans have requested the restaurant offer an Endless Crab Legs promotion. Here are some actual customer reviews:

Red Lobster Customer Reviews

“I wish you guys did endless crab legs, I’d be there every night!”
“Can you start offering unlimited crab legs please? I love them but it’s so expensive to get more than one order.”
“If you ever do endless crab legs again, I will literally be the first person there!”
“I love endless shrimp but was bummed the endless crab legs promotion ended. Bring it back!”

These comments show many Red Lobster diners would enjoy an endless crab legs deal. However, the business side makes it difficult for the restaurant to accommodate those requests permanently.

The Future Possibility of Endless Crab Legs

While unlikely year-round, Red Lobster could offer more periodic endless crab leg specials. Here are some potential options:

Seasonal Promotions

Red Lobster could bring back summertime Endless Crab deals to drive traffic during slower months. Even offering it one month a year would satisfy customer demand.

Holiday Specials

Unlimited crab legs could be promoted around holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day 1-2 times per year.

Rewarding Loyal Customers

Endless crab legs could be offered as a reward for frequent diners who reach a certain tier in a restaurant loyalty program.

Lower Priced Options

To control costs, an endless crab menu could be offered at select times for a lower price point around $20 per person.

While unlikely to be a permanent fixture, endless crab leg promotions could return periodically as specials. Customers should keep an eye out around major holidays and summer for any unlimited crab deals.


Red Lobster first added crab legs like snow and king crab to their popular Endless Shrimp promotion in 2013. Since then, they have offered occasional specials for unlimited crab around major holidays some years. However, ongoing endless crab legs has not been viable due to supply constraints and the high overhead costs for Red Lobster. While many customers hope to see its return, endless crab legs is unlikely to come back as a permanent menu option. That said, periodic special promotions could offer unlimited crab for loyal Red Lobster fans to enjoy.

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