Red Lobster shrimp is getting bigger

Red Lobster's new and improved Scampi shrimp have doubled in size.

Red Lobster's new and improved Scampi shrimp have doubled in size.  (Red Lobster)

Red Lobster serves a lot of shrimp, over 80 million plates annually.

But the seafood chain says customers have noticed that their shrimp is a little, well, shrimpy.

After mounting customer complaints about its skimpy shrimp, the seafood chain announced last week that it will be using larger shrimp in its Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Skewers and nearly 70 percent of its lunch and dinner entrees that contain shrimp as part of its “Bigger, Better Shrimp” initiative.

Red Lobster President Salli Setta says that changes were put in place after customers saying the chain’s shrimp “had become somewhat ordinary. Our guests shared 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.”

According to the company, the shrimp in the chain’s Shrimp Scampi and on the Shrimp Skewers are “at least 47 percent larger than before," but some may be up to 86 percent bigger. The Bigger, Better Shrimp improvement include Red Lobster's most popular menu items, such as the Ultimate Feast and Seaside Shrimp Trio.

In addition to bulking up its shrimp, the company says it is also focusing on improving dish taste. The scampi sauce is now made in house and there will be more of it so guests can dip those cheddar biscuits. And the skewers will be cooked more evenly using a new technique exposing them to more heat on the wood-fire grill.

Red Lobster started rolling out its bigger shrimp Nov. 15 and says it will have completed the transition nationwide by mid-December.