To our valued customers,
We are writing this post to address a hot topic that has become popular over the past several weeks: the shortage of lobster.
We see this trend every year for a number of reasons. For starters, this is the season that lobsters typically lie dormant, limiting the catch until water temperatures increase later in the season. In addition, short term inshore lobster closures have been put in place to protect whales. We typically source our lobsters from Canada this time of year, as many Canadian wholesalers “pen” their lobsters over the winter and sell their inventoried supply over the spring months.
So how does this year differ from most?
Remember, this time last year restaurants were closing all over the world in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This created huge losses for Canadian wholesalers, who had inventoried large quantities of lobsters in their holding facilities. Due to the uncertainty that existed this fall and spring, Canadian companies were reluctant to take another year of huge losses for their lobster inventory. Though we are fortunate and grateful that restaurants are continuing to reopen, these extraordinary market conditions have driven lobster prices to historic highs.
What is Turner’s doing in response to this?
We have temporarily removed lobsters and our lobster roll from our menu. Although frozen lobster product is available from Canada, we strongly feel that there is little value in these menu items. Let us take a step back and put this in perspective. If we kept lobster on our menu and continued to make a small margin off this product, we would need to raise menu prices where our lobster roll would cost an average of $40, and a boiled lobster dinner would cost north of $60. Even though there are those who would be willing to pay these prices, many customers would feel that we are gouging them. It is our intent to have these items back, the moment the availability and pricing improves enough to allow us to do so.
What to expect from here?
Keep in mind, this action is temporary. This challenge is not new to us and we anticipate to bring these items back on our menu hopefully by the end of May. In the meantime, we will continue to feature local species and search for other alternatives. Although many of our guests miss lobster on the menu, this is a great opportunity for us to feature and try new items we may not have considered before. For example, we have added a Jonah Crab Salad Roll on both our Salem and Melrose menus. This new item has arguably become more popular than our previous lobster roll and has led to many guests running back for more. We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to try our latest features and specials until we have our beloved lobster back on our menu.
Thank you for all of your continued support,
The Turner Family & Team