If you constantly discover yourself desire a vat of eye crab with a side of coconut shrimp (and permission to wear a bib as a get an impression adult), you could not have the ability to get your resolve at your neighborhood Joe"s Crab Shack lot longer. Over there were practically 140 Joe"s spots easily accessible for her dining and crab cracking satisfied in 2014. Today, the Joe"s Crab Shack website reveals there are just 57 areas still operating. In 2016, the chain report an operation loss of $16.6 million.

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The very first Joe"s Crab Shack opened in Houston, Texas in 1991. Together the brand grew and also started franchising, it became pretty renowned into the early on 2000s. While locals in seaside towns might consider Joe"s Crab Shack a traveler trap, lock can"t disagree that it it is intended a wide variety of seafood items in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere.

So why are the shacks getting the shaft? here are some possible explanations because that why americans aren"t taking the bait on every you can eat shrimp specials in ~ Joe"s Crab Shack anymore.


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Cheap, easy, and also resilient, infectious diseases worldwide fats are a no-brainer because that restaurants trying come cut expenses or food manufacturers looking to prolong their product"s shelf life. However trans fats can be disastrous for your health. So once Joe"s Crab Shack vowed to stop food preparation with infectious diseases worldwide fat in 2007, yet got busted 7 years later on for continuing to usage the stuff, health specialists threw shade. What"s even an ext alarming is that it ongoing to usage trans fats in food selection items that could be made with genuine butter, because that"s what they walk at areas in the cites, counties, and also states that had banned the use of man-made trans fat.


According come Consumerist, the center for science in the general public Interest (CSPI) referred to as out Joe"s Crab Shack in 2014 because that serving increase dishes chock full of trans-fat laden margarine, namely in the "Joe"s Pasta-laya," crab cake dinner and steam pots. The executive director of CSPI, Michael F. Jacobson, warned consumers, "Until the company fixes the problem and switches come a healthy substitute, eat in ~ Joe"s at your own risk—an raised risk the heart condition and premature birth death." 

As much more Americans learn about the impact the foodstuffs they consume have actually on their overall health, it"s feasible these headlines were part of what deterred customers from proceeding to eat at Joe"s Crab Shack. That could have definitely contributed to decreasing sales because that the chain.


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It"s never ever a an excellent sign once your staff is for this reason unhappy, they obtain the united state legal mechanism involved. Yet that"s specifically what occurred at a Joe"s Crab Shack ar in san Francisco in 2014, when nine very disgruntled former Joe"s Crab Shack employees sued the chain for not abiding by job laws.


Among the claims from the earlier of the home employees were accusations that the administration at this Joe"s refused to grant appropriate breaks, manipulated the record of their hrs to protect against paying overtime, and didn"t reimburse them because that the expense of uniforms. What"s even much more alarming, allegedly, few of the employees were terminated once they tried to voice their concern about the labor law violations. 

The speak has constantly been that any kind of press is an excellent press... That"s not necessarily the case when it"s the type of push where her employees publicly shame you for dealing with them poorly. This regrettably PR could not have sat well v folks that were deciding what seafood chain to select for a night out, making that another possible factor in Joe"s demise.


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In an initiative to an increase morale, retain an ext employees, and also pay the front-house staff more, Joe"s Crab Shack started experimenting with a no-tip policy in the summer that 2015. The staff"s hourly pay went up, and also so did the food selection prices — items were costing 12 to 15 percent more. Lock instigated the no-gratuity-necessary check at 18 restaurants. Joe"s employees and customers seemed to dig it... Until they didn"t.


In might of 2016, the restaurant announced it would reinstate tipping. Apparently, the clientele at the no-tip locations spoke with their wallet. While then-CEO that Joe"s then-parent firm Ignite Restaurant Group, Bob Merritt, claimed he would store the plan at four of the restaurants, the lot of diners at the no-tipping outposts decreased eight come 10 percent. A customer inspection revealed the 60 percent of Joe"s patrons felt like the promise the a pointer was catalyst for good service. Patrons also indicated that they didn"t trust The male (who, in this instance, is the upper level management at Joe"s Crab Shack) to fairly compensate servers. One might argue the the entire experiment left a permanent poor taste in customer"s mouths — one the couldn"t be alleviated with even the tastiest of steamed seafood.


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For year it wasn"t uncommon for family-style casual dining chain restaurants to display screen a bunch that random, obscure paraphernalia. However now they"re do a massive initiative to declutter in wishes of catching the appeal of the easier aesthetics of fast casual chains. Perhaps the revamps are likewise necessary due to the fact that while historic prints and also knick-knacks on the walls and tables can have the intentionally of evoking nostalgia, they also open the potential for something seriously offensive to slip v the cracks.


In in march of 2016, at a Joe"s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minnesota, 2 patrons uncovered a photo embedded into the table that shown a group of white civilization witnessing the lynching of an afri American man. The title to be "Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas, ~ above April 12th, 1895." A heat at the peak was a "joke" subtitle that read, "All I stated was that ns didn"t prefer the gumbo." The african American couple who"d satellite at the table to be understandably an extremely upset and the Minneapolis NAACP request Joe"s this firm office worry an apology. The restaurant instantly removed the photo and showed lot remorse, yet it"s still disturbing someone had approved the decor in the first place. When the story broke, others reported seeing the same photograph at various other Joe"s locations. Probably this negative press was part of why Joe"s Crab Shack yes, really took a downward rotate the adhering to year.


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Joe"s Crab Shack"s parent company at the time, Ignite Restaurant Group, borrowed a most funds and spent $55 million come snatch increase Macaroni Grill in 2013. The purchase included over 200 restaurants in the U.S. And overseas. Yet just together it bought the chain, the tendency toward quick casual dining really started to take it off and its clientele started to wane. Ignite Restaurant group ultimately ended up offering Macaroni Grill simply two years later (at a significant loss) for $7.3 million. 


And it never ever really recovered. In in march of 2017 Ignite Restaurant team Inc. Gained the boot from the Nasdaq stock Exchange and also was delisted. Just 2 months later, in might of 2017 Ignite reported quarter drops in performance at Joe"s Crab Shack and also the other chain it owned, Brick residence Tavern, through a 14.3 percent and 12.6 percent decrease in same-store sales, respectively. The announced that was in search of a the person who lives at that time and also considering bankruptcy protection. In their Securities and Exchange commission filings, the company said, "The sales declines are mainly due to reduced guest traffic... We have deployed numerous different to work strategies, however so much none have had a meaningful impact on sales or guest traffic." Finally, in June of 2017, Ignite Restaurant Group, filed because that bankruptcy, citing blame of $197 million and assets of just $153 million. Ignite"s revenue had lessened 8.5 percent between 2015 and 2016. 


According to Jon Berke, middle markets editor for Debtwire (via Houston Chronicle), the purchase of Macaroni Grill was really the start of the end for Ignite and Joe"s Crab Shack. "Honestly, it appears to me the very first sign of real trouble was as soon as Macaroni Grill became part of the company," the said.


About two months after ~ Ignite Restaurant group filed because that bankruptcy, in a true circle of (sea) life moment, Joe"s Crab Shack"s vault owner indigenous 1994 come 2006, Landry"s, Inc., winner the august 17, 2017 bankruptcy court case following auction where Landry"s had actually been the greatest bidder. It acquired Ignite v a bid the $57 million.


Right away Landry"s CEO Tilman Fertitta claimed it would likely reduce the variety of Joe"s Crab Shack to just 60 locations. Fertitta additionally discussed potentially transforming several of the under-performing Joe"s Crab Shacks right into concepts already under the Landry"s umbrella. Several of Landry"s most popular establishments include Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp, and also Morton"s Grille. 

While Ignite to be struggling to dig themselves out of a hole, Landry"s prospered despite changes in American dining trends, v revenue boosting by $100 million indigenous 2015 come 2017. Armed with the success the a booming business, Fertitta maintained Landry"s can salvage the Joe"s brand, yet so far that hasn"t proven to be the case.


Even prior to Joe"s Crab Shack had been shifted earlier to its vault owners, their rep had suffered when areas in brand-new Jersey, Virginia, Nebraska and new York abruptly ghosted faithful consumers and several employees with sudden closures. It"s feasible the closings that occurred prior to the official sale come Landry"s were a an outcome of landlords ending leases due to the fact that of the bankruptcy proceedings — other that would certainly be pretty the end of Joe"s hands. (Although part say the Monmouth, brand-new Jersey place closed since it couldn"t contend with nearby Red Lobster.) The NJ location closed in July that 2017 when the rather shut down in the first week the August, just prior to the final bankruptcy auction.


Then as soon as the Landry"s, Inc. Purchase came to be official, the close up door didn"t stop — over 40 much more restaurants suddenly shut down later that exact same August. In nearly all of these closures, plenty of employees to be left confused and also stressed in ~ the unexpected reality of staring under the barrel of task applications after reporting to work and finding your restaurants closed. The greater ups didn"t warn or educate anyone via email or phone, and apparently over there were also customers who verified up with team reservations. Needless to say, Joe"s can not honor your bookings. 

It"s possible that disgruntled previous employees and also customers swore turn off the chain when this every went under or also told your social circles. The easily might have shed Joe"s Crab Shack some clout and also patrons, also as Landry"s make the efforts to rescue its surname after bankruptcy.


If you carry out a deep dive into the Joe"s Crab Shack website, you won"t uncover much intel on whereby they acquire their namesake product. Yet a report native PBS News reveals that 90 percent that the seafood americans eat is from international sources. Interestingly enough, according to Brian Mader, owner the Marder Trawling in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, many of what the fishermen capture in his area is exported to Europe. Regardless, it"s a safe bet that Joe"s isn"t obtaining fresh crab from the men who star ~ above Discovery"s Deadliest Catch. In fact, 75 percent that the king crab we eat in the U.S., we got from Russia.


This could all continue to influence the survival of Joe"s Crab Shack, if they don"t do a regular (and probably vocal) initiative to source seafood in your ar — or at least domestically. As much more Americans recognize the importance of sourcing and also buying local, it"s more likely they"ll opt for seafood restaurants that are transparent about how they source their food. It helps fishermen who need local industries to boost their bottom lines, and also maintain sustainable neighborhoods on the coasts. The absence of transparency roughly they"re food (and what they use to cook their food) can have been a contributor to less enthusiasm for the restaurant and, in turn, its as whole decline.


Why eat in ~ Joe"s as soon as you have the right to eat at home, v Netflix and a enjoy the meal kit? In an effort to conserve money and eat healthier, folks throughout the country are opting to cook at residence rather than go out to eat. According to Bloomberg, the typical American dined in restaurants about 216 times in the year 2000. By 2017, the number dropped come 185. Eat at home is much more convenient than ever with pre-chopped veggies and pre-washed lettuce in the create section, or meal kit solutions that deliver the precise amount of ingredients you need straight to your door. Meal kits created $5 exchange rate in revenue throughout the world in 2015.


To try to counteract the "down with eating out" trend, some restaurants are experimenting with their very own meal kits. Several Chick-fil-A restaurants in Atlanta are offering meal kits that people can pick up climate take house to prepare. But because a big part the the allure the Joe"s Crab Shack is the capacity to messily crack and also eat crab at the table, it seems implausible the this would ever be an choice for them. The popular of enjoy the meal kits and efforts to conserve money by eating at home have no doubt brought about Joe"s Crab Shack website traffic to suffer.


While casual dining joints favor Joe"s Crab Shack are struggling to save customers coming, quick food chains continue to death it. In between 2013 and also 2016, around 37 percent of adults got a rapid food settle on a provided day, follow to the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention. Why would the median American diner opt for White lock over Joe"s Crab Shack? quick food is cheap and also filling — it offers plenty of calorie to keep you full without placing a huge hole in your wallet.


It"s additionally quicker. Oftentimes hungry civilization would rather zip with a drive-thru and commence eat from their automobile as quickly as the sack the food is in your hands, than settle right into a booth to order indigenous a menu and also count the minutes until the food arrives. It"s also feasible that individuals often choose where come eat based on convenience, not cravings. And it"s difficult to foresee a people where we"d desire crab served out of a drive-thru window, also if it to be available. Joe"s Crab Shack isn"t just a rapid meal, it"s an experience, and also perhaps one the Americans have become less and also less interested in having since its hey day in ~ the turn of the century.

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While blogging is somewhat of a lost art type thanks come the ever before dwindling attention span of your mean human, if you room going blog, you far better do it consistently. As of this writing, the Joe"s Crab Shack website blog hasn"t to be updated because January 3, 2018. That might as well be centuries in blog years, y"all. How"s your eakoutyourbib project going? maybe we"d know if castle updated the ole" blog every once in a while. 


In the 21st century, preserving an energetic presence on the web is necessary for a service to it is in successful. Blogging is good for business because it drives much more internet users to agency sites. Never ever underestimate the strength of an online search engine. If world are Googling "best crab restaurants close to me" or "best ar to get a bucket of steamed crustaceans ASAP," and the Joe"s Crab Shack"s website blog isn"t popping increase in the search results, lock are missing out on one of the smartest methods to get an ext people in your restaurants. So it can have hurt their numbers if civilization were rather going come the restaurants that did pop up once they searched.