Sunday, September 10, 2023

Lobster Roll Strategy

He began with the fact that he could not get a decent lobster roll in Manhattan. Everything was off, Holden said. The price was too high, 30 dollars. The lobster meat was inferior with fillers, masks and diluters “to essentially hide the fact that the lobster meat wasn’t as high quality as it could be.”
Then there was the white table cloth service – ridiculous, and as far from the quintessential Maine lobster shack as you could get.
“I’m not a big fan of mayonaisse,” Holden added. “I really struggled to find a lobster roll in the city not drowning in mayonaisse.”
Here’s the recipe for a true Maine-style lobster roll: chilled meat, somewhere in the realm of a quarter-pound of fresh knuckle claw lobster meat; a New England top-split bun, which serves purely as a vessel for the super high-quality lobster meat.
Shave a little butter onto the sides of the bun, toast it golden brown, add a little mayo for texture, some secret seasoning and celery salt to accent the lobster, a little warm lemon butter to bring it all together. That’s all you need.
“That literally is the key to the program,” Holden said. “Once you start trying to do anything other than put your star of the show facing forward, you’re playing from behind. You have to lead with your best food forward. Lobster is the star of the show.”
The first day, Luke’s sold 500 lobster rolls. They were expecting to sell 100. Holden’s dad, Jeff, drove down more lobster meat from Maine overnight for the next day.
Then geographic expansion and vertical integration:
Ten years later, Luke’s is still in the East Village in its original location, but it also has 30 more locations in Maine, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Las Vegas, and Miami, plus 10 locations in Japan, and two locations in Taiwan.
Luke’s also has one of the largest lobster production facilities in the United States in Maine, where it manages the lobster for Whole Foods, among others. Luke’s Lobster Seafood Co. processes about 5 million pounds of lobster annually and 2 million pounds of Jonah crab.
HT: Giselle

No comments:

Post a Comment