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Shuckin’ In the News: Our Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Reels In Headlines (and Customers!)

If you aren’t living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp tail controversy. But just in case you were socially distancing from your cell phone: a man named Jensen Karp went to enjoy a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and the special prize in the box was less than delightful. 

Amid those crunchy, crazy squares were shrimp tails coated in cinnamon sugar. Mr. Karp brought the issue up with the brand, who was polite at first but then publicly claimed that the shrimp tails were coagulated cinnamon sugar. Cinnamon Toast Crunch adamantly held that there was no way shrimp could have gotten into their cereal. 

Mr. Karp retaliated by posting close-up pictures of the shrimp tails on Twitter, and the tweet went viral.

delicious sustainably sourced seafood
This may seem like an elaborate stunt, but the shrimp tails in question have been sent off to a lab for further investigation. 

And just to show how crazy the incident is, Twitter user @HarveyBar22 pointed out: “A man named Karp married to a woman named Fishel found shrimp tails in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The cereal was purchased from the Costco on Topanga Canyon Blvd, and his wife played Topanga in Boy Meets World. Meanwhile, Karp used to be a guest on Pistol Shrimp Podcast.”

Shuckin’ Shack decided to have a bit of fun with the ordeal as well. To be absolutely clear, we don’t sell our shrimp to General Mills and have nothing to do with the actual incident. But we are having a shuckin’ good time being creative in our kitchens!

We are proud to share our commemorative Cinnamon Toast Crunch-Encrusted Shrimp in honor of Mr. Karp’s dilemma.

As our CEO Jonathan Weathington stated, “there are few things as terrifyingly unwelcome as finding unexpected items in our food.” So at Shuckin’ Shack, we wanted to purposefully give you shrimp with your cereal—no milk needed.

Well, no extra milk is needed. Our Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp is double battered with buttermilk, flour, and cereal. Served with a Thai chili sauce, the dish makes for a sweet and savory experience. 

This is Not Your Average Seafood Dish…But We’re Not Your Average Seafood Franchise!

When Weathington returned from the Dollar General with a family-sized box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, the chefs were curious to see if they could make something delicious out of it. Of course, the cereal was thoroughly checked for unwanted shrimp tails before being ground up for the batter.

The dish has made headlines in various news outlets, including Modern Restaurant Management, Franchise Times, Restaurant News, and FSR Magazine

Although this dish is a specialty item at our Wilmington, NC location, customers visiting other Shuckin’ Shacks can try our Sharkbite Shrimp. This fried shrimp appetizer has a sweet and spicy flavor profile. 

In his interview with Franchise Times, Weathington admitted that the special dish wasn’t his favorite—but then again, our CEO isn’t a big fan of sweet and savory dishes. For those who do like the flavor fusion, this dish has been an intriguing and delicious bite!

Reeling In Customers With Our Eclectic, Fun Seafood Franchise Menu

Even as an off-menu item at select locations, our Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp got a lot of attention from customers! Weathington reported, “I do know we sold a bunch at our Downtown Wilmington location. Also, I talked to Brian Rogers, owner of our Hickory, NC location. He said after a radio station in Asheville did a bit on our Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp, he had a few people drive from Asheville to his location in Hickory, which is 80 miles, just to try it. It piqued everyone’s interest while following a social media trend that everyone was talking about. The response overwhelmingly is one of straight curiosity and fun.”

We’re very aware that most people over the age of five don’t go to a seafood franchise restaurant with the intent to order cereal. But if General Mills wants to collab, we’re open to negotiations.

Weathington joked that the next project will be an “Evergreen stuck in the Suez Canal”-themed meal. If you have an idea for how to make that happen, we want to hear it.

own a seafood franchise

It’s Always a Shuckin’ Good TIme For Our Franchise Owners!

We want our Franchise Owners to have fun and be creative. We aren’t trying to get rich off of cereal shrimp, but we want our customers to feel like they’re on vacation when they visit a Shuckin’ Shack. And what’s a vacation without trying new things and having a little fun? 

At Shuckin’ Shack, we encourage playing with your food. Even though we started out in a literal shack and now have 16 locations, we make sure that having a Shuckin’ good time is still at the heart of our brand. 

When it comes to seafood restaurants, you may think only two types exist: snooty, white-tablecloth, jacket-and-tie establishments that cost an entire paycheck, and greasy fast-food joints that serve deep-fried mystery fish. That’s where Shuckin’ Shack comes in. We’re more flip-flops than cufflinks, but you can bet the quality of our sustainably sourced domestic seafood beats even the most fancy-pants place in town…and as you can see, we’re a hell of a lot more fun!

We also only purchase responsibly sourced ingredients and are committed to sustainability. Who said you can’t have a good time while saving the planet?

Stop swimming against the tide in the 9-5 grind! There’s no need to take yourself too seriously when you’re at a Shuckin’ Shack. You can become the Captain of your own ship today!

We provide extensive training through our “Shuck U” program and give you all the tools you need to succeed with your own Shack! Learn how to be the best business person you can be while slurping oysters and sipping a margarita (or whatever your drink of choice is).

We’ve all shouted “Shuck You” to corporate America, and we’d love for you to join in our whirlpool of fun. 

We’re looking for energetic individuals who are on the hunt for a new adventure. We want to help more people get Shucked, and we are interested in new Franchise Owners. While you may not join in time for Cinnamon Toast Shrimp on the menu, we’re sure something fishy will go viral sooner or later. The internet is a wild place, after all. 

To learn more about opening a Shuckin’ Shack seafood franchise in your hometown, visit our website!

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