Filed Under: Seafood

A Different Kind of Shell Game

Animal rights groups are boiling mad. There’s a new shell game being played in some Florida restaurants, allowing guests to grab their lobsters for dinner.

A machine known as “Lobster Zone” holds numerous delicious crustaceans and is a variation on the old “skill cranes” popular in most arcades. For $2 per try, patrons can use a joystick to move a grasping claw above the desired lobster. If captured, the lobster is swung into position, dropped into a bucket and taken into the kitchen. Those lucky or skillful enough can get a lobster dinner for just a fraction of the menu price.

A group known as the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida has been protesting “Lobster Zone” because they feel it is cruel to make a game of picking a lobster for lunch.”

The animal is going to be boiled to death in the kitchen already. This exploitation of their death makes it that much worse,” ARFF spokesman Nick Atwood said.

The game’s inventor counters that Lobster Zone has become very popular, with some machines grossing as much as $2,000 per week. “It’s like fishing for dinner, except you can see everything that happens,” said inventor J.R. Fishman. And no, we didn’t make up his name.

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