Under Cooked Shrimp

by Jeremy Schoemaker on December 10, 2008 · 107 comments

undercookied shrimp

My favorite place to eat in Lincoln was Shogun. Shogun is like this teppanyaki Japanese steakhouse that does all the banging around with the knives and stuff and cooks your fried rice with like a pound of butter.

Anyway I loved this place. I have eaten there twice a month for at least 3 years. Seeing the average bill is about $120+ Its probably safe to say I have spent about 10k+ at this joint in 3 years.

Last week I went with my wife and we had dinner. I got my normal fillet and scallops and my wife got shrimp.

The dude did the whole show throwing stuff around and what not and dishing us up. After he had left my wife had me try her shrimp and when I bit into it, it was super nasty. Like all jellified and raw. And by raw I don’t mean like cocktail shrimp raw I mean like nasty raw.

I immediately got sick to my stomach. Went in the bathroom and puked. Now its messed. I cant even think about eating there without getting a sick feeling.

The owners seem to be pretty nice people and they will probably never even know why I wont be eating there ever again but not only will they be out my money I have probably already told about 20 people this story. And with this post about 100,000 more (but not many more here in Lincoln, Nebraska).

Anyway In the last week I kind of thought about it this a lot. Its amazing how one chef could ruin a business that the owners have worked so hard to build. Just because he was in a hurry or running late.

It got me thinking a lot about how businesses work. Serving undercooked shrimp which are 85% done does a LOT more damage then what the modulus would make you think. It would have been much better if they would have done 0% and not served us at all.

So do you have people serving undercooked shrimp in your business? If so get rid of them…. now! They can do much more damage then you think.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 gendut

Nyummy…….!! too much colesterol…..not good for me

2 Stanley Tang

Shogun FTW

It’s great

3 teraom

Looks like shogun is pretty famous.. u been there?

4 Steven-Sanders

Very interesting twist on everything.

I love shogun.

Still my favorite place to eat.

I do have a place that I refuse to eat at anymore because I got sick there though. The mind is oh so powerful.

5 Goran Website

Yeah true, the mind is a very powerful thing. You know the story of a man who was invited by a king who was infamous for poisoning his guests? The man went over to the king’s castle as per his invitation, and was served a bowl of soup in which he saw a snake in it, and he fell extremely ill after the dinner with the king for two weeks, only to discover that it was a snake painted on the ceiling that was reflecting in his soup, when the king invited him the second time around, which explained the many previous notorious food poisoning deaths that shadowed on the king’s reputation. Lol! :-D

6 ways to make money online

I always thought food poisoning took hours before the human being effected by it. Around 12 hours, I could be wrong. Maybe shoe is just delusional.

7 Taris J

Did you bring it up to the owner?? I would have at least asked for a refund considering that your wife couldn’t even enjoy her meal!! Let alone the fact that it made you puke (I don’t blame you – ate half cooked mussels once, 2 bites and it was otuta my mouth STAT)

8 MouthyGirl

I would’ve asked for a refund too, plus, as a big customer there – I’m sure the owners would acknowledge that, they should know what cost them your business, maybe they’d attempt to rectify it by ridding themselves of a lazy chef?

Sorry to hear about you getting sick, there’s nothing worse in my opinion than getting sick because of something you enjoy so much.

9 Prashanth

Shrimp is yummy!.. i love it. But again it is too much colesterol.. not good for me either..

10 Taris Janitens

Since when is shrimp high in cholesterol!?? and here I thought I was eating healthy going for sushi lol

11 Pat with SPI

Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

I used to be a waiter, and everything that’s served to me at restaurants, from the food to the service, if it’s not what it’s supposed to be, i get really dissapointed, and ultimately tip less and sometimes just avoid eating there all together. It’s true, one bad apple in your business can definitely be detrimental.

12 Goran Website

yuo, I fully agree! I hate bad food and service, it drives me nuts!

13 Seo Creations

then how you are in website business? Going any wonder?

14 jtGraphic

I just hired my first employee, so hopefully they don’t server bad shrimp :-P

15 wesley

Have you never had your websites not functioning correctly? This is the same thing, if this is a one time thing, I see no reason why you shouldn’t return.

Same with websites, if a site I love is not loading once, will it cause me to never return? No.

16 BusinessX

One big difference is that with restaurant/food you are involving all the senses (taste, smell, sight, sound, feel) with the experience. The memory of which will be reoccur with any number of triggers- location, words, smells, etc. Of course, that will leave a deeper impression than a slow loading page.

17 Goran Website

I totally agree with you there BusinessX. Plus you could always think of many other external factors to blame the slow page load speed, like your own internet connection, the host of the site, etc. But with a resturant, everything is internal.

18 Get a Holiday Loan

@wesley that’s a damn good point! I’m always telling our c-levels what a bad thing downtime is for consumers.

19 BusinessX

I consider that when doing web sites and campaigns. On sites which I am trying to build a reputation, need to have everything down tight to keep people coming back. Others, the one-offs, like landing pages, I am trying to get people to do something. Not worried because I know I have only seconds to get people to do what I want. And they are not designed for them keep coming back.

The big but is that I try to keep those far removed from the quality work I am trying to build long term. Don’t want the slash and dash to hurt the returning customer.

20 Andy Levy-Stevenson

Did you complain, or bring it to the attention of the owner? Shouldn’t you give them a chance to correct the issue?

21 Ben Pei

I think the stomach wasn’t ready for it..

22 Pigion

You remind me of “Stan” in South Park – but instead of the: “You know, i learned something today…” philosophy…

You relate everyday stuff to business advice. :-)

I bet you could turn every situation into tips and advice…

Sheomoney: “I was nearly hit by a car j-walking today… — It got me thinking a lot about how businesses work… If you take short-cuts, you may get to where you want to be quicker, but risk more accidents.”

[b]…It got me thinking a lot about how businesses work…[/b] It could be a new weekly thing :-)

23 Mubin

I have been thrown off grilled fish for exactly the same reason, not just that restaurant but I cant eat grilled fish period because I get sick just thinking about it.

24 Goran Website

Eish… Yup, one bad experience can put you off something for life.

25 teraom

depends. some people have this feeling towards sea food..

26 Ben Pei

Poor you.. Grill fish is one of the best cooked seafood ever..

27 angelin

I think.. i can’t eat this .. :|

28 Alex at Net-Entrepreneur.com

I think you should tell the owners what is bothering you. It’s not their fault, it’s the chef’s. They can fire him and get someone else. That way you’ll be doing good instead of “evil”… I don’t think they told him to serve raw shrimp??

And besides, time will do its thing and you’ll go back there, I think. Especially if that chef is gone.


29 Dick

In the world there is no continuity. -)

30 Ganesh - Online Bull

Its a bad thing for the owners because they will never know why a good customer went away all because of a cook.

I totally feel that one little mistake can ruin a business. Like a drop of poison can spoil the whole milk.

31 Michael

I had something along these lines happen to me once at a seafood restaurant. I called the manager over and complained to him and asked what he would do to fix the situation. He was very apologetic and offered us not to pay for the meal and to come back again on his dime.

I’m a fairly forgiving person but the guest whose meal was nasty wasn’t eager to come back there again. I imagine if I ate something that made me vomit I would be inclined to think the same way though.

32 Goran Website

Mmmm….! Yummy… now I’m hungry. There’s nothing as bad as getting bad food, especially at your favorite resturant, because if you’re plan on eating out that evening then you don’t eat much the whole day so that you’re extremely hungry by the time you have to go to the resturant. Now if you get bad cooked food, then it just messes up your entire evening.

33 eater

You didnt have to post about it and hit the guys business like that, a bit too much imo. Mistakes happen (its the first time at this place)

A quick word with the manager would have benifitted you a lot more in the future with this place.

34 ways to make money online

You serve bad food, your get bad rep. Simple as that.

35 eater

Im sure most resturaunts have had an issue like this. Its just their luck how much exposure it gets. So i always think its about voicing your concerns to the manager and then judging your experience from that point on.

36 Speedbump

Nice, so you reward three years of good service by telling 100,000+ people how bad the place is? Surely after three years the place has built up enough good service to you for you to tell *them* the problem so they can make sure it doesn’t happen again. If the service has been good 99% of the time and giving your large audience a negative opinion could quite conceivably sink their business I believe you’re being a little ungrateful.

Just goes to emphasize the point that if you have good service a customer tells nobody, but provide bad service and they whinge to everyone who’ll listen.

You had a bad meal, served by a either a bad chef or a chef having a bad night. Giving 100,000 people a bad opinion after one bad meal in three years is pretty crappy. Where were all your good reviews of the place?

37 viliyana

That is greaaaat food 120 USD +, but who cares

38 Seo Creations

Be vegetarian guys, As I am :)

39 teraom

Kill the fish, and eat it.. Sounds cruel? sometimes..

40 Mark - The Niche Store Builder

Sounds like a bad experience… BUT… I have to agree with Alex the Entrepreneur. After many years of good or great experiences, you should give them more credit than just discounting and blasting them over one bad one! Did you talk to management, explain your past with them, etc?

This is a great example of the epitome of “Word of Mouth Advertising” and how customers perception can make or break the business.

GOOD experience:
No matter how many times a business does GREAT by a customer, they are likely to only to tell one or two people, within a very short timeframe, about their great experience.

BAD Experience:
A pissed off customer will tell 100 people over a long period of time about a BAD experience! Most will continue to relate the BAD experience forever!

41 ways to make money online

No matter what shoe says, they will be in business next year and I bet the years after that. All it takes is one bad experience.

42 Mike

So, instead of bringing it to the attention of the owner you decide to simply blog about it. That’s really lame and basically a scumbag thing to do.

If you love the place, and the owners are as nice as you say I hope you have some class and at least have a discussion with them about it. Allow them the chance to correct the problem. I am sure they will be willing to talk to you since you spend so much there.

Or you could sign into your blog and whine about it. I guess you made your choice.

43 Dick

I think this is an unfair assertion. Many people do not like to hear other people’s dirty things.

44 Griffin

Chefs are allowed to make mistakes too. It would be different if you were served undercooked food several times at this place, but to do all this bashing after one visit is really no good.

Talk to the owners/management and let them know about your experience so they can at least attempt to rectify the situation.

Come on Jeremy. //g

45 Rob

When I was a kid I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and puked immediately. More than likely it had nothing to do with the sandwich but rather that I had some kind of a bug. Regardless, it’s been over 30+ years and to this day I have never eaten jelly again. The funny thing is that peanut butter remains one of my favorite foods and I eat it all the time. Just goes to show how powerful the mind is.

46 Ms. Missive

I know it sucks getting sick from a restaurants food but you MUST tell the owner (and the chef). At the very least you’ll be saving future customer’s from getting ill. I’m sure it wasn’t done on purpose. Tell them before you run their business into the ground.

47 Tom

In my first class at college for my Hotel and Restaurant Management degree I learned my favorite lesson in business.

If a customer has a bad experience they are eager to warn 10 people of the bad time.

If they have a good experience they will tell 1 person.

The internet just amplifies the quantity of people told. Our human nature is to warn off people to a dangerous or bad situation. The tribal mentality that perseveres. Don’t drink from that stream or eat that plant, you will get sick. It is deep in our subconscious.

So if you want to have a business, it does not have to be great to succeed, but it has to be consistant. Look at any fast food chain. They deliver consistancy and survive.

48 Wine Seller

It’s fine to blog about it, but give the owner a heads up. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same if one of your sites / products wasn’t up to par?

As a courtesy to a fellow business owner – give him a call.

49 jon


50 jon

Actually, the fact that it is a fellow business owner makes it kinda sorry to blog about it. Maybe if you did complain and they did nothing about it then blog about it.

51 Steve

Wine Seller,

I agree. I think you should’ve at least told the manager about the situation. Sometimes, employees make mistakes or do things that go against a business’ standard. Don’t let one person’s mistake ruin the reputation of the entire establishment – it’s not fair for everyone else who works there.

52 Dollar Dude

I think you would have asked the owner or the manager to taste that nasty stuff either to get rid of that half-cooking chef or pressing the chefs to work on double shift.

53 Local Price

That’s an excellent point. There are some employees that just don’t care. They can get another job or it will be someone else’s problem later. It’s amazing how this attitude has spread the last few years. I think it’s a problem of big business. Just look at Charter Cable and all the crap they put customers through.

54 Dick

The crisis is felt everywhere, even in the shrimp.

55 Kirill

One bad person in a company can definitely take the whole company down. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you trust the people you have working for you.

56 Massive Widget

I hope you at least called over themanager and had your meal comped! situations like these typically you also get a coupon for another free meal.

57 Florian

Those Shrimps made me hungry! D*mn I’m living in middle Germany and there’s no way to get those without opening a can. :/

58 jon

If you really liked the place you should have given them the opportunity to make it right instead of using the Internet to punish them for something they may or may not realize is a problem.

59 Sillimanster

Can’t blame you for doing this but at least you could have told the manager/owners about so it may not happen again.

60 Ben Pei

Kinda agree with you here.. Feedback brings improvement!

61 Matt

“… and they will probably never even know why I wont be eating there ever again…”

Well, no, not if you don’t tell them, they won’t. [facepalm]

62 IamJustinM

You would have been nice if you just told the owner. I’m sure they would have done everything possible to make up for it. Maybe you would have had a story about how a shitty chef just about ruined your favorite joint, but then the owner came in and regulated and went way above and beyond to make it up to you and now you love the place more than ever.

Sucks for them.

63 Matt Helphrey

Great story and great analogy. I know the place well, not two times a month well, but well enough. Ive never had a problem with Shoguns but know others who have. After this story I may not go back either.

64 Ben Pei

Oh yuck.. I would never eat shrimps raw.. Although its kinda common in my country!

65 Scot

Shogun is good for a half-decently priced japanese meal. Since these meals are catered to every set you are always liable to get some kind of undercooked food– just let them know and they will remedy it. With a larger crowd there is more room for error. But since shrimp turn a color he should’ve known…

66 meethere

yeh.. looks nice, go for it :D

67 Raul

Man you are a drama queen. Mistake some times occurr, and that do not mean the place, the chef or someone else are bad!!!!…Maybe just you!!!!

68 MLDina

You didn’t say anything to the manager?! Even if you don’t plan on going back, I would have mentioned that- other people might get sick, too! It’s very true what they say though; you’re much more likely to share a bad customer service experience than a good one- so everyone make sure your shrimp is cooked!

69 seogis

uh..get over it. But its your blog, you can whine all u want here ;)

70 Michael Henry

Thats the same reason I have a hard time drinking regular water. When I was little I drank too much water and threw up. That was many years ago and all I can think of everytime I try to drink a glass is when I threw up from it.

71 The Freelance Cartoonist

Maybe, it’s supposed to be undercooked.

72 Arfan

No it wasnt suppose to be undercooked

73 Play Games Win Prizes

Think about it as eating SASHIMI shrimp :D


74 Frostfire Gifts

Yahoo has plenty of undercooked shrimp in its organisation

75 Michael Henry

If you can’t name the undercooked shrimp in your business, you may be the undercooked shrimp. ha!

76 Distribution

What?!? No loyal Lincoln following to your blog? :)

77 Jeremy Schoemaker

I geotarget lincoln people and send them to johnchow =P

78 Arfan

So why do you do that?

79 wotlk leveling guide

I like how you’ve used this experience of yours to make a point about IM.

80 A.Vlad

Shrimp is the best stuff in all seafood, have you ever tried fried shrimp with onions?

81 teraom

thats a cool combo.. love it deep fried with loads of pepper

82 teraom

The browser url says shoemoney, but i am redirected to johnchow??
it says something about food and got pics of a plate with food on it..

83 Shaun Carter

You mention that the owners may never know why you won’t be spending your money there anymore… well as a former restaurant owner I can tell you that you should have aired your complaint with them before broadcasting it to 100,000+ people on the Internet. It could have been an employee performance issue that would have been corrected, but now you may have caused substantial damage to their business because of one mistake, made by one employee.

84 Michael Henry

Undercooked mammals beat undercooked seafood anyday. I’m scared of undercooking things like crab or lobster after watching that horrible Tom Hanks movie “Castaway”

85 Joe

I think you did a crappy thing by blogging about this without talking to the owners, first.You’ve probably ruined your chance to mend the situation by posting it it on your site. You could be a nice guy and remove the post, You might need some good Karma someday.

86 Arfan

If you read one of the comments he geo targets his vistors from his city to John Chows website

87 brady ware

Next time tell them about it. One of the most discouraging things as a business person is having an unhappy customer and not knowing about it. I run an automotive shop and had an employee doing crap work and didn’t know for about two months. I didn’t find out until I was in a grocery store and said hi to a customer and she ignored me. I called her daughter and found out that the next day after a brake job her wheel fell off. I fired the guy within fifteen minutes of getting off the phone. Next time say something and save them the furture humiliation.

88 Dick

Reputation is very important thing for any business. No reputation – not business.

89 Fil

Good publicity, bad publicity… It’s all publicity. You did them a big favor !

And also :
72 visits = minimum 144 plates
1 bad plate in 144 = 0.69%
Not a bad ratio !

Looks like a safe bet to go and eat there.
But better don´t order shrimps :wink:

I like the metaphore though.

90 Guava rian

I just like the analogy! “bit into it, it was super nasty. Like all jellified and raw” made me feel ill though!

91 andrew

I wouldn’t not go there cause they dropped the ball once after 3 years. That seems a bit much. Even the best of the best have their moments. I rather have my shrimp under cook rather then over cooked. shrimp sashimi yum!

92 myrtle beach condos

we eat out probably 3 to 4 nights a week. But i hate going to resturants and the food is just bad. there is a local restuarant we use to go to all the time, I found a hair in my food and that was my last trip there.

93 MP4

Somewhat related (but not really), great uncooked shrimp commercial with Charles Barkley, Dwayne Wade, and Yao Ming! Just saw it last night.

94 Matt

I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have brought this up there and then with the manager. For all you know, he might have sacked the chef on the spot.

95 Takumi86

I never tasted undercooked shrimp since i’m vegetarian

96 Free Atimated Directory Submissions

I had worse and now I really hate Japanese restaurants too. I was in the similar situation in Nagasaki (Evansville, IN), but shogun is pretty much the same thing, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they are the same company since they are almost identical. Anyway, I used to go there a lot too untill one time I didn’t like my food too much, but I ate it anyway since I was hungry. On the way home (I was driving), I started to feel really really sick. I stopped by the gas station to use the restroom and as soon as I walked into the restroom I puked all over it. I never puked so much in my life. I thought I wouldn’t make it pass that date. When I got home my throat got all swallen even though I never had any allergies before. At first I thought I developed allergy to shrimp, but I tried some after that and even though I don’t like shrimp anymore, I can eat it. Pretty scary stuff… No more any Japanse restaurants for me. Even though I am not born American, there is nothing better then a good steak house. :)

97 Brian " Cure Acne " W.

Like you said, the worst part, for the restaurant, is that they will probably never really know why people will stop coming.

this makes me think, do i serve “undercooked shrimp”?

98 Typhoon

Aah I m a Vegetarian,,sad

99 Vin @ webmarketinggraphics.com

i already tried raw fish (sashimi i think)… but raw (or maybe undercooked) shrimp? i can’t imagine how that tasted like.

anyway, i really think that you should inform the owner regarding what happened… that single chef doesn’t speak for the whole restaurant, right?

every company/business/restaurant has it’s flaws (that can be corrected).

100 Blogging Tips

Shrimp ahhhhhh … not long ago we found a red lobster gift card on the ground .. had a date of 2007 on it but picked it up anyway and looked online and it still had money on it … I ate so much Shrimp that night I was about to explode … it was a painful drive home but it felt so good LOL

101 Zippy

I have to say that after being in the restaurant business for many years that shrimp is the easiest thing to cook properly. It’s pure carelessness for someone to serve undercooked shrimp. Shrimp needs to be firm to the touch and be opaque. Didn’t they SEE that it was undercooked? That’s just gross.

102 TYCP Entertainment Magazine

Shrimp is so good. I have to watch when I cook some though because my boyfriend is allergic to seafood. Major suckage.

103 Mr. School Fundraising ideas

Wow, I live in Lincoln part time and i have never heard of this place. Even if I had I know I wouldn’t eat there because… I just wouldn’t be able to afford it. And besides nothing beats a home cooked meal.

Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

104 Top news

Its not about under cooked shrimps. its about destroying the business value somebody else have built in years. Just imagine a Big empire shut down just because the care taker could not do same effort as creators have done.
I think you must have told the owners of that place.

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