Saint John – In the aftermath of an accident Wednesday night on the Harbour Bridge in Saint John, McDonald’s restaurants in the Maritimes are jumping at the opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade, so to speak. The accident involved a tractor-trailer filled with live lobster on the way from Boston that rolled over, spilling thousands of lobsters.
There were no human fatalities, but many of the lobsters were injured and scores more presumed dead upon impact. Traffic was reduced to one lane for much of Thursday morning, and several witnesses to the accident gathered to help salvage what they could.
Chris MacIntosh, manager at McDonald’s Main Street location in the Port City, happened to be driving by the site on his way to work Thursday morning, and that’s when inspiration struck. “I called up head office,” he said referring to the corporation’s guest contact centre in Winnipeg, MB. “I ran the idea by them for what they could call a ‘lobster roll-over.’ Sort of a play on words, and a little levity for the tough situation at hand.
“According to McDonald’s, when it comes to their classic lobster roll, ‘100% Atlantic lobster meat is what this classic is all about.’ So I thought, how much more Atlantic can you get? That truck toppled here for a reason,” McIntosh said. “The seasonal roll has never satisfied customers, and now we finally have enough lobster in this city to have it all year.”
Uptown Saint John resident Keith Kelly couldn’t be happier about the accident, even though several innocent lobsters lost their lives. “I’m so sick of this ‘for a limited time only’ nonsense,” he said while licking the salt from his fingers and reaching for more savoury McDonald’s fries. “So yeah, I’m pretty keen on having the lobster roll available year-round – it’s probably in my top 5 sandwiches there.”
The lobsters are currently being housed at Whitetail Fisheries Inc./Lorenville Lobster Shop in crates and holding tanks, and will be sent to various McDonald’s locations for shelling and selling in Saint John and surrounding areas in the coming days. The ‘Lobster Roll-over’ will be sold at select locations by Dec. 10.