How Will The Massive Gulf Oil Spill Affect Your Summer Meals?


With reports that the massive Gulf Coast oil spill may continue through the summer, restaurant owners and customers are bracing for the worst. The biggest eco-disaster in American history is likely to result in a big shortage of seafood, massive price hikes and a public perception that Gulf Coast seafood is dangerous to eat.Restaurant owner and industry consultant Edmund Woo is keeping a wary eye on the latest developments. “Things are going from bad to worse with this situation as far as restaurants are concerned; shipping costs are going up, seafood suppliers are really juggling, and people are flat out getting nervous about eating seafood. Now, that’s the wrong perception, but perception is reality, so restaurateurs need to get in front of the issue.”

Woo, the author of “The 5 Hour Restaurant Work Week” and CEO of the South Carolina based Saskatoon: Steaks Fish and Wild Game restaurant franchise says that shifts are already happening in seafood harvesting.

“N.O.A.A. (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is restricting commercial fishing along the Gulf Coast. So now, there are fewer places to harvest seafood, especially shrimp. That’s bad news for people who make their living fishing down there, and ultimately for consumers, because the U.S. seafood industry has already been hurt by cheaper imports in recent years”, says Woo.

Woo is speaking with the media about subjects including:

-What it would mean for the consumer and the U.S. restaurant businesses if domestic oysters, shrimp, crab and fish from the Gulf were not available for the rest of the year

-How much of the nation’s commercial seafood harvests come from the Gulf Coast

-What, if anything, industry groups like The National Restaurant Association are doing to help local restaurants

-How the accident will impact the supply and price of seafood for restaurants nationwide, not just in coastal areas, and when consumers will feel the pinch

-The potential damage from the oil slick impacting a restaurant industry already reeling from the recession

-Is seafood harvested in the Gulf safe to consume? Would he eat it/serve it in his restaurants?

Edmund Woo has spent his entire life in the restaurant industry, and now consults restaurant managers and owners on how to greatly reduce their working hours and increase their productivity. His Saskatoon restaurant and franchise incorporates the elements that create a highly appealing business for the operator and a unique and fulfilling dining experience for the customer. To request an interview with Edmund Woo, contact Aaron Leistner at Allen Media Strategies at [email protected] or call (703) 589-8960. Find out more about Edmund Woo at and

Posted 6/14/10.