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10 Steps to Get a Lobster Zone Machine Removed

Some bars and restaurants have arcade-style claw games, often called Lobster Zones, that contain live lobsters. It’s time to get rid of these inhumane contraptions! Follow these 10 steps to save lobsters from horrible lives of torment:

  1. Report it to PETA! Send an e-mail to, and we’ll help you get started.
  2. Contact the restaurant’s owners and ask them to remove the game. Use PETA’s downloadable letter to make first contact. You can deliver it in person or mail or e-mail it. Call ahead of time and ask for the name of the owners or acting managers—whoever would make decisions regarding the restaurant’s arcade games.
  3. Follow up with a phone call after several days. Ask if you can meet in person to discuss the issue. They will be more likely to negotiate the issue in person. Remember: Even though these games are inhumane and the animals are suffering, it’s extremely important to be polite and keep your cool while discussing the issue. Remain firm in your assertion that the game is inhumane and must be removed, but don’t come off as aggressive during your meeting. It’s important that the restaurant continue to discuss the issue in future negotiations, so even if  the owners or managers say no, thank them for their time and tell them that you look forward to future meetings to continue the conversation.
  4. Contact the corporate offices. If the owners or managers refuse to remove the game, find out if there’s anyone above that person who can help you. Sometimes restaurants will have corporate decisionmakers who may be more willing to discuss the problem with you. Look online for a corporate phone number and call it. Explain that you need to discuss a disturbing situation at the company’s restaurant.
  5. Start an online petition. Sometimes all it takes is a letter and/or discussion to get the inhumane machine removed, but if that doesn’t work, it’s on to leafleting and petitioning. You can use Facebook and other social-networking sites to help collect signatures for your petition.
  6. Begin leafleting in front of the restaurant. Begin leafleting in front of the restaurant during its busiest times—such as the lunch or dinner rush. Start with five one-hour leafleting sessions (if possible), during which you and a friend hold signs and hand out leaflets. You can download free leaflets here and make your own posters. Be sure to speak with as many customers as possible as they enter and leave the restaurant and ask them to sign your online petition when they go home.
  7. Set up a second meeting. After three weeks of leafleting, contact the owners or managers again and ask to meet in order to continue discussing the issue and to deliver the petition. If they refuse to meet with you, then speak to them on the phone or send an e-mail informing them of how many signatures you’ve collected and to request again that they remove the game.
  8. Organize protests. PETA’s outreach coordinators can send you materials and help promote your events so that other local activists will join you. Try to hold a demonstration once a week for a month. Let us know when you’re ready to start organizing protests, and PETA will walk you through the necessary steps.
  9. Get the media involved. Make sure the restaurant knows that you are planning protests and will be notifying the local media. Learn how to contact the media and find tips on doing interviews here.
  10. Never give up! Eventually, the restaurant will remove the Lobster Zone machine after you’ve been out there protesting and talking about the horrible “game” to customers. Stay strong and continue fighting!

Pat yourself on the back as the horrible lobster claw game is removed from the restaurant! Congratulations—you’re a hero for lobsters! Be sure to let us know about your victory.

Inspired to help animals?