Savannah Seafood Food Shack: Taking Low-Country Boil to the High Road



Seafood is just as thrilling of a cuisine experience to some as it is unfamiliar to others. In fact, only one in five adults consumes seafood on a regular basis—about twice per week. Low country boil and po’ boys are just some of the slang terms for dishes you may hear tossed around in Southern seafood restaurants. 

So, what exactly is a low-country boil? 

On today’s episode of The Main Course, Host Barbara Castiglia speaks with Christine Cutlip, Founder and CEO of Savannah Seafood Shack, to discuss the origins of her restaurant as well as the dishes they serve and the culture they offer their customers.  

Cutlip was born in NYC but raised in Savannah where her parents operated a seafood market. After working a corporate job, Cutlip discovered she was burnt out and spoke to her father about operating a seafood restaurant, keeping “fast and fresh” like their market but with a more mainstream and casual environment. Thus, the Savannah Food Shack was born; it will reach its sixth birthday in July. The menu started with low-country boils, then moved into po’ boys, salads, tacos, seafood cones, and more.  

The low-country boil stems from soldier gatherings in the Georgia and Carolina regions. “It is traditionally a communal meal—you know, people gather all around this large table, and whoever is hosting the low country will just dump in a hug pot of shrimp, potatoes, corn, and sausage,” Cutlip described. “You just kind of dig in.” The Savannah Seafood Shack reinvented the meal to make it a single portion with peeled and deveined shrimp to keep it mess-free.  

Castiglia and Cutlip also discussed… 

  1. How the Savannah Seafood Shack thrived after the pandemic even with staffing reductions  
  2. How Dan Rowe, Founder and CEO of Fransmart Franchise Development Company, is helping create franchises of the Savannah Seafood Shack 
  3. The characteristics franchise owners of The Savannah Seafood Shack should possess to be successful 

Cutlip illustrated the culture of Savannah Seafood Shack. “We are essentially making seafood accessible not anywhere in the U.S., but anywhere in the world,” she explained. “Our customer is anyone who loves seafood or even just wants to try seafood. When you’re in your traditional sit-down type of seafood restaurant, it can be very expensive and so people are less likely to try something new,” she added. Her restaurant prices plates so that customers are encouraged to try new items.  

Cutlip is a corporate employee-turned restauranteur and is the Founder and CEO of the Savannah Seafood Shack Franchise. She is also co-owner of the Savannah Smokehouse and YATAI ramen + yakitori. The Savannah Seafood Shack has been featured on Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.  

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