Red Lobster Closes Nearly 100 Restaurants, Files for Bankruptcy

Posted on May 22, 2024

Red Lobster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It has also been closing restaurants in many U.S. states.

Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus says in the announcement, "This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster. It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth. The support we've received from our lenders and vendors will help ensure that we can complete the sale process quickly and efficiently while remaining focused on our employees and guests.

A CNN story puts the blame partly on a $20 "Ultimate Endless Shrimp" promotion the became a permanent costly menu item. A bankruptcy filing by Red Lobster also blames a "difficult macroeconomic environment." The post-pandemic world has been very complicated for businesses of all types.

A USA Today story contains a list of the restaurant closings. It also shows them on a U.S. map with the closed stores represented by a red lobster.

USA Today notes that Red Lobster calls these temporary closings but in some cases the restaurant is auctioning kitchen equipment.

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