Red Lobster voluntarily files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The seafood chain has closed multiple locations this May.

May 20, 2024, 11:07 AM

Red Lobster has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a recent press release shared with ABC News.

The largest seafood chain in the U.S., home to Cheddar Bay biscuits, Lobsterfest, Ultimate Endless Shrimp and more, filed the legal action on May 19 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, where it the Orlando-based restaurant group is headquartered.

"The Company intends to use the proceedings to drive operational improvements, simplify the business through a reduction in locations, and pursue a sale of substantially all of its assets as a going concern," Red Lobster said in part of its bankrupty filing.

PHOTO: A Red Lobster restaurant is seen in Lakewood, Calif., May 15, 2024.
A Red Lobster restaurant is seen in Lakewood, Calif., May 15, 2024.
Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"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," Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus added about the bankrupty filing.

Red Lobster, which was founded in 1968, has been struggling financially and closed multiple locations this May, shuttering at least 99 restaurants in 27 states. But the seafood chain said its remaining open restaurants will continue to operate "as usual."

The restaurant chain claimed its Ultimate Endless Shrimp promotion, which was launched nearly two decades ago and offered customers all-you-can shrimp dishes for just $20, has taken a major toll to its financial bottom line.

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