US Red Lobster chain fighting for survival

Red Lobster logo

Red Lobster, the world’s largest seafood restaurant chain, is fighting off the threat of bankruptcy amid rising debts.

The group, which has hundreds of restaurants across the United States, Asia and central America, has filed in a Florida court for bankruptcy protection in a bid to reduce debt and fend off collapse.

The chain’s “eat endless shrimp” campaign for $20 is being largely blamed for incurring large losses.

The Wall Street Journal says that Red Lobster plans to hand over control of the company to its lenders to help it through its difficulties. But a number of outlets have already been closed.

Red Lobster, like many US restaurant chains, has been facing difficulties for more than a year – and probably since the end of Covid.

The Florida based company is a huge buyer of seafood including farmed shrimp and salmon, along with its namesake, lobster and other shellfish.

Seafood inflation, which has been high over the past couple of years, is also thought to be a factor.

Despite this, its restaurants remain popular across the North American continent and elsewhere.

However, observers are saying that its “endless shrimp” campaign was simply not sustainable in a country where diners traditionally pile their plates high. Some customers were said to be going up for second and third helpings.

Red Lobster is owned by the seafood supplier Thai Union Group Plc which is in talks with lenders for a settlement that would allow creditors control of the business.

The chain employs more than 30,000 people and also operates restaurants in China, Hong Kong and Japan.


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