Home News Many Red Lobster restaurants around Florida closing down – is it permanent?

Many Red Lobster restaurants around Florida closing down – is it permanent?

Many Red Lobster restaurants around Florida closing down – is it permanent?

So long, Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Many Red Lobster locations are closed across the country, including greater than a dozen in Florida.

Signs on the door of some Red Lobster locations with empty parking lots, including the one in Leesburg and others across the country on Monday said, “This location is closed. We look ahead to serving you at one other Red Lobster in the long run.”

Several national media outlets, including The Hill, reported that not less than 48 Red Lobster restaurants were closed. The closures are also in seven states aside from Florida.

TAGeX Brands, an organization that helps firms with closures and liquidations, announced on its website that it will be auctioning off equipment this week from greater than 50 Red Lobster restaurants, including five in Florida: Altamonte Springs, Gainesville, Hialeah, Largo, and Orlando. The corporate page is titled “THE LARGEST RESTAiURANT EQUIPMENT AUCTION EVER.”

Red Lobster, the once popular seafood restaurant that began in Lakeland, Florida, within the late Sixties, was considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, in response to multiple news sources.

In an April 2024 Bloomberg report citing sources aware of the discussions, the seafood chain was considering a bankruptcy filing to renegotiate burdensome leases and address other long-term contracts, in addition to rising labor costs.

What does this mean for the favored restaurant chain and its Florida locations? Here’s what we all know.

Why was Red Lobster considering bankruptcy?

Based on Bloomberg, Red Lobster has been finding it difficult to become profitable with its current leases and labor costs. It has also been reported by CNN the corporate suffered a $12.5 million operating loss within the fourth quarter of 2023, despite its popular infinite shrimp promotion.

By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporate would stay open while it reorganizes funds to repay existing debt over time, in search of to proceed with higher financial footing.

Bloomberg also reported Red Lobster is being advised by the law firm King & Spalding on the topic. Any discussions about restructuring are ongoing, and no final decisions have been made a couple of bankruptcy filing as of April 18.

An email to a Red Lobster media inquiries address went unanswered late Monday afternoon.

Who founded Red Lobster? Seafood restaurant chain began in Florida

Red Lobster was founded in 1968 in Lakeland, Florida, by Bill Darden and Charley Woodsby.

General Mills acquired the corporate in 1970 and helped it expand into North America before establishing a brand new company for its restaurant brands called Darden Restaurants Inc. in 1995. Darden also owned the Italian restaurant chain, Olive Garden.

Almost 20 years later, Darden Restaurants sold Red Lobster to Golden Gate Capital in 2014. Thai Union, which previously had a one-fourth stake in the corporate, bought out Golden Gate’s stake in the corporate in 2020.

This 12 months, Thai Union Group revealed that it intended to exit its minority investment in Red Lobster.

“The mixture of Covid-19 pandemic, sustained industry headwinds, higher rates of interest, and rising material and labor costs have impacted Red Lobster, leading to prolonged negative financial contributions to Thai Union and its shareholders,” Thiraphong Chansiri, Thai Union Group’s CEO, said in a news release.

Red Lobster brought in Jonathan Tibus as its recent CEO recently, in response to Fox Business.

What number of Red Lobster restaurants in Florida closed?

As of May 13, 2024, Red Lobster listed greater than 60 restaurant locations in 49 Florida cities on its website. Each has a page listing a neighborhood restaurant’s hours. A search of the Red Lobster website had locations in these cities listed as “Closed” under its hours for all days of the week:

  • Jacksonville: All 3
  • Daytona Beach Shores
  • Gainesville
  • Hialeah
  • Jensen Beach
  • Kissimmee: 1 of three, (4010 W. Vine St., Kissimmee)
  • Largo
  • Leesburg
  • Orlando: 3 of 6, (5936 International Drive, Orlando; 3552 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 617 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando)
  • Sanford
  • Tampa: 2 of three (6161 thirty fourth St. North, St. Petersburg; 11601 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa)

As of May 13, 2024, many restaurant locations in Florida still appear open on Red Lobster’s website


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