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‘We’re not going out of business’: As Red Lobster locations close, chain begins outreach

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Red Lobster has spoken.

The company released a statement on social media Tuesday explaining its decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday. The seafood chain also recently closed dozens of locations across the country.

“Filing for bankruptcy does not mean we are going out of business,” reads part of the statement. “In fact, it means just the opposite. It is a legal process that allows us to make changes to our business and our cost structure so that Red Lobster can continue as a stronger company going forward.”

The company’s bankruptcy filing and mass closings are the culmination of massive debt, a carousel of CEOs, an all-you-can-eat shrimp controversy and an overall decline in guests, according to bankruptcy filings. The company has struggled in various ways, including a 30% drop in guests since 2019.

“Recently, the debtors have faced a number of financial and operational challenges, including a difficult macroeconomic environment, a bloated and underperforming restaurant footprint, failed or ill-advised strategic initiatives, and increased competition within the restaurant industry,” Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus said in the 124-page document obtained by USA TODAY Tuesday.

When Tibus was retained as Red Lobster’s chief revenue officer on Jan. 11, prior to being named CEO, he said that “it was immediately clear that Red Lobster’s performance was deteriorating and had been doing so for several years,” according to the filing.

It wasn’t just the endless shrimp: Red Lobster’s troubles detailed in bankruptcy filing

Read the full Red Lobster statement below

The company posted its full statement on Facebook Tuesday. The post has over 32,000 likes and over 6,000 comments as of Wednesday morning.

Gabe Hauari is a national trending news reporter at USA TODAY. You can follow him on X @GabeHauari or email him at

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