Red Lobster has message for fans after bankruptcy filing

Red Lobster is reassuring hungry fans about the future of its restaurants, despite the news of the popular dining chain filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

The restaurant, which has been around for 56 years, shared a letter with a clear message: it’s not going anywhere. 

"Bankruptcy is a word that is often misunderstood. Filing for bankruptcy does not mean we are going out of business. In fact, it means just the opposite," the message, which was posted on Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, reads. 

The business said the legal process is allowing them to make certain cost changes, which did include the "tough decision" to close some of the restaurants.  

But Red Lobster knows how special its restaurants have been to families, and wants to continue being a part of the memories. 

"We’ve been there for your celebrations, big and small. We may be the place that you first discovered your love of seafood. Or where you met the love of your life on a first date," the letter reads. "Red Lobster is determined to be there for these moments for generations to come."


FILE - The Red Lobster logo is displayed near a Red Lobster restaurant on May 20, 2024 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

And no meal at Red Lobster is complete, of course, without their signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits

RELATED: Here’s the origin story behind Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

"Join us. Dine with us. Root for us. Together, we can write a new chapter," the end of the letter reads. 

Red Lobster bankruptcy

The news of Red Lobster’s bankruptcy filing came on May 20, 2024, after the seafood chain closed dozens of U.S. restaurants, including at least five locations in both California and Florida, and four in both Maryland and Colorado. 

Red Lobster brought seafood to the masses with inventions like popcorn shrimp and "endless" seafood deals. But it struggled in recent years with rising costs, increased competition and changing customer tastes.

Last fall, Red Lobster lost millions of dollars on its "Ultimate Endless Shrimp" promotion, which charged $20 for all-you-can-eat shrimp deal.

Red Lobster's roots date back to 1968, when the first restaurant opened in Lakeland, Florida. In the decades following, the chain expanded rapidly. Red Lobster currently touts more than 700 locations worldwide.

Red Lobster closing

Red Lobster says some 600 restaurants will continue to operate through the bankruptcy proceedings, though some have been closed. 

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.