Is Red Lobster going out of business? Bankruptcy reports & restaurant closures

Maddy Kinkead
Red Lobster is in decline

Red Lobster fans are worried that they’ll have to say goodbye to cheddar bay biscuits following news that Red Lobster is filing for bankruptcy and the shutdown of approximately 100 locations.

Red Lobster is a popular hotspot for a lobster dinner and some of those famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits, however, despite clever marketing campaigns in the past few years (like their April Fools’ prank), the business has been struggling.

According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal on May 14, 2024, the chain could have filed for bankruptcy as early as Memorial Day (May 27).

There has been some turbulence for the chain in the past, having recently appointed their third CEO in two years.


What is Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

According to United States Courts, “A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a “reorganization” bankruptcy. Usually, the debtor remains “in possession,” has the powers and duties of a trustee, may continue to operate its business, and may, with court approval, borrow new money.”

This basically means that Red Lobster can still operate pretty much as normal whilst still technically being ‘bankrupt.’

Red Lobster closes more than a fifth of all locations

Red Lobster store with a closed sign
Fans of Red Lobster arrived at their local restaurant to find this sign.

According to a report published by CoStar on May 15 2024: “Red Lobster abruptly closed about 100 of its locations and is auctioning off equipment from some of those sites.”

You can see a full list of the locations affected here.

Their website currently states that these stores are, “temporarily closed.” At the same time, restaurant industry liquidator TAGeX Brands announced on LinkedIn that they would be conducting the biggest restaurant equipment auction ever. The Orlando-based chain will now be left with only around 500 restaurants across the US.

How shrimp put Red Lobster in mega-debt

All you can eat shrimp Red Lobster
All-you-eat shrimp was a bad idea for the brand

According to Restaurant Business, the downfall of Red Lobster is down to “Leadership problems, a tough economy and all-you-can-eat shrimp.”

In 2022, Red Lobster lost $33 million and closed 16 of their restaurants. In a bid to bring paying customers back to their restaurants, they launched $20 all-you-can-eat shrimp in Summer 2023.

The deal was really popular and certainly brought seafood fans through the door, but supplying this much shrimp to their branches cost them $11 million in one quarter.

Current owners Thai Union Group, who bought the chain for $2.1m in 2014, are currently preparing the brand for sale.

What is the future of Red Lobster?

A Red Lobster store from the 50s
Fans don’t have to say goodbye just yet.

As it stands now, Red Lobster is not currently going out of business, in that they are not currently planning to close all of their stores. Recent news of the company likely filing for bankruptcy could be a step in the right direction as it allows Red Lobster to focus on the brand rather than their debt and to still serve customers, albeit on a smaller scale.

Bear in mind that this is not the first fast-food chain to file for bankruptcy, and even McDonald’s and Wendy’s franchisees filed at one point.

All closed Red Lobster restaurants

Each of these restaurants is currently listed as “temporarily closed” on Red Lobster’s website as they prepare to liquidate. The chain is closing 15 of their stores in their home state of Florida.


  • Decatur
  • Huntsville
  • Mobile


  • Oro Valley


  • Fremont
  • Montclair
  • Rohnert Park
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • Torrance


  • Denver
  • Lakewood
  • Lone Tree
  • Wheat Ridge


  • Altamonte Springs
  • Daytona Beach Shores
  • Gainesville
  • Hialeah
  • Jacksonville (Commerce Center Drive) 
  • Jacksonville (Baymeadows Road) 
  • Jacksonville (City Station Drive)
  • Kissimmee
  • Largo
  • Leesburg
  • Orlando (E. Colonial Dr.)
  • Orlando (W. Colonial Dr.)
  • Orlando (Golden Sky Lane) 
  • Sanford
  • Tampa (East Busch Blvd.)
  • Tampa (Palm Pointe Dr.)


  • Athens
  • Dublin
  • Roswell


  • Lewiston


  • Bloomingdale
  • Danville


  • Elkhart 
  • Indianapolis (N. Shadeland Ave.)


  • Waterloo


  • Kansas City
  • Olathe


  • Bossier City


  • Columbia
  • Gaithersburg
  • Laurel
  • Silver Spring


  • Jackson


  • Jefferson City

New Jersey

  • Bridgewater
  • East Brunswick
  • Ledgewood
  • Lawrenceville

New York

  • Amherst
  • Buffalo
  • Kingston
  • Lakewood
  • Nanuet
  • Rochester
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Scarsdale
  • Stony Brook
  • Williamsville

North Carolina

  • Burlington
  • Cary
  • Durham
  • Rocky Mount

North Dakota

  • Grand Forks


  • Lawton
  • Oklahoma City
  • Stillwater


  • Erie

South Carolina

  • Myrtle Beach


  • Memphis


  • Dallas (E. Technology Blvd.)
  • Dallas (Vantage Point Dr.)
  • Houston
  • Lake Jackson
  • Longview
  • Lufkin
  • Pasadena
  • Tyler

About The Author

Maddy is a Fast Food Writer at Dexerto. She has an MA in English from QUB and has written for sites like The Tab and Relationship Surgery, among others. She's an expert in fast food chains, restaurants, recipes and all things food-related. Get in touch at