Author Topic: Dozens of Red Lobster locations close abruptly: List of latest closures  (Read 2199 times)

thelakelander

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Another well known long time chain headed towards oblivion.

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WASHINGTON — Dozens of Red Lobster locations across the country abruptly shuttered their doors on Monday.

More than 80 Red Lobster locations in at least 27 states were listed as "temporarily closed" on the restaurant's website.

Workers at the shuttered restaurants shared their disbelief on social media and said they received no notice whatsoever.

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Red Lobster store closings 2024: List of latest closures

The following list shows Red Lobster locations listed as "closed" on their website, as of Monday afternoon.

Florida
Hialeah, Florida
Tampa, FL
Tampa, FL
Largo, FL
Kissimmee, FL
Leesburg, FL
Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL (Golden Sky Lane)
Altamonte Springs, FL
Gainesville, FL
Jacksonville, FL (Commerce Center Drive)
Jacksonville, FL (Baymeadows Road)
Jacksonville, FL (City Station Drive)
Sanford, FL
Daytona Beach Shores, FL

https://www.fox61.com/article/news/nation-world/red-lobster-closures-full-list-amid-bankruptcy-rumors/507-7ae7cc63-92c5-489d-9fac-5ea766ece4a3
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

pierre

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Not surprising. Haven’t been to one in years. But I do have fond memories of going there with my grandparents when I was a kid.

jax_hwy_engineer

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Not the cheddar biscuits!

I can see why, too. Applebees - Seafood edition never appealed to me other than when we'd go with my grandparents after church.

Captain Zissou

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When will the food madness end?  First burrito gallery, then panda house, now red lobster!?!?  But on a more serious note, I am actually upset that El Jefe and Secret Tiki Temple closed and wonder if there are macro trends at play.  Lower spending on dining due to inflation and interest rates?

Des

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Probably a market trend with the current generation possessing less spending power for luxuries like eating out. I do want to point out Panda House closed due to health reasons and the Secret Tiki Temple owner said he wanted to pursue other projects. Burrito Gallery probably closed because they just went downhill.

fsu813

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When will the food madness end?  First burrito gallery, then panda house, now red lobster!?!?  But on a more serious note, I am actually upset that El Jefe and Secret Tiki Temple closed and wonder if there are macro trends at play.  Lower spending on dining due to inflation and interest rates?

Enter: DOLLAR CHEF, the new food service wing of Dollar General.

Ken_FSU

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I wonder if there are macro trends at play.  Lower spending on dining due to inflation and interest rates?

Yep, this is exactly it. Consumers have weathered the inflationary storm by drawing down their savings, racking up historic levels of credit card debt, deferring or drawing from their retirement funds, and relying on the last remnants of covid-era stimulus. All of the historic, nearly unprecedented spending and job growth in 2023 and early 2024 was propped up somewhat artificially by all of these unsustainable streams. Toss in student loan payments coming back late last year, and there's quite a bit of trouble lurking beneath the surface that's been masked by things like the jobs report and historically low unemployment. Bank of America did a pretty big study, and consumers are shifting back toward savings, DIY, and goods in 2024, and shifting away from expensive services (food delivery, eating out, etc.) and experiences. I'm seeing the effects across so many different industries and clients that I work with. Gonna be a bumpy ride for a bit, particularly with how stubborn inflation and shelter costs have remained. Might not be a full-blown recession, but hopes of meaningful interest rate cuts this year are looking a lot dicier than they were even just a few months ago.

Probably a market trend with the current generation possessing less spending power for luxuries like eating out.

For Red Lobster in particular, the writing has been on the wall for about a decade. Long story short, Red Lobster was sold by Darden to a private equity firm in 2014. In order to fund the purchase of the chain, said private equity group sold ownership of all of the land beneath Red Lobster's restaurants to another capital group, and entered into unfavorable lease agreements with that group. Has been a bit of a ticking bomb since then. Toss in wildly high labor costs, shifting consumer preferences away from chains, and a disastrous "endless shrimp" promotion that resulted in operating losses of like $15 million a quarter, and it's kind of a miracle this didn't happen sooner.

jaxlongtimer

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^ Yes, Red Lobster's demise is all about gross mismanagement and being laden with debt/sale-leaseback deals by private equity.  That said, restaurants are one of the hardest businesses to manage.  Many people get seduced into investing/running them as it appears deceptively simple.  Add, you are only as good as your last meal, finicky customers and ever changing fads, and survival rates over time are not good.  How many restaurants, chains included, make it 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years or more?  Maybe less than 1 to 5%, would be my guess.  Even McDonalds and Burger King have had to regularly reinvent themselves to stay relevant.

Back to Red Lobster, it's main supplier, Thai Union Seafood (out of Thailand) took control of the company.  They knew nothing about running a restaurant chain in the U.S., cut corners, created menus they liked - not their customers, kicked out all other suppliers, had wait staff serve 10 tables instead of 3, 3 CEO's within 2 years or less, etc.  The unlimited seafood offerings (crab and shrimp, at times) meant customers took tables for longer and ate more than they expected.  All downhill from there.  Thai Union is taking a $530 million write down on their misadventure.

For all the gory details, check out the article below:

What went wrong at Red Lobster

https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/03/food/red-lobster-seafood-restaurant-bankruptcy/index.html

thelakelander

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When will the food madness end?  First burrito gallery, then panda house, now red lobster!?!?  But on a more serious note, I am actually upset that El Jefe and Secret Tiki Temple closed and wonder if there are macro trends at play.  Lower spending on dining due to inflation and interest rates?

Enter: DOLLAR CHEF, the new food service wing of Dollar General.

Don't worry, McDonald's is working on a solution to keep clogging up people's arteries...

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McDonald’s is set to introduce a $5 Meal Deal in an attempt to lure customers back to stores amid an inflation-driven, cost-of-living crisis.

The fast-food giant’s global sales have slowed over the past year, according to Bloomberg.

The meal may include a McChicken or a McDouble along with fries and a drink, a source told Bloomberg. The Coca-Cola Company has also offered to put up funding to help roll out the deal.

More Americans are opting to eat at home due to high rates of inflation which has directly affected the price of fast-food. A standard McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese meal now costs an estimated $11.99 - up from $5.39 a decade ago, according to personal finance site FinanceBuzz.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said that the company had to be “laser-focussed on affordability”, on a recent earnings call.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/mcdonalds-five-dollar-meal-deal-b2543418.html
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Has been a bit of a ticking bomb since then. Toss in wildly high labor costs, shifting consumer preferences away from chains, and a disastrous "endless shrimp" promotion that resulted in operating losses of like $15 million a quarter, and it's kind of a miracle this didn't happen sooner.

LOL....it sounds like this campaign was very successful for the consumer!
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

sandyshoes

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   "Not the cheddar biscuits!" Jax Hwy Engineer:
Dear JHE:  Never fear -  besides countless (and good) recipes for those darned things, there is an official Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit boxed mix.  Friends from work and I used to go to our local RL every payday for dinner...and a pitcher of some mighty fine cold Sangria.  Good times. 

Charles Hunter

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I got an email today reminding me to redeem my "birthday reward" at Red Lobster. Since the one less than 4 miles from home closed, and the OP one is nearly 30 miles ... you can keep your dessert.

thelakelander

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Better enjoy that dessert and cheddar biscuit while you can. The way things are going, that OP location's future may have one foot on the banana peel as well.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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The incentive to drive to OP will have to be much greater than a free piece of cake.  :D