Red Lobster in Florida: Restaurants that are open, closed after company files for bankruptcy (2024)

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Red Lobster seafood restaurant chain was founded in Lakeland, Florida, by Bill Darden (of Darden Restaurants) and Charles Woodsby.

Jennifer SangalangPalm Beach Post

Though Red Lobster locations have closed in Florida and across the country this month, there are several in the Sunshine State still serving those Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

The company officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday, May 19, a week after several Red Lobster locations abruptly closed. Signs on the door of some Red Lobster locations in Florida and across the country read, "This location is closed. Welook forward to serving you at another Red Lobsterin the future."

According to news reports, the company has an outstanding debt of $294 million, and labor costs and Red Lobster's popular "endless shrimp" promotion eventually led to an $11 million loss in 2023.

The nation’s largest seafood restaurant chain was founded in Lakeland, Florida, by Bill Darden (of Darden Restaurants) and Charles Woodsby.

As of Thursday, May 23, USA TODAY reported Red Lobster has "temporarily closed" 99 restaurant locations in 28 states.

TAGeX Brands, a company that helps firms with closures and liquidations, auctionedoff equipmentrecently from more than 50 Red Lobster restaurants, including five in Florida: Altamonte Springs, Gainesville, Hialeah, Largo and Orlando.

Below are things to know about Red Lobster, the once-popular Florida-based seafood restaurant, the chain's Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and a list of which sites are open and closed in Florida.

Frog legs at Red Lobster? As restaurant locations close, here's a look back at the original menu

Why did Red Lobster file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 19, 2024.

Though the seafood chain filed for bankruptcy, some Red Lobster restaurants will remain open. The move allows the company to stay open while it reorganizes funds to pay off existing debt over time.

"This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster. It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth. The support we've received from our lenders and vendors will help ensure that we can complete the sale process quickly and efficiently while remaining focused on our employees and guests," CEO Jonathan Tibus said in a statement.

Who founded Red Lobster?Seafood restaurant chainstarted in Florida

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

Who owns Red Lobster?

Thai UnionGroup− which is based in Thailand − has been the largest shareholder since 2020, owning 49% of the company.

A brief history of Red Lobster ownership:

  • Bill Darden of Darden Restaurants and Charles Woodsby, founder of Texas Cattle Co., opened the first Red Lobster restaurant in 1968 in Lakeland, Florida.
  • In 1970, General Mills bought the first five Red Lobster restaurants and created a nationwide chain.
  • In 1995, General Mills spun off the chain, creating Darden Restaurants, a publicly traded company. Darden Restaurants operated other chain restaurants, such as Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, the Capital Grille, Seasons 52 and the Yard House.
  • In 2014, Darden Restaurants sold Red Lobster to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in an effort to improve the parent company's financial performance, according to a 2014Florida Times-Union story.
  • In 2016, Golden Gate Capital sold 25% of Red Lobster to Thai Union, and then sold its remaining interest in Red Lobster to Thai Union in 2020.

Red Lobster closing? How manyRed Lobster restaurants in Florida closed?

A week before Red Lobster officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the seafood chain listed more than 60 restaurant locations in 49 Florida cities on its website. Each has a page listing a local restaurant’s hours. A search of the Red Lobster website had locations in these cities listed as “Closed” or "Temporarily Closed" under its hours for all days of the week as of Thursday, May 23, 2024:

  • Red Lobster, 340 W. SR 436, Altamonte Springs
  • Red Lobster, 13090 City Station Drive, Jacksonville
  • Red Lobster, 416 Commerce Center Drive, Jacksonville
  • Red Lobster, 8720 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville
  • Red Lobster, 3162 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach Shores
  • Red Lobster, 6910 W. Newberry Road, Gainesville
  • Red Lobster, 1750 W. 49th St., Hialeah
  • Red Lobster, 3544 N.W. Federal Highway, Jensen Beach
  • Red Lobster, 4010 W. Vine St., Kissimmee
  • Red Lobster, 10500 E. Ulmerton Road, Largo
  • Red Lobster, 10010 U.S. 441, Leesburg
  • Red Lobster, 3552 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
  • Red Lobster, 8003 Golden Sky Lane, Orlando
  • Red Lobster, 7373 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando
  • Red Lobster, 20 Towne Center Circle, Sanford
  • Red Lobster, 2625 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa
  • Red Lobster, 17021 Palm Pointe Drive, Tampa

Red Lobster near me? Which Red Lobster restaurants in Florida are still open?

As of Thursday, May 23, 2024, many restaurant locations in Florida still appear open onRed Lobster's website.

  • Red Lobster, 700 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, 561-752-8025
  • Red Lobster, 5711 14th St. West, Bradenton, 941-756-1814
  • Red Lobster, 2604 W. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, 813-654-0010
  • Red Lobster, 26320 U.S. 19th North, Clearwater, 727-799-3816
  • Red Lobster, 2475 S. Highway 27, Clermont, 352-243-4620
  • Red Lobster, 2000 University Drive, Coral Springs, 954-752-6131
  • Red Lobster, 2625 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, 386-255-7596
  • Red Lobster, 1695 NW 87th Ave., Doral, 305-392-5552
  • Red Lobster, 5950 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-491-3030
  • Red Lobster, 3801 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, 239-936-8216
  • Red Lobster, 6401 Darter Court, Fort Pierce, 772-461-4336
  • Red Lobster, 326 Miracle Strip Parkway SW, Fort Walton Beach, 850-664-2700
  • Red Lobster, 2900 Oakwood Blvd., Hollywood, Florida, 954-924-1550
  • Red Lobster, 3706 North Road 98, Lakeland, 863-815-0774
  • Red Lobster, 6638 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, 561-433-1434
  • Red Lobster, 5690 Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, 407-396-6997
  • Red Lobster, 7780 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, 321-677-0191
  • Red Lobster, 2847 W. U.S. 90, Lake City, 386-758-0044
  • Red Lobster, 2355 W. New Haven Ave., Melbourne, 321-676-5111
  • Red Lobster, 215 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island, 321-453-3520
  • Red Lobster, 11550 SW 88th St., Miami, 305-273-0625
  • Red Lobster, 13300 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, 305-895-6095
  • Red Lobster, 3393 S.W. College Road, Ocala, 352-237-1291
  • Red Lobster, 32 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, 904-272-6357
  • Red Lobster, 5936 International Drive, Orlando, 407-351-9313
  • Red Lobster, 9892 International Drive, Orlando, 407-363-0399
  • Red Lobster, 617 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, 407-249-4141
  • Red Lobster, 910 E. 23rd St., Panama City, 850-785-5566
  • Red Lobster, 5110 N. 9th Ave., Pensacola, 850-477-7667
  • Red Lobster, 296 N. University Drive, Pembroke Pines, 954-432-8500
  • Red Lobster, 803 S. University Drive, Plantation, 954-424-0406
  • Red Lobster, 1331 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, 941-625-7745
  • Red Lobster, 8909 U.S. 19, Port Richey, 727-859-9600
  • Red Lobster, 721 U.S. 27, Sebring, 863-382-2200
  • Red Lobster, 2328 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, 352-686-5207
  • Red Lobster, 6151 34th St. North, St. Petersburg, 727-527-7302
  • Red Lobster, 2583 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, 850-385-1136
  • Red Lobster, 11601 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-962-8187
  • Red Lobster, 3830 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, 352-751-1482
  • Red Lobster, 2201 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-686-6237
  • Red Lobster, 230 Cypress Garden Blvd., Winter Haven (near Orlando), 863-294-8844

Sangalang is a lead digital producer for USA TODAY Network-Florida. Follow her onTwitteror Instagram at@byjensangalang. Support local journalism.Consider subscribing to a Florida newspaper.

Red Lobster in Florida: Restaurants that are open, closed after company files for bankruptcy (2024)


What company bought Red Lobster? ›

That firm was San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital, with $10 billion in assets.Golden Gate had paid $2.1 billion to buy Red Lobster in May 2014, so the real estate sale was crucial to the firm's financing.

What chapter of bankruptcy did Red Lobster file? ›

Red Lobster, the casual dining chain that brought seafood to the masses with inventions like popcorn shrimp and “endless” seafood deals, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The 56-year-old chain made the filing late Sunday, days after shuttering dozens of restaurants.

Did Darden sell Red Lobster? ›

Bill Darden, who I believe was still heading the company, was like, “All right, I'm going to deal with you by spinning off Red Lobster.” They sold Red Lobster in 2014 to the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital to deal with this activist.

What is the franchise fee for Red Lobster? ›

How much does Red Lobster franchise cost? Red Lobster has the franchise fee of up to $9,500, with a total initial investment of $9,500.

Are Olive Garden and Red Lobster owned by the same? ›

Darden SW LLC, a Florida limited liability company, the sole member of which is GMRI, Inc., doing business as Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Florida SE, Inc., a Florida corporation and direct wholly owned subsidiary of GMRI, Inc., doing business as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

Are Olive Garden and Red Lobster sister companies? ›

Olive Garden became the cash cow, however, and Red Lobster was sold off about 6 years ago. So technically Red Lobster and Olive Garden were sister companies at one point, but aren't affiliated today.

Where is Red Lobster headquarters? ›

How much did Red Lobster lose? ›

Red Lobster suffered a $76 million net loss during fiscal year 2023, according to Tibus. Cash losses, including $31 million from June 2023 to September 2023, led to Red Lobster's liquidity rapidly declining, the CEO said in the document.

Why did Red Lobster stop serving king crab? ›

King crab is no longer an option due to the Alaska fishery being closed for the past two years and the ban on Russian imports. As a result, this year the popular seafood chain is only offering Snow crab or Bairdi (while supplies last)... It's been four long years….

Is Olive Garden still owned by Darden? ›

Our Company

Darden's family of restaurants features some of the most recognizable and successful brands in full-service dining — Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V's and Bahama Breeze.

Why did Red Lobster leave Darden? ›

Red Lobster sale

On December 19, 2013, Darden announced plans to sell or spin off the Red Lobster brand, citing pressure from stock investors. This was in direct response to the company spending US$100 million on a new digital platform.

Why did Darden drop Red Lobster? ›

The deal lets Darden shed its worst-performing chain to pay off some debt and focus on its flagship Olive Garden chain, which also has been struggling. Darden will receive net cash proceeds, after tax and transaction costs, of about $1.6 billion for the seafood chain with 700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.

Who owns Red Lobster in 2024? ›

In 2014, Darden sold off Red Lobster to Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm, for $2.1 billion. Since 2020, seafood distributor Thai Union Group, based in Thailand, has been the largest Red Lobster shareholder. Thai Union owns 49% of the company.

Do you make good money as a server at Red Lobster? ›

Average Red Lobster Server hourly pay in California is approximately $18.27, which is 16% above the national average.

Do Red Lobster servers make a lot? ›

Average Red Lobster Server hourly pay in the United States is approximately $19.75, which is 25% above the national average.

What company owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden? ›

Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants logo (2009-present)
Company typePublic
Total assetsUS$5.944 billion (FY 2012)
Total equityUS$1.842 billion (FY 2012)
Number of employees175,000 (2022)
15 more rows

What companies does Thai Union Group own? ›

Thai Union owns major brands Petit Navire, John West, Chicken of the Sea, Century Tuna, Sealect and Mareblu. Bumble Bee/Clover Leaf may be added to this list if the company's current acquisition attempt succeeds. But far more companies than its own brands are linked to Thai Union.

Why is Red Lobster not part of Darden? ›

One of the key reasons for the sale was that Red Lobster's sales were trending in the wrong direction. Plus, seafood prices can be volatile, and Red Lobster was nearly as large as Olive Garden in restaurant count, exposing Darden to too much variability on the cost front, while not providing enough synergies elsewhere.

Who owns Red Lobster restaurants in the United States? ›

Darden Restaurants sold Red Lobster to a private equity firm in 2014. Thai Union Group, one of the world's largest seafood suppliers, first invested in Red Lobster in 2016 and upped its stake in 2020.

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