Red Lobster vying to keep restaurants open as creditors continue to come forward

Flavor Flav's new Faves Signature Meal at Red Lobster
Flavor Flav's new Faves Signature Meal at Red Lobster | Photo courtesy of Red Lobster
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After closing more than 100 locations following the announcement of its bankruptcy, restaurant chain Red Lobster is hoping it can successfully negotiate leases on several additional locations that are on the chopping block.

At a creditor meeting held on 28 June, Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus said the chain will close several additional restaurants because negotiations with landlords on the locations’ leases fell through.

Red Lobster, which filed for bankruptcy on 20 May, now operates 570 restaurants globally, down from the 686 it operated previously. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Red Lobster revealed a list of another 120 stores that it has listed for potential closure. However, Tibus said his goal is to keep as many of the chain's remaining restaurants open as possible.

“We have successfully negotiated with landlords and have taken some off the list,” Tibus said, adding that company executives are continuing to negotiate with other landlords on lease terms and are “hoping for successful negotiations with all of the landlords.”

“I don’t think it’s a likely option, but it’s what I am hoping for,” he said.

Ultimately, however, decisions on which restaurants will be closed will be made by Red Lobster’s eventual buyer, Tibus said. If the buyer has a different operating blueprint than current management, the chain may be forced to close additional restaurants, he said.

“We are pressing on all the landlords for savings; we are pressing some more because they are poorly performing locations,” Tibus said.

Also released recently via court proceedings are claims made by Red Lobster's unsecured seafood creditors.

These creditors include ...

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