Versatile and resilient, the lobster survives by molting, shedding its pores and skin and rising into a brand new, larger shell. However finally, vitality runs low and the transformation turns into tougher.

Crimson Lobster, one in every of America’s best-known shellfish ambassadors, has reached this stage in its life cycle: The once-ubiquitous restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy safety on Sunday after greater than half a century because the nation’s pre-eminent seafood franchise.

In court docket filings, the corporate stated it had greater than 100,000 collectors and liabilities of $1 billion to $10 billion. Crimson Lobster stated it deliberate to scale back its areas because it ready to to promote most of its belongings. Within the meantime, surviving Crimson Lobster eating places will stay open.

It has been a painful, sluggish finish for Crimson Lobster, whose loss of life throes had been telegraphed earlier this yr when the corporate reportedly sought to restructure its debt. After many years as a Common Mills subsidiary, Crimson Lobster was bought by a personal fairness agency in 2014, and bolstered by a 2020 funding from a Thai seafood conglomerate. Nevertheless it confronted challenges within the years for the reason that starting of the coronavirus pandemic, when business headwinds, rising prices and adjustments in eating habits compelled the corporate to shut underperforming locations.

The Thai seafood firm, Thai Union Group, introduced in January that it was abandoning its Crimson Lobster funding. Final week, dozens of Crimson Lobster areas started selling off assets through a liquidator, providing up the spoils of a crumbling restaurant dynasty like industrial freezers, lobster tanks and bar tools (alcohol not included).

In its heyday, Crimson Lobster had obtained coveted standing amongst suburban eating choices: reasonably priced sufficient to be accessible, fancy sufficient to be aspirational. Regardless of its founding in Orlando, Fla., the chain drew a lot of its inspiration from Bar Harbor, a vacationer vacation spot off the rocky Atlantic coast of Maine.

In its 56-year life span, Crimson Lobster had seen a number of reinventions. Initially billed as an oyster lounge and cocktail bar within the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s, Crimson Lobster emerged in later years as a family-friendly eating alternative that, for a lot of, was an introduction to seafood.

It maybe reached the head of cultural consciousness with a point out from Beyoncé, who name-dropped the restaurant in her 2016 track “Formation,” and simply as swiftly fell from it. Final yr, the chain found an all-you-can-eat shrimp deal that was so common with diners, it helped push the corporate to an $11 million quarterly loss.

“This restructuring is one of the best path ahead for Crimson Lobster,” Jonathan Tibus, the corporate’s chief govt, stated in a statement on Sunday. “It permits us to deal with a number of monetary and operational challenges and emerge stronger and refocused on our progress.”

Crimson Lobster didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.



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