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Red Lobster closes 90-plus sites; equipment to be auctioned off

Red Lobster
Red Lobster has approximately 650 U.S. restaurants.

Red Lobster is slimming down a bit.

The beleaguered casual-dining seafood chain has closed nearly 100 restaurants, reported Restaurant Business Magazine, and has started auctioning off furniture and equipment. According to the report, 99 of Red Lobster’s approximately 650 U.S. restaurants were closed as of Tuesday morning.

In a post on his LinkedIn page, Neal Sherman, CEO and founder of liquidation company TAGeX Brands, said the firm was leading the closure of more than 50 Red Lobster locations, with the location’s equipment to be auctioned off as part of its “largest restaurant equipment sale ever.”

“The Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment from select Red Lobster locations MUST GO ASAP!,” the post reads. “We're handling this closure differently than we have in the past with each auction having a SINGLE winner for the listed items from the location they bid on -- WINNER TAKES ALL.”

The auctions are now live at this link until Thursday, May 16. The link lists the locations of the 50-plus locations in the auction. The equipment includes ovens, refrigerators, bar setups, dining furniture and more.

Red Lobster has been struggling for some time and is reportedly considering filing for bankruptcy protection as it looks to restructure its debt, according to an April report by Bloomberg. Earlier this year, Thai Union Group, one of the world’s largest seafood suppliers, announced its intention to exit its minority investment in the chain.

In March, Red Lobster named restructuring expert Jonathan Tibus as CEO, replacing Horace Dawson, who retired after serving six months in the position. (Dawson had previously led the chain’s legal department since 2014.) Tibus has been managing director of management consulting firm Alvarez Marsal in Atlanta for the past 22 years. 

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