Red Lobster Restaurant Sale Launches—’Entire Contents’ From $1,600

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Seafood chain Red Lobster has launched a fire sale amid the closure of at least 48 of its locations across the United States, with the restaurants’ contents now available from just $1,600.

The online auction, organized by restaurant liquidator TAGeX Brands, began on Monday and will continue through Thursday. Kitchen equipment, furniture, and other content will be on sale.

“Select Red Lobster locations CLOSED today! Prepare for the LARGEST restaurant liquidation EVER! Fixtures, furniture, and equipment MUST GO,” TAGeX Brands wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Auctions start NOW. SINGLE winner for each location. WINNER TAKES ALL.”

Customers will have the chance to bid on closing restaurants in around 20 states, including Colorado, California, Maryland, Texas, and Florida.

Newsweek reached out to Red Lobster for comment.

The online auction website lists the winnings as “high-performance ovens, upright refrigerators and freezers, cooking and warming solutions, and comprehensive bar and dining setups.”

Other equipment includes lobster tanks, beer coolers and ice cream freezers. The TAGeX website shows 48 locations up for auction.

While prices for each location vary, some Red Lobster locations could set bidders back less than $2,000. Bidding in Redding, California, started at $1,600.

Other lower-priced locations include Laurel, Maryland, where bidding begins at $1,900, and Silver Spring, Maryland, and Newport News, where prices started at $2,600.

Other locations, including New York, are more expensive, with the company’s Amherst location going for over $11,000. The company’s San Antonio, Texas, location is on sale for $15,500 and comes with a pasta cooker, a beer dispenser, and ice chests.

Buyers will be charged a 15 percent buyer’s premium on each purchase.

The closures come amid recent financial problems for Red Lobster, which has some 700 locations worldwide.

The company reportedly faced serious financial damage following a $20 “endless shrimp” promotion that proved unexpectedly popular with customers and reportedly contributed to its millions of dollars in losses last year.

The seafood chain has also struggled to maintain stable management, with the company seeing multiple ownership changes over its 56-year history. Earlier this year, Red Lobster co-owner Thai Union Group, one of the world’s largest seafood suppliers, announced its intention to exit its minority investment in the restaurant chain.

Thai Union first invested in Red Lobster in 2016 and upped its stake in 2020. In January, when it announced its plans to divest, CEO Thiraphong Chansiri said the COVID-19 pandemic, industry headwinds and rising operating costs had impacted Red Lobster and resulted in “prolonged negative financial contributions to Thai Union and its shareholders.”

For the first nine months of 2023, the Thai company reported a $19 million share loss from Red Lobster.

Red Lobster is reportedly expected to file for bankruptcy as early as next week. It is unclear if the company plans to shutter any additional restaurants in the near future.

Newsweek | Author: Martha McHardy